Esports is rapidly on the rise around the world. It’s on track to become a $1.8 billion dollar industry by 2021 and is enjoyed by consumers and gamers around the world. There are lots of reasons for this. For many, esports is more inclusive than regular sports; it’s easier for many people to play games that their professional heroes also play. Gaming is a massive hobby, so any professional iteration of same is likely to attract large audiences. If you’re yet to check out esports, here’s where to start. These are the most exciting esports events coming in 2020.
- The International – Dota 2
There are few MOBAs with a fanbase quite as loyal and dedicated as that of Valve’s Dota 2. Originating as a mod for real-time strategy classic Warcraft III, Dota 2 has since amassed a following all its own and an esports calendar to match. Valve says this year’s International may need to happen in 2021, but we sure hope not. Last year’s thrilling event boasted a staggering $34 million prize pool (shared out among participants, of course, although the winners took home $15 million of that pool) and some of the best professional-grade Dota 2 play we’ve ever seen.
- World Championship – League of Legends
This year, League of Legends odds and betting sites are all abuzz with the possibility of a new World Championship event. Again, the ongoing coronavirus pandemic may push back the start date of this highly anticipated tournament, but Riot hasn’t announced any delays yet, so we’re hopeful this one is on track for 2020. It’ll be held in China, but you’ll be able to view it via Twitch when it does air, so you won’t be missing out on anything. As part of the pandemic, Riot has announced that China and Europe received an extra seed each, while other areas also got extra seeds, so this year promises to be exciting.
- BlizzCon 2020 – multiple games
Unlike other tournaments, the esports showing at the yearly BlizzCon event hosted by legendary developer Blizzard doesn’t discriminate. There are a number of games on offer here including fan favourites like Overwatch, StarCraft II, and World of Warcraft. If BlizzCon does happen this year – which a number of sources say it may not – then it’ll go ahead towards the end of October or the beginning of November, which is when it usually takes place each year. Here’s hoping the coronavirus doesn’t put paid to our hopes of seeing more top-notch Overwatch play.
- EVO 2020 – fighting games
As a result of the coronavirus, EVO 2020 will be held entirely online. Unlike other events, however, it hasn’t been cancelled. It’s still going ahead, but in an altered format. If you had tickets or hotel reservations for EVO 2020, they’ll be refunded automatically, so don’t worry. Originally, the lineup was scheduled to include such fighting game stalwarts as Super Smash Bros. Ultimate and Marvel vs. Capcom 2, but we’re not sure if this lineup will survive the changes to the format. It’s also not clear whether the competitors will be the same as before the changes were made.
- FIFA eWorld Cup – FIFA 20
Last year’s FIFA eWorld Cup saw champion MoAuba taking home $250,000 in prize money for his stunning victory. We’re hoping to see a repeat of the kind of play that saw MoAuba winning that prize this year, although – once again – the status of the FIFA eWorld Cup is up in the air right now owing to the coronavirus crisis. The chances are it’ll take place online, although that brings with it a whole new set of concerns. Still, FIFA’s highly skill-oriented play and realistic football sim mechanics make the eWorld Cup a joy to watch each year, so we’re looking forward to this one.
- DreamHack Valencia – multiple games
DreamHack has garnered a reputation as one of the oldest and most venerable esports events in the world. It originally started back in the early ‘90s and has since gone on to become one of the most hotly-anticipated events in the esports calendar. Unfortunately, several DreamHack-affiliated events have seen cancellations this year owing to the coronavirus, but DreamHack Valencia is still scheduled to take place in October this year. We hope it does, because watching the wide range of games and esports tournaments on offer is one of the greatest joys in the gaming calendar.
- Fortnite Champion Series – Fortnite
Despite the Fortnite World Cup being cancelled this year, the Fortnite Champion Series is still going ahead and will move online. The FNCS Invitational began on May 2nd and saw the top 300 Fortnite players in each region entered into a competition for the chance to win $2 million. All other major Fortnite esports events will also still be going ahead in an online-only capacity, so you don’t need to worry if you’re anticipating some high-quality professional Fortnite play this year. The FNCS may not be as high-octane as the World Cup, but it’s still well worth checking out.
These are just some of our most hotly-anticipated esports events of 2020. Many events have been cancelled or postponed due to coronavirus, but the scene survives and adapts as it always will. What events are you looking forward to? Let us know!