Home Gaming How does the DOTA International prize pool stack up to traditional sports?

How does the DOTA International prize pool stack up to traditional sports?

3 min read

We recently reported that the DOTA 2 International was about to cross the $6 million mark (a feat which has now been achieved). So it got me thinking about how that compares with the more traditional sports in the world.

First up I started looking at the massive sports in the world like the Premier League Football or NBA in America, however all those sports have far bigger prize pools. So I decided to rather look at the local famous sporting events and then the size of the DOTA International starts to take shape.

Now keep this in mind, the winning team of the DOTA International are expected to receive $3 million, or R31 130 100 in local currency out of the total prize pot of around R62 million.

The Comrades

So let’s start with our internationally respected ultra marathon, The Comrades. In 2012 the male and female winners both received R300 000 out of a total prize pool of R2 223 000. I don’t know about you but I’d rather sit in my chair playing a game rather than running 89 kilometres.

The Currie Cup

But what about that bastion of local Rugby tournaments, The Currie Cup? Well last year when the Western Cape held the final the money for winning the tournament was set at R1.8 million with the second spot taking back R1.2 million.

Super Rugby

Ah but the Currie Cup lost a bit of its sheen when Super Rugby arrived so let’s take a look at how much the elite rugby players in this rugby mad country can earn at the top of their game. And this is where it gets a bit interesting, I literally cannot find anything to say how much the prize pot is for the Super 15, it’s a state secret apparently.

Indian Premier League Cricket

The IPL is well known as the richest cricketing tournament in the world but even it pales in comparison to the International with the winning team walking away with around R20 million, a full R10 million less than the 5 man DOTA team.

Durban July – Horse Racing

The most prestigious event on the local Horse Racing calendar is the Durban July. It’s the time of year where all our beautiful people put on stupid hats and mingle while smelly animals run in circles.

But if you can make your animal run in a circle faster than anyone else’s you can pocket a cool R3.5 million.

ABSA Premier League

And last but not least we take a look at the ABSA Premiership which is by far and away the most followed sport in South Africa. In the 2012/2013 season the winning team would net a cool R10 million with the second place team taking home R5 million.

Now obviously we do need to add the caveat that most of these other athletes get paid a solid monthly wage as well but either way you slice it the DOTA International is easily one of the biggest sporting events on the planet and far larger than what we have on show locally.

So the next time your parents tell you to stop wasting time on the computer just point them here and tell them that you are training to be a millionaire.

Last Updated: May 22, 2014


  1. Admiral Chief in Space

    May 22, 2014 at 12:07







    MUCH $$$$
    SO WOW


    • VampyreSquirrel

      May 22, 2014 at 12:12

      I’m feeling nasty today… so I’m down voting you for the f’ing Doge reference.


      • Admiral Chief in Space

        May 22, 2014 at 12:12

        MUCH HATE


        • VampyreSquirrel

          May 22, 2014 at 12:15

          Yeah, for doge… freaking irritating. It must die… NOW!


          • Admiral Chief in Space

            May 22, 2014 at 12:18


            Surely there are much more hateful meme’s out there?

          • Kensei Seraph

            May 22, 2014 at 12:27

            Not anymore.

          • VampyreSquirrel

            May 22, 2014 at 12:27

            There probably are… but doge just gets on my nerves more than others.

          • Alien Emperor Trevor

            May 22, 2014 at 12:29

            You used to like memes but then you took a doge to the nerves?

          • VampyreSquirrel

            May 22, 2014 at 12:31

            Some memes I can live with… but yeah, that pretty much sums it up.

          • RinceofFuturePast

            May 22, 2014 at 12:57

  2. Matthew Holliday

    May 22, 2014 at 12:11

    got confused when I didnt notice you were talking in Rands.
    inb4 comments of “i dont get it”


    • Hammersteyn

      May 22, 2014 at 12:15

      I don’t get inb4 😛


  3. Admiral Chief in Space

    May 22, 2014 at 12:13

    Pity other games does not have such a competition to this scale


  4. Hammersteyn

    May 22, 2014 at 12:18

    Is this Dota?


    • Admiral Chief in Space

      May 22, 2014 at 12:20



    • CAE9872

      May 22, 2014 at 12:25



    • hairyknees

      May 22, 2014 at 15:06



  5. MakeItLegal

    May 22, 2014 at 13:17

    The best part about this

    We ( gamers , all gamers ( ps ms pc )) are starting to be taken seriously , I wish I could play competive , but like any job u would have to put the hours in

    This is really a win win for everyone invloved


    • Brendyn Zachary

      May 22, 2014 at 13:20

      Strongly Agree. VOLVO is doing more for eSports in general than they are for just Dota2, TI1 – 3 are testament to that, every year after The International prize pools go up in all eSports not just Dota. ggwp VOLVO.


      • MakeItLegal

        May 22, 2014 at 13:30

        The car company ?


        • Brendyn Zachary

          May 22, 2014 at 14:19

          VOLVO=Valve. It’s just a mocking way of refering to them.


          • MakeItLegal

            May 22, 2014 at 14:26

            Colour me 1st grade always gen then , with a c+

  6. Rags

    May 22, 2014 at 15:36

    The DOTA developers have done a sterling job to monetize it and the fund the their community. That said, bring on QuakeCon. 😀


  7. MichaelMatusowsky

    May 22, 2014 at 17:15

    Gavin you should have stated in comparison to South African sports.

    The European Champions League nets the winning team around $45 000 000 (and that’s before all the other bonuses are factored in like winning each game on the way to the final itself.. The total amount a team gets is usually about $65 000 000 if they reach the final).

    The Premier League nets the winners also about $40 000 000 (it trickles down from there, second place is about $37 000 000)

    The Masters Golf Tournament nets the winner a cool $5 000 000.

    The four Grand Slams of Tennis each offer $1 500 000 if I’m not mistaken.

    Then the FIFA World Cup, the grand daddy of them all, teams earn a “paltry” $30 000 000 (Champions League gives teams way more)


    • Gavin Mannion

      May 23, 2014 at 07:05

      I did say that
      “So I decided to rather look at the local famous sporting events and then the size of the DOTA International starts to take shape.”


      • MichaelMatusowsky

        May 23, 2014 at 12:22

        I meant to fix your title. It’s misleading. Well it was to me.

        Like this was my reaction (in order) from reading the title to the final full stop:

        Hmm, lets see how DotA 2 matches up to other physical sports. I’m assuming he will be making a comparison between famous tournaments.
        Yea I was expecting it to beat the local sports tournaments… wait, there’s no international leagues or famous tournaments involved in this article? Me feels title should have said local sports. Let me tell Gavin in the comments section.


  8. DrKiller

    May 23, 2014 at 09:13

    I think the scary part is that the community is paying for the prize money… Valve doesn’t really pay anything for the winning team.


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