Biggest eSport Events in 2020

 

According to gaming historians, the first eSports event took place on October 19th, 1972 in Stanford University, California. Students competed against each other playing the sci-fi rocket combat game, Spacewar, and the winner got a year long subscription to the Rolling Stones magazine. Theres a certain beautiful romance to this and its not surprising it took place in Palo Alto, one of the principal cities of what is now known as Silicon Valley.

Photo Credit - Flickr

Photo Credit – Flickr

Not unlike the oldest sports in the world, the evolution of eSports is a story in itself but fast forward almost 50 years and we have a full-on calendar of massive events in 2020 to look forward to.  The Covid-19 pandemic has resulted in most of the worlds population boing housebound in various forms of lockdown and, with the sporting calendar decimated, the focus is now on eSports to fill that void and step further into the mainstream.

Here we look at some of the major eSports events upcoming in 2020:

 

Fortnite World Cup 2020 €“ June/July 2020 (dates TBC)

Fortnite is a game that has taken the world by storm since it was released in 2017 and became the most successful free-to-play game ever. The prize money to be made by the top players in the biggest tournaments is akin to that of some of the highest paid athletes in the world and to a large extent is driven by the extraordinary viewing figures on YouTube. Gaming enthusiasts adore watching the best players compete.  

The 2019 Fortnite World Cup was among the biggest eSports events of 2019 and had a $30m prize pool with 2.3m people watching the event live. With 19,000 attending the event last year, selling out the Arthur Ashe stadium in Flushing Meadows, New York (same venue as U.S. Open tennis), it is almost certain that if this event does take place it will be an entirely online offering. 

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Pro Evolution Soccer €“ eFootball.Pro Finals 2020 €“ May 2020

Pro Evolution Soccer (aka Pro Evo or PES) is to FIFA Soccer as what Pepsi is to Coca Cola and in 2019 it has added the name eFootball to its title clearly looking to steal a march on FIFA and capture this market. 

Game developer Konami, announced that 10 top tier soccer clubs are taking part in its eFootball 2019/2020 season including Juventus, Manchester United, Arsenal and Bayern Munich.

The “eFootball.Pro” tournament will see the best professional players wear the colours of their football clubs competing against other top eFootball teams to determine the No.1 eSports football team. The regular league season is taking place between December 2019 and April 2020 and the top six clubs of the regular league will qualify for the knockout stages in May 2020.  

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The International 2020 (DOTA 2) €“ August 2020

Defense of the Ancients (or DOTA) is a  multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) video game for the Blizzard Entertainment video game Warcraft III. 

The International is the flagship tournament for DOTA 2 and 2020 will be the events tenth anniversary taking place this year in the Ericsson Globe in Stockholm, Sweden. With crowdfunding, the community generated a price fund of $34 million last year with last place taking home $85,000 and the winner getting a whopping $15 million at the event held in Shanghai. 

Capcom Cup 2020 €“ April to July 2020

The Capcom Cup is the highlight of the fighting eSports calendar and it features some of the worlds best players and is focused on the Street Fighter series. To even qualify for this event you need to be ranked in the top 26 in the world by entering some of the other big eSports events such as the DreamHack Masters and the EVO Championship. The prize fund for this event was $250,00 last year.

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International eSports Federation (IeSF) World Championships €“ Dec 2020

IeSF is one of the main governing bodies of eSports, the equivalent of say, the IAAF for World Athletics, and this World Championships will include DOTA, eFootball Pro Evolution Soccer (PES) 2020 and Tekken 7 as the chosen games. 

The games will take place in Eilat in Israel and will be the 12th anniversary of the World Championships and is regarded as the jewel in the crown of World eSports. 

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