Esports has come a long way from its humble beginnings. Tournaments now consist of massive prize pools, professional caster teams and analysts, pro teams have coaches, and there are thousands if not millions of people watching. The whole thing has gotten out of control (but in a good way)! For the first time in a long time, the seats were sold out in the Incheon Munhak Stadium for League of Legends’ most prestigious tournament – The World Championship.
These are all signs that there’s no stopping it now. Esports is an avalanche in effect and is slowly gaining more and more in size. 2018 has shown us the potential of Esports since almost all of the bigger Esports tournaments were nail-biting, exciting, and adrenaline-inducing. If 2018 raised the bar of what the highest level of Esports brings, what can we expect from 2019? In this top 5 Esports tournaments 2019 overview list, we’ll be mentioning the most-anticipated tournaments to watch and enjoy as a fan. Of course, if you have the time, tune in to more than just these 5 because, well, there’s action everywhere!
Number 5 – Call of Duty World League Championship
Call of Duty isn’t exactly the first thing to come to mind when you mention the top 5 Esports tournaments 2019 but that’s exactly what’s happening. Call of Duty Black Ops IV has ignited the fanbase’s interest in the competitive side! And this Esports tournament is following the growth method of others; first season is just an introduction to what’s about to come. And that’s exactly what’ll happen this year – team number increase, new pro teams, roster expansions, and many other stuff.
Some part of the community feels that this Call of Duty release was the best one in recent years. Evidence for this can be seen in the CWL. Compared to last year’s 4 players in a team, CWL 2019 will feature 5-player teams. This effectively means more flexibility and depth for the teams.
Teams such as Splyce, OpTic Gaming, and recently 100 Thieves, are just some of the famous names in the CWL. The prize pool is also spicy – $6,000,000! The Call of Duty World League Championship begins in August.
Number 4 – CSGO IEM Katowice
If you haven’t already, start watching this CSGO tournament now!
IEM Katowice 2019 is already underway and there’s a lot going on. CSGO has been a staple name in the Esports world for years now. Alongside Dota 2 and League of Legends, CSGO is one of the biggest Esports games in the world. However, its tournaments are usually smaller in all instances compared to LoL or Dota. So, why does it belong on our top 5 Esports tournaments 2019 list? Let me tell you!
For example, IEM Katowice is the first CSGO Major Tournament in each year, including 2019. It is also the first CSGO Major hosted in Poland for 4 years! With a $1,000,000 prize pool, IEM Katowice 2019 will likely go down in history as an amazing start to the competitive year.
Number 3 – Overwatch League 2019
Overwatch isn’t a fast-growing Esports title like Fortnite or even Apex Legends, but it’s still a highly important part of the Esports family. The Overwatch League 2019 is an improvement over its predecessor in every way. Instead of 12 participating teams, there’ll be 20. And who doesn’t like more diversity in a league? Come to think of it, Overwatch is the most diverse Esports game out there at the moment. Teams come from Washington D.C., Vancouver, Toronto, Chengdu, Paris, London, etc.
Related: OWL Season 2: Your Day 1 Roundup
Because of the increase in team number, there will be no need for teams to play a huge number of matches. Instead, each team will play 28 matches throughout the season. $5,000,000 is up for grabs and to tell you how popular this tournament was last year – it ranked 4th in most-watched Twitch channels!
If you want to get to know Overwatch and see how the pros do it – tune in for this tournament!
Number 2 – League of Legends World Championship
The culmination of every League of Legends competitive year is the World Championship. The best 16 teams in the world get pit against each other for a chance at glory and a big piece of the prize pool pie. However, 2018 was a difficult year for League of Legends and Riot Games. A report released information about sexual harassment within the company and many people wondered how Riot Games would pull out of this one. Even worse the situation surrounding Worlds 2018 – the prize pool was smaller, production wasn’t (arguably) as good as before, and overall people were skeptical.
But, as we’ve come to realize, last year’s World Championship was one of the best yet. We saw Fnatic in the grand finals for the first time in years. We saw an uncertain progression throughout the tournament. We saw the expected winners fall short. We saw everything. Damn, China managed to win the whole thing which no one expected! Viewership numbers were much higher as well; almost double of what they were in 2017!
Considering all of this, there’s no doubt that Worlds 2019 is going to be an insane one as well – and, it’s coming back to Europe. The next iteration of League of Legends World Championship will be held in Paris!
Number 1 – Dota 2 The International
To round up our top 5 Esports tournaments 2019 list, we’re mentioning the biggest Esports tournament today (at least in terms of prize money). The international is the pinnacle of Dota 2 competitive play. All the best teams that achieved success throughout the year and were consistent enough will end up participating in The International.
Behind all of this are, of course, the spectators. Expected me to say something else? Yeah, fans directly contribute to the success and prestige of The International! The prize pool increases when people donate to the ’cause’ thus helping The International set prize pool records every single year. This is unique in the world of Esports (come to think of it, regular sports as well) and many people have chosen Dota 2 because of this.
Some changes will happen compared to last year’s edition – one of the biggest ones is that The International 9 won’t be held in North America but in Shanghai, China. This, however, isn’t surprising considering the support China provides for Dota 2. There are loads of fans over there so it was only logical that the tournament be held there. There’s not a lot of info right now surrounding it, but records are to be broken again for sure. In 2018, the prize pool was nearly $25,000,000. Safe to say that The International 9 will break that record so set an alarm and have fun when it starts!