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Esports has become a massive segment in the gaming market, and it keeps growing every year. While many are still not exactly sure what e-sports are, it is clear that they are here to stay. So, if you are interested in learning more about esports, you have come to the right place. First, we will cover the main games and the biggest tournaments to give you an idea of the sector’s size.

First of all, you should know that e-sports are hugely popular and some tournaments can fill stadiums. Prize pools can award tens of millions of dollars to the top teams in the world. But what exactly are e-sports? Well, e-sports are video games played at a highly competitive level. They are also known as electronic sports, and they feature players or teams competing professionally. Several video games are heavily associated with e-sports. League of Legends, DOTA 2, Fortnite, Counter-Strike, and Overwatch are among the most popular.

Of course, these video games alone aren’t enough to be qualified as e-sports. Instead, their collection of professional tournaments and leagues turns them into esports. Did we mention that skilled players can win millions of dollars from some of these tournaments? If you still don’t believe us, let’s take a look at the most prominent esports tournaments of the year.

The International (DOTA 2)

We start with the annual esports tournament with the largest prize pool – The International. Notably, this is a tournament for DOTA 2, where 18 teams worldwide compete for the title. Twelve teams are invited directly based on their performances throughout the year in other, smaller tournaments. The other six teams qualify through a series of small tournaments known as the Regional Qualifiers.

Arguably the most impressive part about The International is its prize pool. It started more than ten years ago with a fixed prize pool that awarded $1 million for the winners. In more recent years, however, the developer allowed regular players to fund the prize pool for the tournament. Users could buy selected items within the game, and a portion of those purchases would contribute to the pool. Given the popularity of the game, this led to records being shattered year after year. If we take a look at the most prominent esports tournament prize pools ever, The International has seven out of ten. The biggest one was for The International 10, which took place in 2021. It awarded a bit over $40 million US dollars. The first-place team went home with over $18 million. The second-place team had to settle for just $5.2 million.

In addition to its excellent prize pool, The International also sets records for viewership. Like most other esports events, the games are streamed live on various platforms, including Twitch and YouTube. The International 10 peaked at 2.7 million viewers worldwide across all platforms, excluding China.

The Fortnite World Cup

While Fortnite doesn’t have the same history as an esports title as some of the other games, it is massive. The popularity of the video game is outstanding, making it ideal for large tournaments. The biggest one every year is The Fortnite World Cup. It usually takes place at the end of July and is held by the developer, Epic Games. So far, it has only been held at the Arthur Ashe Stadium in New York. It remains to be seen if the famous tournament changes locations in the future.

What is impressive is that the Fortnite World Cup comes with a prize pool of $30 million. So naturally, this is divided across multiple events for different game modes. The series includes events for solo, duo, creative, and pro-am. The most popular ones are the main events for the solo and duo game modes. These are played based on standard Fortnite elimination match rules. However, pro-am events use Fortnite Battle Royale regulations.

The Fortnite World Cup is considered one of the best esports events ever. It has the largest prize for a solo competitor, worth $3 million. The tournament also includes a pro-am charity competition that draws in a lot of viewers. It is held between 50 Twitch streamers and 50 pro gamers. The prize pool is a $3 million donation.

In 2021, The Fortnite World Cup saw more than 2.3 million concurrent viewers during the Solo Finals.

League of Legends World Championship

The League of Legends World Championship, also known as The Worlds, is an annual tournament for the popular video game. It takes place over a month in October and usually has 24 teams competing for the title. LOL uses a similar system for generating the prize pool for The Worlds. Regular online players of the game can purchase in-game items and help fund the event. In 2019, this resulted in a prize pool of $30.4 million. Inevitably, This is expected to be even more significant in 2021, even if the guaranteed prize pool is only $2.225 million. Even so, The Worlds is not precisely known for its massive prizes.

Where the League of Legends World Championship stands out is in viewership. Its numbers are genuinely out of this world, and well ahead of the other tournaments we covered before. Nevertheless, to give you a better idea of what to expect from The Worlds, the 2020 tournament had almost 46 million concurrent viewers online.

While the viewership peaks during the finals, it is safe to say that the tournament provides plenty of action. The format with 24 teams starts with a play-in stage with four groups of three teams. The top two teams from here will advance to the next stage, which is the groups. Furthermore, this has 16 teams across four groups. The top two teams from each group advance to the elimination bracket. Here, they must compete in best-of-five matches to advance. The last remaining team wins the top prize and the rather bulky trophy. As a result, there are loads of matches to follow.

Win Real Money Yourself with Esports Betting Online

As esports became more popular and tournaments grew, so did the betting offers. Bookmakers and especially online sportsbooks started offering betting options for esports tournaments. Now, esports represents an integral part of the online betting industry. Bookies offer lines for all of the major tournaments and events. Moreover, this allows fans to bet on a variety of matches throughout the year. It is a great way to add extra excitement to the tournaments and even win some money in the process. You can usually find an esports section at all of the major online sportsbooks.

Our site features online casinos that also have sportsbooks of premium quality. In addition, players can earn no deposit bonuses, welcome deals, and various other perks to improve their winnings even more. So it’s definitely worth checking out, especially if you are getting ready for a major esports event. Players can test their game knowledge and win extra cash.

PUBG Global Invitational.S

In 2021, the PUBG Corporation held its first major tournament for PUBG. Formerly known as PlayerUnknown’s Battleground, the online multiplayer battle royale game is played with 100 players. They can be solo or part of teams of up to four players. The tournament invited the 32 best teams from across the globe to compete for the title and prize money of $3.5 million. With contributions from in-game item sales, the total went up to exceed $7 million. In addition, the first-place team won almost $1.3 million after six weeks of action.

The format allowed for loads of action for fans to watch and maybe even consider betting on. The tournament started with a rank decision phase where the 32 teams were divided into four groups of eight. Four matches per day saw each team play against all of the other teams in the group. The top 16 teams from here advanced to the 1st Weekly Survival. The following 15 teams were put on the waitlist, and the last team was eliminated from the tournament. During the survival week, teams were required to win in order to advance. After a team won, another one took its place on the waiting list. Consequently, this process was repeated until 16 teams qualified for the Weekly Finals. When the dust got the chance to settle after the long tournament, Susquehanna Soniqs emerged victoriously.

Honor of Kings World Championship Cup

Some of the biggest tournaments in 2021 were actually held on the smallest hardware. We are, of course, talking about mobile games, a quickly growing trend that also made its way into e-sports. The biggest tournament of the year was the Honor of Kings World Championship Cup. It was the sixth annual tournament for the popular mobile game, exclusively held in China. The massive event had a prize pool of 50 million CNY or around 7.7 million USD.

If you are not familiar with Honor of Kings, it is a mobile game similar to League of Legends and DOTA 2. The World Championship Cup 2021 was held throughout six cities in China and had 12 teams. The tournament started with the groups’ phase, where the 12 teams were split into two groups of six. The single round-robin format resulted in 30 matches being played in two weeks. The top four teams of each group advanced to the knockout stage, while the bottom two teams were eliminated. The knockout stage then took place in two other cities, culminating with a grand final in Beijing.

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive Major Championship

Counter-Strike is easily one of the most popular e-sports in the world. The competitive nature of this shooter video game spawned various tournaments. Out of all of them, the CS: GO Major Championship is the biggest one. Also known simply as the Majors, it is an annual tournament sponsored by Valve, the developer. After the tournament was canceled in 2020 due to the pandemic, the PGL Major 2021 came back even more prominent. It has a doubled prize pool of $2 million, and it takes place in Stockholm, Sweden. All 24 teams are required to qualify through major regional rankings from events throughout the year.

The CS: GO Majors 2021 has three stages, which take place from October 26th to November 7th. The 24 teams are allocated a stage based on their rankings from the qualifying tournaments. The stage with the highest viewership is, of course, the single-elimination playoff. It has eight teams competing for the title. It is also the one best covered by online sportsbooks. The grand final, in particular, often comes with a variety of betting options.

Overwatch League

The Overwatch League consists of a series of tournaments and events that take place throughout the year. It starts in April with the regular season, which ends on August 22nd. The play-ins then occur at the start of September, followed by the playoffs towards the end of the month. The latter is played with eight teams in a double-elimination bracket. It had a prize pool of $3.2 million in 2021 when the Shanghai Dragons won $1.5 million and the title.

Overwatch quickly rose to popularity in the world of online betting as well. It is one of the heavily featured esports on leading online sportsbooks.

EVO Championship Series

When it comes to esports tournaments with a long history, nothing beats the Evolution Championship Series. Known also as the EVO Championship Series, these tournaments were founded way back in 1996. They have kept tradition and continue to focus on fighting video games, like Mortal Kombat, Street Fighter, and Super Smash Bros. It is also the only esports tournament on our list that features multiple video games instead of just one. The EVO Championship Series took place in various locations throughout the year, mainly in the Las Vegas Valley.

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