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Rainbow Six Siege overtakes Hearthstone to become 10th-highest prize pool esport

Overwatch is next in line with VALORANT well behind, but gaining.

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According to esportsearnings.com, Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege now has the 10th highest all-time prize pool in esports, with $30,450,761 having been awarded across all tracked competitions.

This puts Rainbow Six ahead of Hearthstone, which was overtaken last month after Stage 3 of the pro Rainbow Six circuit and the Japan League, Korean Open, Saudi eLeagues, and ROG Masters added a total of $1.13m to the net prize pool in October.

These are the current top 15 esports by total prize pools awarded, according to esportsearnings, at the time of writing:

  1. $309,609,010 -- Dota 2
  2. $143,578,381 -- Fortnite
  3. $140,677,047 -- Counter-Strike: Global Offensive
  4. $98,171,095 -- League of Legends
  5. $58,682,319 -- Arena of Valor
  6. $58,615,655 -- PLAYERUNKNOWN'S BATTLEGROUNDS Mobile
  7. $48,748,397 -- PLAYERUNKNOWN'S BATTLEGROUNDS
  8. $38,193,332 -- StarCraft II
  9. $34,278,670 -- Overwatch
  10. $30,450,761 -- Rainbow: Six Siege
  11. $28,893,344 -- Hearthstone
  12. $25,701,579 -- Rocket League
  13. $18,385,772 -- Heroes of the Storm
  14. $15,146,480 -- Apex Legends
  15. $14,461,557 -- CrossFire

With the most recent season of the Overwatch League currently being played on Overwatch 2 rather than the original game, it is very likely that Rainbow Six Siege will move up to ninth by this metric by February next year, as $3.5 million will be on offer in the Jönköping Major and SI 2023 alone.

Furthermore, with StarCraft II’s dwindling esports support, Rainbow Six could reach eighth in a few years time.

Coming up from behind, however, is Riot Games’ VALORANT, which sits in 16th place at the moment with $14 million in prize pools in just two and a half years. With the VCT partnered leagues kicking off in 2023, the prize pools on offer are likely to increase and will likely give it the edge over R6 despite Siege’s five-year head start.

By various other metrics, Rainbow Six sits well below its counterparts.

Troy "Canadian" Jaroslawski is listed as the highest-earning Rainbow Six player with $423,661 in winnings, but this puts him just 447th across all esports and 15th among Canadian esports players.

Similarly, the $3 million Six Invitational tournament currently puts SI 2020, 2021, and 2022 as the joint-31st highest prize pool tournament. These figures still are notably bigger than any Counter Strike tournament to date.

Both of these are largely due to the size of the Rainbow Six ecosystem. Global tournaments -- SI, Majors, and PL Finals -- which have taken place every three months for almost seven years, total just $16.1 million. The remaining $14.3 million all come from regional and national tournaments, which spread the net prize pool around across a wider range of players and across lower tiers.

To put the $30.4 million over seven years into context, Rainbow Six Extraction and Rainbow Six Siege combined to generate €300 million worth of net bookings in the 2021-22 financial year alone.

On the other hand, the $30.4 million is eclipsed entirely by two separate Dota 2 tournaments, with The International 2021 and 2019 boasting prize pools of $40 and $34 million, respectively.

While 10th place by prize pool is probably lower than some diehard R6 esports fans would have expected, it puts Rainbow Six Siege alongside some of the esports industries’ most well-known brands.

This is particularly impressive, considering almost all tournaments derive their prize pools from Ubisoft directly, which is not always the case with other games.

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