Live video gaming is the world’s fastest-growing sport with a massive fan base that roots for teams from all over the world and moves fast to book tickets online to watch the main event. In 2015, the first batch of tickets for Dota 2, which is #1 on our list below, sold out in just six minutes. The popularity of digital gaming is only set to rise as younger gamers’ continue interacting with the e-sport version of traditional games such as football, and video games keep infiltrating our home, schools and workplace.
The International (Dota 2)
The annual esports tournament is hosted by Valve Corporation, developer of the Dota 2 multiplayer online battle arena video game played by millions globally. It is also played competitively in various tournaments and leagues, of which The International commands the biggest prize pool. Professional Dota 2 matches are live streamed over the internet, simulcast on television networks, and as you may imagine, attract a viewership numbering in the millions. Six editions have been played so far, starting from 2011. Last year, the tournament announced a prize pool of over $20 million, the largest of any e-sport tournament played so far. It beat its own record this year with a whopping $24 million.
League of Legends
League of Legends (LoL) is a multiplayer online battle arena video game from Riot Games, played at amateur and professional levels. It is one of the biggest esports with a total of 1,718 tournaments, 4,083 players, and a $29 million prize pot as of June 2016. Sixteen teams from all over the world play to qualify for the world championship event. In 2016, the finals were viewed by 43 million people while 396 million unique viewers caught the tournament online or on television channels. LoL is the world’s most watched video game, and it will be included as a medal event at the 2022 Asian Games.
Call of Duty Championship
Established in 2013, the annual championship has revolved around Black Ops II, Advanced Warfare, Ghosts and Modern Warfare 3. The prize pool was $1 million until the 2016 iteration, when it swelled to $2 million. In the 2017 edition, 32 teams competed to win at Infinite Warfare, for a prize pot of $1.5 million.
Halo World Championship
The Halo World Championship started in December 2015, with its finals running to March 2016. It is based on Microsoft Studios’ top-grossing smash hit military science fiction FPS video game Halo 5: Guardians. The series is sponsored by Microsoft and 343 Industries. Last year’s format comprised of 16 teams selected based on their performance in the regional qualifiers across Asia, Latin America, EMEA, APAC and North America. The 2017 edition consisted of 12 teams, four groups of three teams in the group stage, and a bracket stage with double elimination bracket, for a total prize pool of $1 million.
Smite World Championship
The annual world championship for the Smite multiplayer online battle arena video game was established in 2015. The 2016 iteration, with a $1 million prize, was streamed on twitch.tv. In 2017, the prize pool increased to 2.6 million, the fifth biggest prize pool in esport history.
Author: Josh Hayett
Josh is a retired comic book artist who never made it to the big leagues (to be fair- he never really tried) so now he’s here writing stuff about what other people are doing with their talents.
Always with an opinion about TV shows, Movies and especially why Marvel is the best ever,