This year was a huge one for eSports and will mark a major milestone when it comes to the global eSports industry. It will be the first year in which it will break the billion-dollar revenue, with outstanding year-on-year growth of 26.7%. This is in part thanks to major tournaments like League of Legends (LoL) World Championship which amassed almost 100 million viewers last year. But while LoL’s prize pool was only $14.12 million last year, Defence of The Ancients 2 (Dota 2) topped all other tournaments with a $41.26 million prize pool for the 2017-2018 season.
This year’s prize pool for Dota 2’s tournament, ‘The International’, which last garnered over 52 million viewers, again had the biggest prize pool of all eSports tournaments. A guide to eSports by Ladbrokes reports how the 2019 Dota 2 tournament had a total prize purse of $25,532,177. Dota 2 eSports players also make the top 52 competitors in the world for overall earnings and over 65 of them have earned over $1m.
But aside from Dota 2, there are other major tournaments, so let’s check out some of the biggest eSports tournaments we have to look forward to next year.
Blizzard’s hugely successful Overwatch has stood out from the competition year after year with incredible gameplay, presentation and technical value. In 2016, Overwatch bagged the Game of The Year award for the best game direction. The Overwatch League is the largest Overwatch tournament in the world with 20 teams competing. For next year, the tournament will take place live in 19 different cities around the world, including New York, Shanghai and Paris. The 2020 grand finals will be held in Philadelphia with a $5 million prize pool.
League of Legends World Championship
Although LoL was released over 10 years ago, it still remains one of the most popular eSports titles and is the most-watched games in the world. Riot Games announced that the LoL World Championship finals will be headed to Shanghai in 2020 and will be held at the Shanghai Stadium. China will also exclusively host the different stages of the competition which will take place across six cities. It will involve 24 teams from 14 different countries and include a prize pool of $2.5 million.
Fortnite World Cup
As one of the most popular online games in the world, Fortnite’s prize pool is second only to Dota 2’s with a substantial $30 million worth of cash prizes in 2019. While next year’s prize pool hasn’t been announced, Epic Games has hinted that it will be even larger. For this year’s tournament, Epic sold out the Arthur Ashe stadium in Flushing, New York, for the Fortnite World Cup, however, they have remained tight-lipped as of this writing about the venue for next year’s event.
Call of Duty League Championship
Call of Duty (CoD) has been a perennial best-seller with yearly releases that have drawn millions of players. For the 2020 tournament, 12 teams will compete. Unlike other eSports titles which are played on PC, CoD is played on the PlayStation 4 in a 5-on-5 team format. The CoD League will kick off on January 24 at the Armory in Minneapolis, a venue that hosts over 8,400 spectators. The tournament will feature a $6 million prize pool, with the 12 teams representing 11 markets across North America and Europe.