The Halo team with Counter Logic Gaming, the North American eSports organization, just won the Halo World Championship 2016 this weekend.
— Counter Logic Gaming (@clgaming) March 22, 2016
It’s a big deal for one very important reason – the tournament had the biggest prize pool in the history of first person shooters, an impressive $2.5 million that was distributed between 16 teams who qualified for the world championship.
The game’s developer, 343 Industries, set the initial prize pool at $1 million last year, with the final pool increasing based on the purchase of REQ packs by Halo 5 players. The crowdfunding method brought in an additional $500,000 just nine days after the game’s release already and an additional $1 million was raised by the Halo community.
With the $1 million first prize, CLG is the first team besides Dota 2’s majors that won a seven-figure prize from a single eSports event. Allegiance, the team who was defeated with a dominant 4-0 performance in the final, took home $500,000.
With more than 900 teams having registered for the tournament, the championship was a clear success for the Halo community and developers 343. And to keep up the pace, a new edition of the Halo Championship Series was announced before the event was finished.
FPS prize pools on the rise
Meanwhile, Counter Strike: GO, has also seen a massive increase in prize money for major tournaments. The extremely popular FPS game is among the most well-known titles in eSports besides Dota 2 and League of Legends.
Even though the popularity of FPS games is more or less in line with MOBA games, the prize pools were lagging behind. Now, each major tournament should have a base prize pool of $1 million where the team that ends up first takes home $500,000.
For a game that is the second-most watched on Twitch, it was something that surely needed to be done.
More eSports participation, more funding availability
As the competitive gaming environment is expanding and more people and companies are getting involved with the eSports and eSports betting industries, it is easier for event organizers to acquire additional financial funds by working together with these new participants. It benefits both sides, as companies also buy in for the exposure which eventually helps their business – so in the end everybody wins.
Whatever we might see in the industry in the future, it is clear that the competitive gaming environment shows no signs of slowing down in terms of growth and popularity. As viewership and industry revenues are at all time highs, the future definitely seems bright.