Strange esports games that made gamers rich

Technically, any game can be an esport. With a dash of multiplayer, some spectators watching players duke it out, and a cash prize for the winner, you’ve got yourself an esport (a Reddit user even ran a Sims 3 tournament). That said, when you think about the notable esports games that separate the professional players with careers to the amateur competitors, the usual suspects are often Dota 2, Fortnite and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive.

We’ve all heard about 16-year-old Kyle Giersdorf (a.k.a. Bugha) who won a whopping $3 million during the 2019 Fortnite World Cup, and there’s even Valve’s feature-length documentary Free To Play, which follows three professional Dota 2 gamers trying to nab the $1 million grand prize at The International (it’s a brilliant free watch on YouTube, if you haven’t already). In 2019, the tournament’s prize pool was a freaky $34 million with the winning team, OG, splitting an envious $15 million between five members.

The esports industry is big money, but the competitive gaming scene can sometimes head into strange territory — as in DreamWorks’ Turbo Racing League type of strange. Sometimes, unexpected titles gain a lot of attention, and that attention brings the funds.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned from exploring the quirkiest games players have made a substantial bit of dough on, it’s to spend a few more hours perfecting my skills at developer High Horse Entertainment’s Disc Jam and keep my hopes high that there will be a proper esport for it one day. If you’re looking for a place to start gaming to get your esports career on the road,  try getting good at one of the best PC games today.

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