Competitive video gaming is now stacked as one of the biggest and most profitable industries in the world, and attracts millions of passionate gamers from all over the world. With Esports continuing to smash the record books apart, we thought we would give you the lowdown on the three biggest events to keep your eyes on.
The climax of the competitive Dota 2 pro circuit, The International is one of the most prestigious gaming events in the world and holds the record for the biggest prize purse ever assembled for an Esports competition. The 2019 edition of The International broke past the $35 million mark for the first time in the history of gaming and, in a list of the top five biggest Esports events of all time, various editions of the International make up four of the leading places.
The 2019 edition of The International marked the ninth instalment of the competition and was hosted from the Mercedes-Benz Arena in Shanghai, China. Crowd-funded by the Dota 2 community battle passes, it mirrored real world sports events with merchandise stores and signing sessions from around the event hub and even found the time to squeeze in an all-star game.
Breaking with the pre-tournament Esports predictions, the grand final was contested between two sides outside of Asia: OG and Team Liquid, with OG winning 3-1. The event also broke viewership records on Twitch by climbing to over 1.1 million concurrent viewers during the grand final.
Fortnite World Cup
The world’s most popular video game finally took its first strides into the world of Esports with the very first Fortnite World Cup last summer, and the event proved to be a real success with the gaming community. Hosted from the Arthur Ashe Stadium in New York from July 26-28th, the 2019 Fortnite World Cup became the world’s most lucrative Esports event at the time with its prize pool of $30 million.
This prize purse was split between the Battle Royale’s Solo and Doubles mode, and featured online qualifiers and tournaments up to ten weeks prior to the event to work out placements.
Then 15 year old Bugha became a world famous superstar at the event as he romped to victory, beating out competition from psalm amd EpikWhale to finish with 59 points. He went home with winnings of $3 million, whilst everyone that finished in the top five ended up also becoming millionaires.
Nyhrox + aqua were crowned as the Fortnite World Cup Doubles champions and also took home $3 million, with Rojo + Wolfiez and Elevate + Ceice finishing second and third respectively.
League of Legends World Championships
Hosted by Riot Games and the culmination of the entire competitive season, you’ll struggle to find an Esports tournament with as much history and prestige as the League of Legends World Championships. Blurring the lines between sports, video games and entertainment, the World Championships have become known for their drama in the server as well as their fantastic on-stage performances.
The competition outdoes itself every year, with the 2018 edition in particular standing out from those that had come before it. The event boasted the largest prize purse ever seen in the game and broke a record 100 million viewers during the course of its completion.
The event has become so influential that it looks set to become the first Esports event to be touted as a possible inclusion in the 2024 Summer Olympics and included in the 2022 Asian Games.
SK Telecom remain the most decorated World Championship side in history, however FunPlus Phoenix blew the competition away at the 2019 edition last year.