While we all know deep down that the house always wins, and we’re probably never going to win big, it’s still fun to dream and hope. The chances that the next spin of the roulette spin or spin of the slots will pay out in a massive way are incredibly slim, but a big part of the fun is in the anticipation.
Yet people do win and sometimes they win big. If we take the entire world of gaming into account, there is more at stake to win than just jackpots and poker pots. The real top-tier prizes are the prize pools that are the reward for winning major esports tournaments and events.
Let’s take a look at some of the most valuable top-prizes in gaming.
Online casino jackpots
Online casinos have become major players in the gambling industry and it’s not hard to see why. They are more convenient and accessible than traditional land-based casinos, and typically have a bigger game library than all but the biggest Vegas-style resort casinos. With so many users playing every day, online casinos can also offer bigger and better prizes than ever before.
Casino jackpots are among the most appealing prizes in the gaming industry. Regular casino jackpots from playing slot machine games are great but the truly massive, top-tier prize money is in the progressive jackpots. A progressive jackpot is a jackpot, usually on a slot machine, that keeps growing every time someone plays the machine without winning. The longer it goes unclaimed, the bigger it gets. With so many players playing the same online slots, these progressive jackpots can rise quickly and to huge totals.
The top-paying progressive jackpot is Mega Moolah. As of writing, the Mega Moolah jackpot currently sits at nearly $3.5m, and its spin-off game Mega Moolah Mega is at a staggering $3.9m. Some of the other top progressive jackpots are Melon Madness, Road to Riches Gold Pots, Hall of Gods and Aztec’s Millions.
Esports prize pools
If you’re still doubting the validity of esports, the amounts offered as prize pools for the top esports tournaments should help to convince you otherwise. Esports tournaments can draw huge audiences, both in person and watching on live streams. Having a huge prize pool just adds an extra layer of excitement for the players and fans alike.
PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG) wins the title for games and spin-offs with high prize pools. Of course, you’d expect the hugely popular original PUBG to offer prize pools in the millions for its biggest events, but the mobile game doing the same is a bit of surprise. This year, the PUBG: Mobile World Invitational had a purse of $3m. There was even an Afterparty Showdown with a $1m purse up for grabs. It just goes to show how popular this game has become.
The other games that have the biggest prize pools are Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and Honor of Kings. The absolute biggest prize pool for a single event is The International, the annual Dota 2 world championship event. In 2021, the prize pool for The International was a mind-blowing $40m.
Just like with most sports, the truly valuable prize is the endorsement deals. Securing a lucrative brand deal can net a team or a player a bigger paycheck – or at the very least a more consistent one – than competing in tournaments can. There’s always a chance a match might not go as planned. Having sponsorship deals to fall back on can actually help players compete better, since there are fewer financial concerns to worry about.
Korean multi-gaming team Gen.G (formerly KSV Esports) could teach the rest of the esports world a thing or two about securing lucrative and prestigious deals with major brands. Gen.G are sponsored by PUMA, LG UltraGear, Monster Energy, bithumb, SIDIZ and McDonald’s. Monster Energy and McDonald’s, in particular, are massive brands and securing deals with them is a huge win.
Gen.G have also made smart partnerships that might not result in an immediate paycheck but that put them in a better position in the long term. Their latest partnership with Burberry is a perfect example of this. While there is no payout to Gen.G in the deal, Burberry will be providing scholarships to Gen.G’s foundation. This will help Gen.G. secure the best up-and-coming players and give the team more attention from outside of the gaming world.
This is a paid guest post.