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25 Most Successful Esports Countries by Prize Money so far in 2020

George Miller



25 Most Successful Countries by Esports Prize Money so far in 2020
Reading Time: 3 minutes


– United States leads the way winning $7.2m

– Brazilian players most in form this year 

– Bulgarian and Danish players win the most prize money per person on average

– Only 60% of tournaments played compared to this time last year

New Unikrn research shows players are winning MORE on average so far in 2020 than 2019 – despite pandemic

Esports players from the top 25 countries are earning more average prize money in 2020 so far than at the same point in 2019, new research shows.

Despite a number of tournaments being cancelled, professional gaming is still thriving during a global pandemic.

So much that despite playing 40% less tournaments than at this point last year, players are earning more money on average per tournament.

World-leading esports bookmakers Unikrn have revealed the finding after analysing the top 25 countries for prize money so far this year.

By the end of June last year, $67million had been won by more than 26,000 players from 2,715 tournaments across the esports circuit.

Whereas by the same time this year, only $38.8m was won by almost 11,000 players in 1,622 tournaments.

The average tournament prize pool was very similar each year – in 2019 it sat at $23,988, compared to $23,920 in 2020.

However, in the first half of 2019, players were only winning on average $2,492 compared to individuals taking home $3,652 in 2020.


The research also found that like last year the United States leads the way at the halfway point of 2020 with players winning a massive $7.2m in prize money.

Identical to the first six months of 2019, China and Korea make up the top three.

Brazil are the biggest movers in 2020 rising from 9th to 4th in the rankings helped by Magic World Championship XXVI champion PVDDR’s $300k victory.

The highest prize money to player ratio sits with Bulgaria, maybe surprisingly. Their top 5 players including Complexity’s poiz0n are spread across CS:GO, DOTA2 and League of Legends.

The Danish also have a high turnover on prize money with 173 players averaging $9,564.

In 2019, the prize money across esports increased heavily from huge tournaments such as DOTA2’s The International setting a prize pot of $35million and the Fortnite World Cup Finals.

But with both of these tournaments cancelled and many others postponed, total prize money for 2020 is estimated to be considerably lower than 2019.


Most Successful Countries By Prize Money Won (All Esports)

2019 (Jan-July) 2020 (Jan-July)
Country Total Prize Money Players Average prize money Country Total Prize Money Players Average prize money
1 United States $10,079,707.15 5902 $1,707.85 1 United States $7,280,222.31 1999 $3,641.93
2 Korea $5,438,336.48 1377 $3,949.41 2 China $3,093,705.23 379 $8,162.81
3 China $4,876,979.55 1027 $4,748.76 3 Korea $2,356,078.82 573 $4,111.83
4 France $2,290,981.17 1378 $1,662.54 4 Brazil $2,284,006.59 420 $5,438.11
5 Denmark $2,234,162.91 652 $3,426.63 5 Russian Federation $1,718,361.31 454 $3,784.94
6 Russia $2,179,829.93 855 $2,549.51 6 France $1,703,512.13 441 $3,862.84
7 Canada $2,011,038.76 884 $2,274.93 7 Denmark $1,654,614.71 173 $9,564.25
8 Sweden $1,933,771.15 712 $2,715.97 8 United Kingdom $1,327,882.15 348 $3,815.75
9 Brazil $1,861,949.00 989 $1,882.66 9 Canada $1,307,092.60 319 $4,097.47
10 Germany $1,824,623.63 1032 $1,768.05 10 Germany $1,304,784.38 500 $2,609.57
11 Finland $1,672,037.47 405 $4,128.49 11 Sweden $1,176,960.10 215 $5,474.23
12 United Kingdom $1,438,156.76 915 $1,571.76 12 Australia $891,602.63 359 $2,483.57
13 Australia $1,278,719.22 838 $1,525.92 13 Thailand $826,835.23 314 $2,633.23
14 Poland $1,158,065.87 624 $1,855.87 14 Finland $792,457.03 96 $8,254.76
15 Philippines $1,106,753.39 200 $5,533.77 15 Poland $596,336.18 221 $2,698.35
16 Japan $973,735.09 406 $2,398.36 16 Ukraine $574,589.16 112 $5,130.26
17 Thailand $882,805.98 350 $2,522.30 17 Norway $439,630.18 67 $6,561.64
18 Bulgaria $860,229.50 118 $7,290.08 18 Netherlands $399,067.54 150 $2,660.45
19 Norway $714,775.28 225 $3,176.78 19 Japan $325,085.28 223 $1,457.78
20 Spain $625,412.64 392 $1,595.44 20 Bulgaria $310,401.72 24 $12,933.41
21 Ukraine $623,458.01 278 $2,242.65 21 Philippines $290,771.52 71 $4,095.37
22 Taiwan $600,532.10 211 $2,846.12 22 Turkey $281,767.76 128 $2,201.31
23 Netherlands $519,272.80 451 $1,151.38 23 Malaysia $252,612.81 43 $5,874.72
24 Italy $490,560.54 137 $3,580.73 24 Argentina $251,784.40 79 $3,187.14
25 Malaysia $463,826.66 175 $2,650.44 25 Estonia $240,863.04 37 $6,509.81

Total Prize Money, Tournaments and Players (All Esports)

2019 (Jan-July) 2020 (Jan – July)
Total Prize Money $66,992,940.50 Total Prize Money $38,798,059.63
Total Tournaments 2715 Total Tournaments 1622
Total Players 26141 Total Players 10625
Average tournament prize pool $23,987.94 Average tournament prize pool $23,919.89
Average player prize money $2,492.18 Average player prize money $3,651.58

Best Countries By Average Player Prize Money

Country Average prize money per player
Bulgaria $12,933.41
Denmark $9,564.25
Finland $8,254.76
China $8,162.81
Norway $6,561.64
Estonia $6,509.81
Malaysia $5,874.72
Sweden $5,474.23
Brazil $5,438.11
Ukraine $5,130.26

**Stats from – does not include information about salaries, bonuses or sponsorships


PandaScore raises $6M to drive esports betting with AI-powered data

George Miller



PandaScore raises $6M to drive esports betting with AI-powered data
Reading Time: 2 minutes


PandaScore, a startup that provides real-time data for the esports betting industry, has raised €5 million (~$6M) in recent funding. The funds will be used to expand the company’s products for bookmakers, enabling more and better esports betting experiences.

Paris-founded startup PandaScore, which supplies esports bookmakers with AI-powered statistics and odds, announces today that it has raised €5M (~$6M) in funding. The round is led by Serena, with other investors in the round being Alven, sports-tech investor KB Partners and esports owner and investor aXiomatic Gaming.

Esports is estimated to have close to 500 million fans worldwide and the industry accounts for about $1bn in global revenues. Still, it has room to grow when it comes to betting. PandaScore’s real-time AI-powered odds empower betting traders to better leverage this massive entertainment industry.

“Providing game-changing data for bookmakers is our way to fuel the growth of esports,” says PandaScore founder and CEO Flavien Guillocheau. “When bookmakers can offer great esports betting it also helps in raising sponsorships for teams and tournaments.”

Collecting data in real-time from ongoing esports matches and from official sources, PandaScore uses its proprietary artificial intelligence to sift out and analyze the most useful pieces of information as it happens. Betting traders gain an edge utilizing machine learning to set better odds and a larger esports offering.

“Bookmakers are some of the most data dependent companies out there,” says Mr. Guillocheau. “With esport tournaments and fantasy leagues becoming a more significant component of sportsbook offerings around the world, access to PandaScore’s abundance of real time esports odds and data is vital to all the bookmakers we work with. Our vision is to help esports grow by providing the data resources for any esports business.”

PandaScore taps into the trend of a new generation tuning in to esports for entertainment and betting just as much as their older peers have done with traditional sports. The trend has only been emphasized by the recent lockdowns in many countries, which have disrupted regular sports more than they have the online gaming esports industry.

Pandascore has recently signed some of the fastest growing companies in the esports entertainment and esports betting industries as clients, including fantasy esports company Sleeper and leading companion app Strafe, esports betting platform Pixelbet and leading LATAM sportsbook BetCris. The company will use the new funding for further expansion, including hiring for the team in Paris and in Malta, as well as to cover more esport titles.

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paysafecard becomes main partner to NEO in new esports partnership

George Miller



paysafecard becomes main partner to NEO in new esports partnership
Reading Time: 2 minutes


As the 2020/2021 esports FIFA season kicks off, paysafecard and NEO are embarking on a new collaboration, with paysafecard becoming the team’s main partner. The deal with NEO, the esports team featuring the former FIFA world champion “Gorilla”, will see the paysafecard brand featured through an exclusive in-game integration, online and offline, as well as via joint social media, Twitch and YouTube activations. The partnership was initiated by sports marketing agency Weirather Wentzel & Partner (WWP Group).

paysafecard, a market leader in eCash payment solutions and part of the international specialised payment platform Paysafe, enables simple and secure online cash transactions and is available in over 650,000 points of sale across 50 countries. By using a 16-digit paysafecard PIN, customers do not need a bank account or credit card to pay online, keeping their confidential financial data secure and protected. paysafecard has been active in the gaming community since its creation in 2000 and is well known in esports circles and popular with gamers.

Meanwhile, after a successful premiere season with a place among the top 8 teams in the world at the FECWC 2020 (the team world championship of sports simulation FIFA) and a top 4 place in the eChampions League, NEO has set itself up for the new season in a very ambitious way, with strong newcomers. In addition to Gorilla, the team now also includes DFB eNational player “DullenMIKE,” the youngest FIFA major champion of all times, who is moving from VfL Wolfsburg to NEO. The line-up is completed by the young up-and-coming talents “Lenny” and “JuliusFGU,” one of Germany’s most popular FIFA content creators.


Konstantinos Maragkakis, paysafecard’s esports spokesperson, comments: “paysafecard’s connection to esports has been anchored in our DNA since our company was founded 20 years ago. Our mission is to provide gaming enthusiasts with an eCash payment solution that is as safe and easy to use as cash. Our partnership with NEO, such a young and ambitious team, is an essential part of our strategy and in this case the in-game brand placement will help us further connect with our customers and demonstrate our commitment to esports.”

NEO Manager Dan Woods is looking forward to the partnership: “It is a great pleasure to finally present our main partner at the beginning of the new season. The talks with those responsible at paysafecard were very target-oriented and straightforward right from the start. The cooperation will generate much excitement, especially in the digital space. paysafecard is experienced in esports, which makes all of the discussions about content, activations and so on extremely creative. From our side, we are focused on playing a very good sports season with the new line-up and feeding our community on social media with high-quality content. I’m sure that with such a team and such a partner the new season will bring a lot of good things for us!”

Bastian Kroll, Managing Director of WWP-Germany, added: “In our opinion, paysafecard and NEO are the perfect fit. The in-game placement of a brand, which enables simplified payment transactions for in-game purchases, is really powerful. In the past two years we have promoted and expanded the topic of esports in the entire WWP-Group with experts like Ramón Reber. The COVID-19 crisis shows the opportunities this new market offers for partnerships: flexibility and crisis resistance make esports the sport of the future.”


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Eastern Europe

Ukraine’s UPEA Unveils Five-year Strategy for Esports Development

Niji Narayan



Ukraine’s UPEA Unveils Five-year Strategy for Esports Development
Reading Time: < 1 minute


The Ukrainian Professional Esports Association (UPEA) has introduced its strategy of esports development in Ukraine for the next five years, as well as its structure and key objectives.

UPEA intends to raise funds, develop streaming studios, open an “esports ready” hotel, increase the number of international tournaments, attract investments, and more.

The Association plans to attract $100 million of investments, $42 million of which has already been made towards the purchase and development of the first “esports ready” hotel on the infrastructure base of the Dnipro Hotel. Another $20 million is planned to be invested into its reconstruction, according to a release.

“We want Ukraine to be among the world leaders, and today we have all chances to enter the TOP-5 countries with the most developed esports ecosystem,” Oleksandr Kokhanovskyy, Board Chairman for UPEA and Founder of Natus Vincere, said.

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