Esports events are growing in popularity every year. Last year brought some of the most memorable events thus far in gaming. Events around the world attract fans from all walks of life to spend a few days together, celebrating the communities they love most. With 2020 well underway, we look forward to a few highly anticipated events in esports.
Fortnite World Cup
Epic Games, developer of immensely popular battle royale title Fortnite, hosted their inaugural Fortnite World Cup last year. Open qualifiers for the 2019 tournament drew an astounding 40 million participants. After a grueling elimination process, the best players in the world faced off in New York City.
A groundbreaking 19,000 fans attended the Fortnite World Cup Finals at Arthur Ashe Stadium. The final day peaked at 2.3 million viewers across YouTube and Twitch. A fan-favorite moment was when 16-year-old Kyle “Bugha” Giersdorf won $3 million during the solo competition.
Dates for Fortnite World Cup 2020 are yet to be released.
The International (DOTA 2)
The International (TI) is the premier annual DOTA 2 championship event hosted by Valve Corporation. First held at Gamescon 2011 as a promotional event, TI is now a significant esports event.
DOTA 2 consistently draws large audiences, both online and in-person. Last year, TI attracted a peak viewership of 1.9 million viewers. Moreover, it has one of the largest prize pools of any esports event. In 2019, the community crowdfunded a total of $34 million, with last year’s victors taking home $15 million. Even teams that finished in last place took home more than $85,000.
The International 2020 is the event’s tenth installment and is returning to Europe for the first time in nine years. The tournament will be held in Ericsson Globe, Stockholm, Sweden, from August 18-23.
League of Legends World Championship
Hosted by game developer Riot Games, the League of Legends World Championship (Worlds) is an annual tournament at the end of each season. Teams compete for the coveted Summoner’s Cup and a $1 million championship prize. League of Legends is a world-renowned game, with a reported 80 million active monthly players. Furthermore, The Game Awards named LoL Worlds as the “Best Esports Event” in 2019.
Riot Games hasn’t released dates for Worlds 2020. However, the tournament typically takes place in the fall during October and November. The tournament will be held in China with finals in Shanghai.
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive Major Championships
CS:GO Major Championships, known simply as “majors”, are the most significant competitive tournaments in CS:GO. Sponsored by Valve Corporation, majors have $1 million prize pools. Valve recently included special in-game features accessible exclusively during majors. Players can enthusiastically collect limited edition stickers, participate in “Pick’em” challenges and purchase souvenir cases.
The complete list of 2020 majors are as follows:
- ESL One: Rio
- ESL One: Cologne
- World Electronic Sports Games
- IEM Katowice
- BLAST Premier
Overwatch World Cup
The Overwatch World Cup (OWC), hosted by Blizzard Entertainment, is an annual competition at BlizzCon. Competitors from Overwatch League, Overwatch Path to Pro, and Competitive Play come together with other players from their home countries and regions. Teams battle it out in a weekend tournament to see which country is the victor.
The OWC is a beloved event because it’s an opportunity for the community to see their favorite players and streamers play live. Not to mention, OWC engages the community by holding a competition for each country’s committee, comprised of a Community Lead, Head Coach, and General Manager. Roles are filled by community votes for the candidate they want to represent their region.
As of yet, Blizzard hasn’t released official dates for BlizzCon or OWC. However, rumors on BlizzardWatch suggest a late October or early November date.