Never in the history of competitive Starcraft 2 has there been less prize money than in 2015. Roughly 2.6 million dollars were paid out. But the outlook for 2016 might be not so bad.
2,673,785 dollar prizey money were paid out in competitive Starcraft in 2015. This is the lowest number ever in a full year (not counting the six months of the release year 2010) and about 20 percent less than in 2014.
Big Starcraft 2 tournament series decrease prize pools
The decline in prizey money is lead by the big tournament organization: The Global Starcraft League (GSL) cut its payouts by 45 percent compared to 2014 or by about 235,000 dollar in total. Dreamhack decreased its payouts by 38 percent, the ESL in the Intel Extreme Masters (IEM) by 25 percent – both mostly by holding fewer events than in 2014.
Some tournament series were discontinued: The Red Bull Battlegrounds had amounted for 118,000 dollar in 2014. MLG didn’t hold a single event despite paying out 50,000 dollar in 2014 and the World e-Sports Championship (WEC) also weren’t held last year. They paid out 55,000 dollar the year before.
Blizzard and Korea give us hope for 2016
This leads to the fact that almost half of the total Starcraft 2 prize money – 1.1 million dollars – comes from Blizzard itself and is paid out in the World Championship Series. An amount that shall increase by about 400,000 dollar or 25 percent this year. That is the biggest light at the end of the tunnel.
The others are the Starcraft Starleague (SSL), which debuted in 2015 with about 200,000 dollar in prize money, and the korean teamleague Proleague which paid out 142,730 dollar, roughly the same amount as in 2014. The SSL almost makes up for the decline in GSLs prize money.