The world of esports has expanded exponentially over the years. Today esports are recognized by some governments as a high impact sport and the esports tournaments have gained popularity to the point of being broadcast by major television networks such as ESPN.
These gaming tournaments have been a fundamental part of the development of games that are famous worldwide today. In the beginning, these tournaments were seen as simple games and the prizes were low, but this changed over the years.
As time went by more sponsors joined, the platforms were changing in terms of transmission and the teams that came to participate were also increasing. This also gave way to the creation of leagues similar to those we know in soccer but segmented by regions that end up going to the World Cup after a year of wins and losses.
Today, the biggest esports tournaments are the events where top players meet to complete a successful year of smaller competitions and allow big teams to be crowned or small ones to surprise us all by taking the title.
Top Esports Tournaments
1. The League of Legends World Championship
The League of Legends World Championship, or simply LoL Worlds, is the most important tournament that the game has had for almost a decade. The tournament has grown so much over the years that it is known as one of the forerunners of gaming tournaments.
The first LoL Worlds tournament took place in 2011 and can be said to be the prelude to what is now the biggest tournaments in the esports scene. The first winner of the tournament was the team Fnatic and its victory gave birth to the team members being recognized by the gamer community.
The tournament consists in a total of 3 stages: qualifying, group and elimination rounds. For the 2020 LoL Worlds, there are four groups in use and the two best teams in each group qualify for the next stage.
On the other hand, the elimination phase is simple. The best of five games win and go on to the next round. In the elimination process, the players can be substituted without any problem.
In terms of prizes, the evolution has been more than remarkable. The first LoL Worlds prize pool was $50,000 while in other years, such as 2018, the $2,000,000 barrier has been broken.
2. The International Dota 2 Championship (TI)
The International is the most important Dota 2 tournament that has existed since its launch. The first edition took place in 2011 after its beta phase was completed and has been held one edition per year since then.
This is one of the top esports tournaments in the world in terms of prizes, in 2019 the prize was 34.000.000 dollars and it is expected to be even bigger as time passes.
The tournament is divided into phases: invitations, group phases, and the main event. The first phase determines who will go to the group phase based on regional results and smaller Dota competitions. The group phase is played in a two-group format with nine people in an all-against-all format.
Finally, the knockout phase or main event is played in a face-to-face manner with two keys: Losers and winners. The losers’ key is direct elimination and the winners’ key is played to the best of three, changing this in the final where the best of 5 is played.
Until now the transmission of the tournament is only done by Twitch and they have released several documentaries about the tournament over the years.
3. The Fortnite World Cup
The Fortnite World Cup is one of the youngest events in the world of esports, yet it lands as one of the biggest esports tournaments. The first edition took place in 2019 and the 2020 edition had to be cancelled due to the problems caused by the Covid-19 crisis.
In general terms there is no pre-established format for eliminations and rounds. The tournament lasted ten weeks and it is estimated that forty million users participated to obtain a place in the Fortnite World Cup.
The final event involved 20 solo players and about 20 teams with the winner receiving $3,000,000 and the other teams receiving $100,000.
The game mode used was the traditional Battle Royale although there were two variations: the Fortnite Creative Cup and the Fortnite Pro-Am. The first consisted of completing challenges and sending the test to Epic Games where eight teams participated. The Pro-Am is conducted by Epic Games with invitations to the participants and the one with the highest score wins.
At the time the transmission channels were Twitch and YouTube and they managed to sell out the tournament in a matter of weeks, something impressive for a not-so-old game. It is expected that the next Fortnite gaming tournaments will have a wider broadcast on other channels as the game only grows in popularity.
4. ESL One
The ESL One Major is known for being one of the largest esports events in terms of Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Dota 2 and Battlefield. This is a huge tournament that has been around for years could not have less coverage within the world of esports.
The tournament has been covering these 3 main games for a while but announced that CSGO won’t be part of it by 2020. On the other hand, this tournament will be the sixteenth edition of the championship that saw the light for the first time in the year 2014 and is the seventh time that ESL organizes a Major in all history.
The estimated prize pool is of $2,000,000 and the tournament features 24 professional esports teams for both Dota2 and Battlefield games. At some point, it was rumored that Overwatch tournaments would be add to this major but this never happened.
The teams that participate in this tournament are qualified through regional competitions and have an easy elimination phase in 16th and 8th rounds. Furthermore, a curiosity of this tournament is that despite having so much reception and being so famous, it is one of the tournaments that has had less prize money in its history.
5. The PUBG Global Championship
PUBG Global Championship is the sum of all efforts to take the big step with a game towards the great esports tournaments. It is not a lie to say that PUBG was eclipsed by other games of the same style on consoles and PCs, but as far as mobiles are concerned it has not had anyone to stop it.
So, the game has released an update to improve the esports events experience by the second quarter of 2020 and it landed a critical hit. In total, 4 events are to be held worldwide. Being the PGC the most important one, where the PUBG world’s champion would arise from.
The qualifying phase is set to be divided into regions and the best 28 teams will qualify for the tournament. In total, there are 32 participants since the four best teams of the previous year will also participate.
In total there will be 3 phases: Groups, direct elimination and final. With the changes, the 2020 edition of this tournament would last about 4 days and the final would be played with 12 teams. Moving on, there is an estimated prize pool starting at 3.5 million dollars, something that exceeds the 2019 edition (Which started at 2.000.000).
The 2020 PUBG Global Championship seeks to lay the foundations for the future of PUBG in esports. So, we can expect huge coverage, especially within twitch and YouTube.