eSports Tournaments – A Massive Business on the Outbreak

While all traditional sporting events took a beat down recently due to a global pandemic, there's a particular one on the upraise – the eSports. All the nerdy gamers (no disrespect) are enjoying the time of their life with the biggest eSports tournaments happening as we speak. And while playing computer games was not particularly noble and prosperous activity in the recent past, nowadays electronic sports are enjoying massive popularity. In fact, some of the highest-paid events such as Dota 2 and Fortnite are worth up to £25 million in cash prize while the business is already worth £1 billion in global revenue.
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eSports Tournaments – UK Is a Hot Spot for Major Events

If you’re a 90s kid, you most likely remember vividly your mom encouraging you to go outside and engage in real live activity with your friends. Well, our observations point that nowadays is exactly the opposite – it’s impossible to be separated on more than 2 yards away from your super awesome console packed with the latest gaming titles. There’s a fair number of youngsters who manage to become pro eSport players and make a living out of it which was unheard of for the older generations. And why bother going out when there’s a great deal of careers that you can pursue in the field such as Host, Coach, Event Manager, and Marketing Executive to name a few. Furthermore, eSports betting is getting more and more popular among punters all over the globe and online gambling in the UK doesn’t stand behind as well.

The eSports tournaments in the UK alone are more than five happening in locations all over the country. London, Manchester, Birmingham, and Glasgow are just a few of the big cities that host electronic sports such as the Insomnia Gaming Festival and the London Games Festival. The largest prize pool until now is £798,000 at the ESL One Birmingham 2018 tournament. This event was a milestone for cybersports on the territory of Great Britain as it was the first Dota Major. The interest and sponsorships are rapidly growing making nearly 75% of the total global market revenue which officially exceeded £1 billion in 2019.

The annual research by Newzoo for 2020 shows that the UK eSports tournaments form the fifth-biggest market, trailing behind China, North America, and Western Europe. Just to think that the insane revenue doesn’t even include the money from betting on esports makes you wonder what the total number will look like? Considering that eSports gambling is now the seventh most popular form of betting, almost surpassing tennis, the potential here is astronomical. The forecasts are adamant that the current viewership of 453.8 million will only go up from here. Most of the audience in the UK are aged between 21-35 with men making up for about 70% of the enthusiasts.

The Highest eSports Prize Pool Tournaments

It’s truly impressive how the prize pools have doubled since 2015 from £264 million to £423 million. It’s even more incredible to think that there were over 4000 eSports competitions that happened worldwide in 2019 alone. In the same line of thought, the highest eSports prize pool in the history of the electronic sports is the The International 2019: Dota 2 that topped up £27,4 million.

The insane amount was distributed between the first 18 teams, where the winners bagged £12,5 million. As you can see the numbers don’t lie and the picture they paint is that the future of the industry is nothing short of bright. The rest of the top-earning multiplayer games are Fortnite, CS:GO, and PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds. Now let’s have a look at the highest esports prize pool tournaments currently happening in the world.

The International

While the total purse is not the focal point that determines the prestige of a tournament it definitely plays a vital role in attracting the best pro gamers. Another crucial factor is the game itself, as players have their preferences and devote years of their lives to perfecting it. Well in the case of The International both statements are valid as here the prize pool is the biggest and the game Dota 2 is among the most loved ones. One of the unique things about this event is that it uses a crowdfunding system that sets new records every year and as mentioned earlier is the current holder for the highest eSports prize pool tournament.

The hosts and producers of the event are the US video gaming giant Valve. They’re responsible for the development of the notorious Steam platform and beloved titles such as Half-Life, Counter-Strike, and Dota. The initiation of The International tournament was announced in 2011 when Valve decided to begin the history of the major championships. Ever since this event has been nothing but a huge success and it doesn’t show any signs of slowing down.

Fortnite World Cup

The Fortnite World Cup is another prestigious tournament founded by Epic Games. Even though it exists from just 2018 the game become an overnight hit among players and quickly found its way among the biggest eSports tournaments. The competition is split into two main events – for solo players and duos and is held yearly. During the 2019 world cup, the Epic Games budget reached £32 million in the prize pool. If it wasn’t split into two main events that would’ve made it the highest esports tournament in the world.

The Fortnite World Cup kicks off with weekly qualifiers where the cash prize of £798,000 is allocated among the top contestants. The top 100 solo players and the top 50 duo players proceed to the finals where over 2 million YouTube and Twitch fans are watching. During the 2019 finals, more than 23,000 tickets were sold out at the New York’s Arthur Ashe tennis stadium. The 16-year-old Kyle ‘Bugha’ Giersdorf won the solo event and took the grand prize of £2.4 million. Not bad for a teenager.

League of Legends World Championship

Even though the League of Legends bookmakers are not commonplace, there are, nevertheless, marvellous organized LoL contest with huge prize pools. The game enjoys the biggest fan base up to date. More than 1,700 tournaments are held worldwide with more than 4,000 players participating making it one of the biggest eSports tournaments. When Riot Games kicked off the LoL World Championship in 2011, seen professional gamers from around the world testing their skills and in 2019 made a record of 75 million fans which was also the most viewed cyber competition of the year.

CS:GO Major Championships

Another top electronic sport is the Counter-Strike: Global Offensive Major Tournament. Often referred to as Majors, this biannual competition is developed and sponsored by Valve Corporation. Alongside Dota 2, this game has been a fans favourite for many years and is the most prestigious Global Offensive competition. However, as opposed to The International, Valve spare significantly less budget for the cash prize. In 2019, 24 teams shared a total pool of £798,000 with the Danish team Astralis winning for 4th consecutive time.

Final Thoughts and FAQs

Being a gamer is a hobby for most but being a pro is a destiny for many. It requires a lot of hard work and dedication as any other sport. Despite still being looked down upon by the naysayers, eSports are changing the world as we know it and are here to stay for the foreseeable future. The industry has entered a mainstream level and surges in popularity by each day.

We hope that we didn’t bore you with too many details and numbers which we’ve been throwing at you throughout the entire article. However, we really wanted to emphasise on the immense growth that is happening before our eyes and just put into perspective what’s about to happen within the next few years. As a final conclusion of our eSports tournaments article, we’d like to answer some frequently asked questions regarding one of the fastest-growing gaming industries.

🎮 What is eSports?

In a nutshell, eSports are a form of electronic competitions where professional players, both solo and teams, face each other on a virtual game. Since 2010, the tournaments are organised and sponsored by renowned developers and grow exponentially. Currently, there are several prestigious eSports tournaments in the UK and around the world that take place every year.

❓ How to get into eSports?

There are a few ways to get involved in eSports. The most popular one is becoming a pro player at your favourite game. However, with the rapid growth of the industry, there are other opportunities such as becoming a Host, Event Manager, Journalist, Streamer, Coach, and more.

💰 How much do eSports players make?

The standard salaries of most pro eSports players average from £1,000-£5,000 per month. Top-class players can earn even greater sums depending on the game in which they specialize, the tournament grand prize, sponsors, bonuses as well as other factors.

🏆 What is the biggest eSports tournament?

The biggest eSports tournaments fall into two categories – majors and world championships. Currently, the biggest electronic sport event by prize money is The International tournament. The vent is organised and sponsored by Valve featuring one of the most popular games in the world Dota 2.

💲 How much is the eSports industry worth?

Every year the industry grows steadily between 20%-30% which catches the attention of many investors and media. As of 2020, the eSports industry is worth over £1 billion and is expected to continue its progressive growth reaching a new high next year.

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