You probably have an inkling of what eSports is all about given its name. eSports matches and tournaments pit the very best players in the world of certain video games against each other. Tournaments run throughout the world with the main concentration in South Korea, USA, China and Europe.
The biggest tournaments are quite a spectacle and attract large audiences. Those invested in eSports are as passionate and fervent about it as a fan of any traditional sport.
The global eSports market is currently worth nearly 500 million dollars and it is estimated that by 2019, 427 million people will watch eSports. The growth of eSports is seemingly inexorable.
History Of eSports
Competitive gaming has been around in some form since the 1970s.
Did you know?
One particularly popular competition in the infancy of competitive gaming was the Space Invaders Championships, which began in 1980.
With the advent of the internet, largescale gaming competitions began to spring up in the early 1990s and these were essentially the first global eSport competitions. During this period eSports were televised on specialised cable channels.
eSports really took off in 2010 when online streaming services began to emerge. The resulting huge increase in viewership and prize money developed and professionalised the whole eSports industry, making it what it is today.
The number of tournaments grew tremendously during this period and there are now nearly 300 official eSports tournaments running.
eSports’ popularity continues to grow year upon year. In October 2017, there was even an International Olympic Committee which discussed the possibility of listing eSports as an Olympic sport.
eSport tournaments are physical events watched by a live audience. The big tournaments take place in arenas and attract large audiences. The lively atmosphere resembles what you would experience at any major traditional sporting event. Some tournaments are day events where as others take place over several days.
Tournaments attract corporate sponsorship and for the competitors, there are millions of dollars in prize money up for grabs in the established tournaments.
This is crazy!
‘The International’ tournament hosted by Valve awarded over 24 million dollars in prize money in the 2017 Dota 2 competition.
There are many eSports tournaments, but they all generally focus on one of the following game types:
- First-person shooter
- Real-time strategy
- Multiplayer online battle arena
Some of the most popular games used in eSports tournaments include:
- League of Legends
- Counter Strike: Global Offensive
- Dota 2
- Heroes of the Storm
- Call of Duty
eSports Tournaments And Events – The Big Ones
Major League Gaming
An American event, which takes place throughout the United States. A variety of games are played in this tournament.
Intel Extreme Masters
Intel Extreme Masters. A hugely popular international tournament founded in 2006 with locations around the world. The games played at this event include Hearthstone, League of Legends and Counter-Strike, Global Offensive. 173,000 people were in attendance at one of their events last year.
League Of Legends World Championships
The annual tournament of the League of Legends game is a massive event in the eSports world. The prize pool in the 2016 edition was 6.7 million dollars and the tournament attracted a peak viewership of 14.7 million.
The International, Dota 2
Probably the biggest eSports tournament of them all, which breaks prize pool money records every year. The tournament runs annually in Seattle and is a favourite of eSports enthusiasts worldwide.
Recognised as the biggest computer festival in the world, Dreamhack also hosts a number of eSports tournaments.
The eSports industry is going from strength to strength and it seems like only a matter of time before eSports make an imprint within traditional sports channels.
The tournaments we have listed are among the very biggest eSports events. If you want to get a feel for what it’s all about, tuning-in to one of the live streams of these events is a great place to start.