Back in the old days, video games were introduced as a form of casual entertainment and some competition between family and friends.  Today things are very different and competitive gaming, also known as esports, is gaining momentum as an official sport.

Our favourite esports games such as Counter-Strike, League of Legends, Heroes of the Storm, Call of Duty, Smite and DotA 2 continue to gain in popularity and their winning prize pools continue to grow year after year. esports tournaments such as The International, Smite World Championship, LoL Season Championship, Call of Duty championship and many others, are awarding some of the biggest eSports prize pools with some of the best esports teams taking home millions of dollars.

Here are 5 of the biggest competitive gaming tournaments with the largest esports prize pools ever awarded.

  1. Heroes of the Storm at BlizzCon World Championships 2015


Prize Pool: $500, 000.00

Held last November 6th and 7th of 2015 in Anaheim, California, eight HotS teams battled it for the Heroes of the Storm World Champion title. Team Cloud 9 became the best HotS esports team of 2015 and with that took home an astonishing $200.000 dollars in prize money.

  1. Call of Duty Championship 2015


Prize Pool: $1,000,000.00

With its competitive gaming prize pool of 1 million dollars, the annual Call of Duty Championship took in Los Angeles, California.

The Call of Duty Championships 2015 finals were very intense as the top teams Denial and Revenge battled it out, each taking wins every other round. But only one team was crowned The Call of Duty Champion 2015 in the end.  Team Denial who won a total of $400,000.00 worth of Call of Duty eSports prize money.

  1. League of Legends 2015 World Championship


Prize Pool: $2,130,000.00

Hosted by Riot Games, the League of Legends Worlds 2015 was held across different cities. The LoL tournament started in Paris for group stage, London for Quarters, Belgium for Semifinals, and the Grand Finals in Berlin. The League of Legends 2015 World Championship tournament took place between October 1 and October 31st.

Winning the League of Legends Worlds for a second time around was the Korean power house, SK Telecom 1, who took home $1,000,000.00 in esports prize money.

  1. Smite World Championship 2015


Prize Pool: $2,612,259.00

On January 9 to 11, 2015, around 40 competitive gamers were smiting it out in the battle for the Smite World champion title at Smite’s World Championship in Atlanta, Georgia. With 8 teams competing and splitting the tournament prize pool. The winning team Cognitive Prime, bagged themselves a total of $1, 306,130.00.

  1. DotA 2 at The International 2015

Prize Pool: $18,429,613.00

Taking place in Seattle, Washington was the gaming tournament which awarded the highest prize pool in esports history. With a prize pool of over 18 million dollars, 16 teams faced off in DotA 2 during The International 2015.

Reaching up to four games during the grand finals, Evil Geniuses and CDEC Gaming were fighting it out for best DotA 2 esports team of 2015. Both teams won millions of dollars in the end. The winning team, team Evil Geniuses, were awarded the largest esports payout in history with a team total of $6,634,660.68.