List of Top 5 Biggest ESports Tournaments 2021 – Events and Leagues
ESports Tournaments. Do They Really Fill Stadiums? League of Legends World Championship, Fortnite World Cup Finals, DOTA 2 The International 9
The 21st century has been responsible for several game-changing events in the development of the video gaming industry, but few can compare to the emergence of eSports.
Professional video gaming may have seemed like a far-fetched fantasy of diehard gamers back in the 80s and 90s; but since the turn of the Millennium it’s become a viable career option and a thriving, billion-dollar eco-system in the gaming industry.
eSports tournaments now command in-person audiences and virtual viewerships in the hundreds of thousands and offer up some pretty substantial prize pools to competitors. But, in the history of organized eSports tournaments; which are the ones that have made the history books when it comes to new achievements?
Let’s take a look!
5. 2015 League of Legends World Championship
The first entry on this list may seem a little left-field, however, the 2015 LoL Worlds more than deserves its placement.
Back in 2015, eSports hadn’t quite blossomed into the lucrative industry that it is today so prize pools were still relatively modest. Well, that is if you can call a total prize pool of over 2 million dollars modest. While this particular tourney didn’t set any records as far as prize money goes; it did mark a major turning point in the global appeal of eSports with gaming audiences.
A total of 36,000,000 online viewers tuned in to watch the gaming action unfold for 386,000,000 hours that year; setting a brand new record in terms of viewership for an eSports event. This one is a realy biggest ESports Tournaments.
4. 2018 League of Legends Mid-Season Invitational
Wait a minute, what’s a mid-season event doing on this list? Ask the people who watched online and you’ll soon find out.
2018’s LoL invitational may not have been a championship; but it enticed a global viewership of 60,000,000 viewers who spent a grand total of 2,077,897,606 watching the 14 teams battle it out. That’s over two billion hours of gaming time that was watched by a global audience across digital platforms like Twitch (448,451 peak viewers) and YouTube (426,296 peak viewers).
3. 2018 League of Legends World Championship Biggest ESports Tournaments
When the 2018 LoL championships did eventually roll around they had a hard act to follow in the form of the mid-seasonal invitational. Although the audience hours couldn’t quite surpass that stunning new record set during the middle of the season; the tournament nevertheless set a new record for prize pools.
Thanks to the profits generated by the purchase of in-game items since 2017; the prize pool for the 2018 championship was increase to $6.4 million; the largest amount yet in the history of the game’s prize money.
The lion’s share of this pool went to China’s Invictus Gaming after making short work of London and Berlin’s Fnatic 3-0.
2. 2019 Fortnite World Cup Finals
One of the biggest ESports Tournaments gaming successes if ever there was one; Fortnite was responsible for changing the narrative in the professional gaming world as much as it was the casual one. As if millions of global gamers playing this battle royale extravaganza on the daily wasn’t enough; the game’s inaugural pro tournament offered up the second-largest prize pool ($30 million) in the entire history of eSports.
Just two short years ago, the gaming world came down with a severe case of Fortnite World Cup fever. Countless competitors signed up to enter the games in categories including solo, duo, Pro-Am, and Creative Cup; and during the course of the 10-week tournament were whittled down to a select few for the grand finals.
Gaming fans across the world were notably stunned; then, when a teen player emerged as the overall victor in the solo category. Kyle “Bugha” Giersdorf, a man just over halfway through his second decade on the planet walked away with a cool $3 million for his efforts. The duo prize, meanwhile, went to the powerhouse pairing of David “aqua” W and Emil “Nyhrox” Bergquist Pedersen.
1. DOTA 2 The International 9 (2019) Biggest ESports Tournaments
As it transpired, 2019 was an excellent year for eSports. Fortnite’s eye-watering total prize pool could only have been surpassed by one other pro-gaming tournament; Defence of the Ancients 2 The International. Not only is The International responsible for one of the biggest prizes ever in eSports history; but it is also truly a tournament by gamers for gamers
Valve’s annual championship tournament is no stranger to setting and breaking records, having done so for nine consecutive years. However, 2019’s $34,000,000 total prize pool has yet to be outdone – not bad for a tourney that was less than ten years old at the time.
The International is also proof of the heights that can be reached when the gaming community gets behind an event or gaming title. Since 2013, Valve has enabled gamers to directly contribute to the championship event through crowdfunding; sustaining both the tournament and its level of popularity within the community.