Despite many ups and downs, 2020 was able to round out in relatively successful fashion for esports and was able to grant plenty of entertainment in a very difficult year for many – but 2021 is certainly shaping up to be just as exciting. We’ll see the return of two big events that saw cancellations in 2020, alongside a new big name that may look to start finding a place in the big top three of games and making it a top four instead – with other factors in esports such as the recent growing popularity particularly for online esports betting across the many different games too, there’s many more eyes on the bigger events. So be ready to mark your calendars, here are five of the biggest events to come in 2021!
League of Legends – Worlds 2021 and Regular Season
It seems like yesterday where DAMWON took home the Worlds Championship, and whilst there are no details of what to expect for Worlds 2021 it’s pretty safe to say it will be one of the most highly anticipated events to come this year. We do know roundabouts when the event will be hosted however as the end of the year has become the mark for the League Worlds, so something certainly safe to mark down. The regular seasons are seeing some change, so whilst not a singular event, definitely an honourable mention – an extension of regular play within the season as well as a blurring of the line between Spring and Summer splits to turn the regular season play in to one long season seems to be close, and will bring more excitement for the 2021 season.
Valorant Champions Tour
The new kid on the block certainly is starting to look to pave the way for a top four titles in esports – whilst numbers have been a little lower than many had hoped, the major offline tournaments weren’t available for Valorant in 2020, but 2021 could certainly be the games year. Another event much later in the year as fans will have to wait until November, but Riot Games have announced the Valorant Champions Tour, following a similar pattern to what had been achieved in League of Legends this will be the first real huge opportunity for the game.
IEM Katowice and the CS:GO Majors
The first big event of the year comes for Counter-Strike as teams will once again return to Katowice for their opportunity to take home a major title and the $1,000,000 that comes along with it. Whilst this will be the first of the four majors of the year, it is also the first of the big events to take place during the year and so will kick CS:GO off to a great start. There are some announced expected changes such as no fans in attendance as has come to be expected, but given fans missed the last major of the year for CS in 2020, Katowice will bring a lot of excitement, and with some late year roster changes, could change the top teams in contention for the year.
Fortnite World Cup
The 2019 world cup for Fortnite was incredibly successful and put a huge pot on the line with the $30,000,000 prize pool certainly started to push the boundaries of what could be offered in the world of esports, and with the previous champ being a young 16-years of age, shows the growing talent in esports. Due to the limitations of play, the 2020 event had to be cancelled, and whilst it has been announced that there’s no certainty a 2021 World Cup will be possible, Fortnite and BR fans as a whole will certainly have to mark this event down as something to look forward to, and keep fingers crossed that plans for a 2021 event can go ahead.
The International 2021
The biggest DotA event of the year, and a game that has continued to push prize numbers too. The 2020 event had to unfortunately be cancelled, but this didn’t deter fans excitement as an extraordinary $40,018,195 prize pool had been raised for the event. Fortunately, developers Valve have already hinted at a date possible for the 2021 International as it seems as if August is being eyed as a potential date – more details will certainly follow within the coming weeks and months, but DotA, MOBA, and esports fans alike have a date to mark for the biggest prize pool event in esports history.