The Biggest eSports Events of 2021
Let us introduce you to the list of the biggest esports events of 2021.
2020 was not the year for spectator sports, with everything from the Olympics to NHL affected by the situation around the world.
As we enter 2021, there is hope that some spectator sports will take place, maybe even with crowds once again. Some events, such as Super Bowl LV, will welcome a mix of spectators and cardboard cut-outs, whilst others may not see any fans in at all.
That is why eSports continues to experience a rise in popularity. The video game industry as a whole generates around $120bn worldwide and some of the key names like Activision, Epic Games, and Riot Games are putting on huge live events, often televised and featuring gamers almost as well known as some of the world’s top athletes. With many people around the world confined to their homes, or living restricted lives, eSports is an escape valve, a spectator sport one can indulge in safely from home.
If you want to see what the fuss is about, then it is recommended you check out one of these titles, likely to be the basis for the biggest eSports events of 2021.
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive
CS: GO as it is known, is a hugely popular first-person shooter which draws plenty of gamers and viewers alike for a big competition. The big tournament to keep an eye out for is IEM Katowice (Internal Extreme masters), scheduled for late February. There will be a $1m prize purse with 24 teams going head-to-head to be crowned champions. It will not have a live crowd this year but still promises to be a huge spectacle.
Dota 2 runs in seasons, with two at the start of the year. Season one started January 18 and runs until March 14, with a prize pool of $1m up for grabs, with the second season scheduled April 13 through May 23. Each season culminates in a ‘Major’, with 18 participants. The big Dota 2 tournament is the International 10, and the eSports 2021 calendar on Bwin has it scheduled for July and August. It has a prize pool of $1.6m, but that could rise with expected fan contributions to beyond an eye-watering $40m. Keep an eye out for that in July and August.
League of Legends
League of Legends is an online battle arena game with a fantasy theme, which has been around since 2009. It now has 12 professional leagues, which are regionalized and offer qualification into their mid-season competition, and the prestigious World Championship, expected to take place in September. Carrying the nickname ‘The Worlds’, 24 teams will take part in the 2021 competition for a prize pot expected to top $2m.
Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six games have been popular with gamers for many years, but the 2015 release Rainbow Six Siege has become the basis for an eagerly anticipated yearly event, the Invitational. It started in 2017 and its reputation and prize money has grown each year. What started out as a $500,000 prize fund is now worth $3m, and that could well increase during this year’s competition, scheduled for February. 19 teams will take part in the Rainbow Six Invitational this year, up from 16 last time out, and it will shift from its traditional base in Montreal to Paris.