ELEAGUE Has A $1.4million Prize Pool But No Incentive To Win

Ali Or

When Turner and WME | IMG initially announced their plans for ELEAGUE, the hype within the Counter-Strike community was understandably astronomical. The weight behind two of the most prestigious names in entertainment is hefty and their promises for the future of Counter-Strike were equally sizeable. The tournament prize pool of $1,400,000 is certainly healthy, but the manner in which it will be distributed… not so much.

ELEAGUE will host 16 teams from around the globe and it will last over a hyped 10 week period – 10 weeks of high-quality, offline Counter-Strike, it may well be every CS:GO fan’s dream. From its conception, ELEAGUE looked like the ideal competition format, the only obvious flaw was the prize pool distribution, which is somewhat ridiculous.


$1.4million is a hell of a lot of money to have floating around an eSports league. The amount surpasses all of the majors that take place throughout the year, in which there is $1,000,000 up for grabs at each. Importantly however, the team crowned champions at a major receives $500,000, whereas the future ELEAGUE winner will take home $390,000.

$390k as a prize is obviously great – no-one’s going to say no to that figure, particularly considering where the prize pool for competitive eSports lay just a few years ago. The 2nd placed team will receive $140,000, whilst $60,000 will be awarded to 3rd and 4th ranking teams – no problems here.

Where the rewards appear unbalanced are towards the bottom of the standings. Whilst a 3rd place team can grind hard for an entire season to earn their $60k, the team at the bottom of the league can afford to not practice and simply show up… and still walk away with $30,000. Where’s the impetus for lower-tier sides to improve themselves with such a small gap between last place and third?

You can get obliterated in every match with the current prize pool distribution and still receive $30,000. Why practice all day when you can go out, enjoy Atlanta, hang out with your friends and still get the same result?

ELEAGUE’s prize pool distribution may appear a little slanted, but there’s no doubt that players love the competition.

Whilst the rewards fail to differentiate between teams at the opposing end of the spectrum, ELEAGUE are taking care of their players during their time in Atlanta, providing a safety net for the teams propping up the table. ELEAGUE are looking to build an eSports phenomenon that’s sustainable and are certainly moving in the right direction – they may have just slightly overdone it.

With a small adjustment that aims to award better performances, not attendance, ELEAGUE has the potential to transform a great event into something revolutionary.

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