Home Gaming Dota 2 vs League of Legends: Prizes and Tournaments

Dota 2 vs League of Legends: Prizes and Tournaments

5 min read

Dota cribs

Dota 2 and League of Legends aren’t just wildly popular games for people to play, they have revolutionized eSports. With regular tournaments and championships with massive prize pools, they have upped the ante for other eSports games, too. But of course, there are differences in this regard.

League of Legends

Grand final staples

As per the company philosophy of internalizing everything, tournaments are run entirely by Riot Games. Shoutcasters are paid salaries by the company, as are some of the players. Much like sports leagues the idea is that players should get a reliable income with sponsorships as extra income.

eSports is divided into five major professional leagues which feed into the annual World Championships:

  • North America: NA LCS (8-team league where each team plays four single game matches against every other team)
  • Europe: EU LCS (8-team league where each team plays four single game matches against every other team)
  • Korea: OGN The Champions (16-team league divided into four groups, teams compete in group stages before playoffs to determine best in league)
  • China: League of Legends Pro League (LPL) (8-team league where each team plays three single game matches against every other team)
  • South East Asia: Garena Premier League (GPL) (12-team league divided in two groups, each team plays two matches against every other team)

While anyone can organize a LoL tournament, there are a ton of rules about how it must be organized. Most of these are just to ensure that certain norms and standards are met, but they are quite rigorous as far as prerequisites go in order to award RP and other in-game prizes. To be clear, other people can organize tournaments without Riot approval, but then they might not be seen as official tournaments and they won’t be able to award the same kinds of prizes.

Speaking of prizes, League of Legends held the number two spot last year for largest prize pool in eSports: $2.05 million. The winners of the World Championships in 2013, SK Telecom T1 took home $1 million. Of course, it’s important to remember that with Riot paying the top players a monthly salary, these prizes are truly just winnings, not the main way to pay the bills.

Dota 2

Ti3 crowd

Dota 2 takes a more relaxed approach to tournaments, with Valve only organizing The International each year, while other organizations (DreamHack, ESL, Do Gaming League) are able to design tournaments of their own. Using a relatively pain-free process, tournament organizers can apply to Valve to have their tournament listed as an official event and even charge for tickets. Valve takes a cut from those tickets and the rest is paid out to the organizers who often use these funds to build the prize pools on offer to participants.

When it comes to tournaments and prizes, Valve simply blows everyone else out of the water with The International. Thanks to the Compendium, a crowd sourced form of prize pool funding that offers unique benefits to viewers who buy one, the prize pool for this year’s International is over $10 million. The winning team will take home approximately $5 million, that’s a million bucks for each player. Of course, the higher prize pool amount helps bring in a ton of spectators for the event, something that is compounded by the fact that spectators can actually win in-game items simply by viewing.

However, it’s important to note that most teams make their money primarily through sponsorships and prize winnings – they don’t draw a monthly salary and their income from month to month can depend quite heavily on their performance in-game. As a result, it makes sense for these events to be more lucrative to ensure that top talent attends and competes for the money.

Why prizes matter

Dendi millionaire

There have been many jokes from community members that The International provides ten million reasons why Dota 2 is better than League of Legends. However, that’s simply not an entirely accurate statement. Both games are wildly successful in an eSports context – they get tons of viewers and incredibly talented teams to take part. They have made eSports more accepted and understandable. They just take very different approaches.

League of Legends strikes me as going for a more mainstream, traditional approach to sports. Their production values are very high and they follow a more predictable approach to league formats and tournaments. Shows are designed to be family friendly, so no swearing is allowed by shoutcasters. Dota 2, on the other hand, is much more laid back in their approach – shoutcasters often make obscene comments and during the All-Star match at The International last year they were even audible to the players, becoming part of the game. It was a hilarious moment in eSports and made for excellent viewing. However, it’s not necessarily appropriate for all audiences, which may inhibit its growth and ability to go mainstream.

As a result, while some might say that it all comes down to the money, it’s more about the money that both companies are making from the games (a lot) compared to how much they’re dishing out to winners of tournaments. That said, I personally find Dota 2 to have a much higher spectator value that LoL; it’s just more fun to watch and I enjoy the shoutcasters’ personalities more. Plus, there is something so exhilarating about watching teams compete for that much money – it truly raises the stakes and makes even non-gamers take notice.

[button color= “red” link=”https://www.criticalhit.net/general-news/dota-2-vs-league-of-legends-company-philosophies” window=”true”]Dota 2 vs League of Legends: Company philosophies[/button][button color= “red” link=”https://www.criticalhit.net/general-news/dota-2-vs-league-of-legends-community-involvement/” window=”true”]Dota 2 vs League of Legends: Community Involvement[/button] [button color= “red” link=”https://www.criticalhit.net/general-news/dota-2-vs-league-of-legends-heroes-and-champions/” window=”true”]Dota 2 vs League of Legends: Heroes and Champions[/button]
Like esports?
Check out esports central

Last Updated: July 2, 2014

No Comments

  1. Rince&pop

    July 2, 2014 at 15:40

    Dat beiber haircut…


  2. Sir Rants A Lot Llew. Jelly!!!

    July 2, 2014 at 15:42

    Header. Top right corner pic. Needs more anti-aliasing and at least 16x Anistropic filtering…


    • Alien Emperor Trevor

      July 2, 2014 at 15:46

      Also needs someone to buff the hand prints off the car.


      • Sir Rants A Lot Llew. Jelly!!!

        July 2, 2014 at 15:49



    • ToshZA

      July 2, 2014 at 15:54

      Sorry, that was a screenshot from an Xbone. I’m sure the hipster lady will use a pc next time. Oh wait.


  3. Alien Emperor Trevor

    July 2, 2014 at 15:47

    I could never do this. I’d have to take it seriously & that would destroy the pleasure I get from playing games.


    • Hammersteyn

      July 2, 2014 at 16:00

      You sir have just described my biggest issue with any online gaming


    • Patrick Starfish Bagtas

      July 11, 2014 at 05:08

      id say passion or business … i’ve read an interview with one of the chinese players(of course it was english translated) he said in chinese community dota 2 is considered more of a business than just a simple co-op game …


  4. ToshZA

    July 2, 2014 at 15:52

    Also, I’d like to point out that the team that wins – if it’s say Na`Vi or Alliance who have team managers etc. – the players take home quite a bit less than $1M each. It’s still an obscene amount of money, probably about $300K after tax per player, but it’s nowhere near what people might assume.

    If it’s a small, self-organised team (I’m not sure if there are any) and there are no contracts or whatever, then yes, each player would earn the full amount – tax.


    • frikkenator

      July 3, 2014 at 14:19

      Actually most of the teams at the international does not work like that. The players as well as managers get paid a basic salary, the organisation takes the sponsorship money to pay for this and other overheads, and the players take 100% of the winnings minus tax.

      So managers/organisation gets sponsorship money, players get winnings (plus basic salary from organisation).

      I know this is how Alliance and EG work, and I suspect it is the same for the other major teams.


      • Patrick Starfish Bagtas

        July 11, 2014 at 05:11

        yep thats true … it is like promotion … the more a team wins and more games to play … the more exposure for the sponsoring company … most are computer hardware brands …


  5. Anonymous

    August 9, 2015 at 05:22

    This is a very biased article. 0/10, you’re just a dota fanboy. Glad I have my adlbock on.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Check Also

You should be watching Tigtone, Adult Swim’s insane riff on fantasy

Who takes on all manner of quests with nothing but his own cunning and lethal pieces of sh…