SMITE has done something remarkable.
For their first world championship tournament on January 9, they currently have the 3rd largest prize pool in eSports history. The pool is currently at $2.14M and still rising.
This has been achieved through the Odyssey program. Essentially, HiRez created exclusive content that was unlockable by the community as a whole through purchasing items. When these items were purchased, a portion of the cost would be dumped into the prize pool. In addition, every time you make an Odyssey purchase you get a treasure chest for in-game items.
This has obviously been a huge success for the game.