The eSports scene is not slowing down. The new regular seasons across a number of games have begun. Whether you are a League of Legends or Dota 2 fan and focused fully on the regional competitions that are currently afoot, you are all undeniably expecting the culmination of all these competitions.
That apex of competitive play usually translates into some of the biggest eSports events anywhere around the world. Below, we list a number of big eSports events that easily gather over 100 million unique viewers. In addition, these events have prizes worth millions of dollars and are often great motivators for professional and recreational players to continue playing their favorite games.
The International (Dota 2)
- Format: LAN
- Location: TBA
- Dates: TBA
The International is to Dota 2 what the World Cup is for soccer fans. Dota 2’s biggest event is known as the single most-rewarding competitive tournament in eSports. The 2021 edition included a massive $40 million prize purse. Hopes are that the prize pool will be even larger this year.
This year’s edition is being referred to as ‘The International 11’ or ‘TI11.’ It’s set to have $45 million in prize money based on early estimates. The number of teams participating in the last edition was 18. There is a chance that Valve, the event host, will continue to add more teams as the prize pool goes up and the competition intensifies.
The teams that qualify for the event are drafted based on their Dota Pro Circuit performance, where they can earn DPC points. The best performers across all regions will be automatically entered into the main event, bar some small exceptions.
LoL Worlds (League of Legends)
- Format: LAN
- Location: New York, Toronto, Mexico City, and San Francisco
- Time: TBA
League of Legends World Champions or LoL Worlds for short is the crowning event for the eponymous Multiplayer Online Battle Arena by Riot Games. The game is one of the most-watched titles on streaming platforms such as Twitch. League of Legends has long been welcomed as a more user-friendly alternative to Dota 2.
LoL Worlds usually features a much smaller prize pool than The International. The 2021 edition came with a $2.25 million prize purse. The lower reward is usually associated with better career opportunities for the people who participate in the competitive ecosystem. Many professional LoL players are salaried professionals. They qualify for the Worlds by running through the regional leagues. There are 12 professional leagues, with one of the biggest being the LPL or the Tencent League of Legends Pro League in China.
The Worlds are associated with one of the biggest viewership for a single event. The event amassed 174,826,794 hours watched and amassed 4,018,728 peak concurrent viewers.
FIFA 22 (PS4) 1on1 UEFA Champions League Challenge
- Format: Online
- Location: Online
- Dates: February 22, 2022
Hosted by ESL, the 1on1 UEFA Champions League Challenge is played on FIFA 22. It is a PlayStation 4 exclusive tournament. Despite this it is one of the most significant eSports events in the Middle East. The FIFA game franchise has a dedicated following in the region and this has made it possible to participate in some of the best and most competitive events.
To join, all players must be at least 16 years of age and sign up on the official page. Once this is done, players will be asked to follow the tournament instructions, including seeding and brackets that are published and updated in real time. To participate, players will need an ESL account as well as a PSN Account Game ID.
Such tournaments are very frequent in the Middle East and the ESL has been one of the staunchest supporters of the events. FIFA’s popularity is constantly increasing in the region seeing 118 players joining for each event.
Those who do not like to compete may still choose to participate by placing an eSports bet on an event. Failing that, there is also the opportunity to just tune in and watch FIFA eSports on Twitch.
Overwatch League (Overwatch)
- Format: Online/Offline
- Location: Online/Offline
- Dates: March 2022
The Overwatch League is expected to start in March 2022. This is one of the most significant eSports events hosted by Activision Blizzard, which was recently acquired by Microsoft, pending regulatory approvals. The Overwatch League is based on the big American leagues in design and execution.
This means that each eSports franchise has their home stadium. Last season had a $4.25 million prize pool. The event is expected to start this year on an early build of Overwatch 2, the new game that is currently developed by Blizzard and expected to replace Overwatch.