As the popularity of esports continues to grow, so do the big events that are hosted each year – some are limited to one big event at the end of the year with regular seasonal play throughout, whereas others host a number of different events during the year. As bigger sponsors become evolved, and online esports betting continues to play a vital role in the development of the scene, we may see huge changes coming to these big events – but which are the biggest events in esports?
The International, DoTA2
DoTA2 run a whole host of tournaments throughout the year that are all driven by external sources – League events such as ESL for example, but they all pale in comparison to the giant that is The International, an event that dwarves many of the other big esports title events in some regards. Organised by the game develop Valve, the prize pool is often drawn from purchases of in-game items by way of cosmetics and has been an incredibly successful way at generating a huge prize for the winners. In 2019 the total pool was $34,351,362, with the winning team receiving nearly 50% of that at $15,629.870 – teams will qualify from every region of the world to compete, with only 18 making it to the tournament. Whilst DoTA2 viewership and player numbers have often not reached the heights of competitors such as League of Legends, The International stands unrivalled in the prize it offers players and teams alike.
World Championship, League of Legends
League of Legends runs in a more traditional format – each team competes in a series of regular games during a Spring and Summer split earning points as they go, the top teams that receive the most qualifying points will be able to attend the World Championship which takes place toward the end of the year, with the closest starting September 25th. This event brings the top teams from each region around the world together to compete, and although the prize pool isn’t as high the competition is just as exciting. The numbers are incredible too as League of Legends continues to be the most viewed esports title, last year the Worlds event was able to capture well over 100 million viewers, with an estimated 44 million concurrent viewers tuning in on the last day.
The Counter-Strike Majors
Introduced in 2013, the majors are the developers big hosted tournament and held twice per year. Whilst community events take place throughout the year with third-party leagues and events being run, lifting the trophy at the majors is the big one – and it comes with a $1,000,000 prize too. There are some different tournament stages and qualifying requirements with established ‘Legends’ being granted entry automatically, the ‘Challengers’ compete in a series of qualifiers and point building tournaments to be able to gain entry with a total of 24 teams being entered in to the majors. These events also hold benefits for players too – with souvenir crates dropping for players to gain rare cosmetic items, and “Pick’ems” which is an in-game challenge to predict game results and best statistics – with the latest major in Rio being cancelled, fans will have to wait until May 2021 for the next.