There are different types of gaming tournaments. The rules and formats vary significantly, but the respective DNAs remain largely identical across the board. Every kind of tournament is meant to attract a specific crowd and provide a unique experience to the players, fans, and even bettors.
Whether it is a local armature esports league or a professional tournament, esports tournaments can last for a few hours or several days, depending on the nature of the game. Tournaments usually employ a straightforward system that sees players or teams advance following each victory until the victor is determined.
What are the most popular esport tournaments? Those betting on tournaments people are often surprised by how esports competitions have become in recent years, especially those that have not been paying attention for a long time.
The success realized in esports gaming has largely been inspired by major tournaments and the massive winnings associated with them. That said, here are some of the most popular esports tournaments in terms of viewership and the prize pool.
The International – Dota 2
The international is undoubtedly one of the biggest esports tournaments in terms of both the prize pool and viewership. The International has every attribute as one of the greatest esports championships.
Hosted by Valve, the owners and makers of the Dota 2 game, this 18-team tournament has sustained its popularity at the highest level from 2013. The International is an only-invite tournament, where players are required to battle it out in regional tournaments or the Dota Pro Circuit to stand a chance of getting a call-up.
According to statistica.com, this tournament paid an insane $34 million in prize money in the 2018/2019 season, with the winning team taking home over $18 million. Unfortunately, the 2020 season did not materialize following the COVID-19 pandemic. The 2021 prize pool stands at $40 million-plus.
CS: GO Major Championship
The Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS: GO) Championship is undoubtedly the most popular and largest CS: GO tournament. This event features 24 teams battling for the top prize. Team Astralis are the current champions of this tournament, having won the last three championships. The tournament had a $1 million prize pool in the previous five years. However, 2021's event saw the prize pool double to $2,000,000.
League of Legends World Championship
The League of Legends (LoL) World Championship was launched in 2011, and is undoubtedly one of the major esports tournaments under the sun. Like the International, it is operated by the Riot Games who won the game. This tournament is undoubtedly the largest and most popular League of Legends tournament globally.
This tournament is particularly known for its intense and dramatic matches, with the competition getting emotional for players and fans alike. LoL World Championship features some of the best LoL players, picked from regional competitions. The recently concluded 2021 championships held in Iceland saw the winner take home 2,225,000. This year's prize pool stands at the same value as last year's event, but the distribution is yet to be announced.
The Overwatch World Cup (OWWC)
The OWWC is an annual esports tournament organized by Blizzard Entertainment, Overwatch's developer. This event kicks off in style, with Blizzard picking the strongest 24 teams worldwide based on their average skill rating. All the countries are then split into groups where the contest begins.
This game enjoys massive appeal. Here is the kicker, fans are accorded a rare chance of choosing the coaches of their respective team. The fan involvement in picking the lineup is undoubtedly a great way to get the fan base into the event. In the past, this event has attracted more than 300,000 viewers. When it comes to the prize pool, the USA team won the 2019 event, taking home $90,000. 2022 World Cup is set for November 2022, but the prize pool is yet officially announced.