It's the 21st century, competitive video gaming is an actual thing. Better known as esports, digital competitions are a big draw for Millennials. There are no two ways about it. According to Newzoo, the global esports audience has already reached 700 million people.
This is a lot to put it mildly. Esports events are now held in sold-out stadiums under a live audience in the thousands. The viewership for a single event can reach 100 million. This is more than the people who tuned in to watch the Women's Cup Soccer Finals between China and the United States in 1999.
Today, famous producer and publisher Blizzard has created the Overwatch League (OWL), which is based on a home-city model competitions, similar to the NBA or NFL. Since building facilities for the purposes of gaming is an expensive decision esports athletes aren't travelling between cities to play every other day.
For now. However, the truth is that esports are set dominate everything from on air time to big investors fighting for a piece in the most lucrative organizations that promote esports in one form or another. So, what are the world's biggest esports events?
1. Dota 2 – The International
The International is hands down the most generous event for prize money. Nearly a decade old, the prize pool has been increasing from one year to the next and today the equivalent to the World Cup in Dota 2 has reached $24 million. Put it next to FIFA's $350 million for the Wold Cup, and it may not look like much, but esports have been around for 10 years. Soccer goes all the way back to 18th century.
The International is definitely one of the main draws for everyone who loves Dota 2 and the competition continues to enjoy great viewership.
2. League of Legends World Championship
League of Legends World Championship certainly has more interest among gamers when it comes to viewership and even players trying to compete internationally. However, the prize pool is smaller. Does this detract from the fun? Not in the slightest.
Fans watch because they are crazy about the rivalry between the top tier teams which often play such close, split-second games that nobody can reliably predict the outcome. In a way, esports remind of casino games.
If like to play the best casino games in Canada, you have noticed that most titles are somewhat random. You can make predictions, but they are usually difficult to guess correctly. True, you will find many casino games that really stand out and let you create a strategy, such as:
Strategies are also big part of competitive video games. Esports teams in League of Legends invest hundreds of thousands in equipment, training facilities, health experts and more to make sure that the gamers who represent them are ready to take the world of video games by storm!
3. Fortnite World Cup
Believe it or not, Fortnite is the biggest game that can grow into esports. Epic Games, the developers of Fortnite, vowed $100 million spread across dozens of competitions. Even though Fortnite is not yet the largest game when it comes to esports competitions, there is much more at play here that is definitely worth your while.
The game currently has millions of active players. No other game is as readily accepted as Fortnite with parents hiring actual tutors to help their kids be better players. Esports is a viable career path these days and you can even "study esports" at many colleges in North America.
The U.S. has a body that focuses on collegiate esports and this body already has as many as 100 colleges signed up to be part of the competition.
Final Thoughts on Esports Events
Esports are definitely here to stay. Even though many people have found the thought of competitive video gaming strange at first, the idea is now sticking. There are multiple investors that are quite willing to put big money on video games. They include celebrities such as Drake, Imagine Dragons, Michael Jordan to big ca brands, such as Toyota, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, and many, many more.
This is just the beginning. There are many more games coming down the pipeline which are expected to develop more as esports. They include Smash Ultimate, Clash Royale, Rocket League, and many, many more. Apex Legends is the latest game to send ripples through the esports world. The game is a fantasy shooter that allows you to be part of a three-man squad and use special abilities to overcome your opponents.