Gaming has come a long way, from a casual pastime to a fully-fledged professional occupation. The pro gaming industry has made headlines severally for the money involved. Some pro gamers make six-figure salaries, so it is no wonder that the industry is creating its own tournaments – just like conventional sports.
The gaming industry hosts thousands of pro gaming tournaments physically in gaming arenas and digitally on platforms such as Twitch. However, only a handful of these tournaments make headlines.
Here is an overview of the biggest pro gaming tournaments.
Best Professional Gaming Tournaments:
- eSports World Convention
- FIFA e-World Cup
- Call of Duty Championships
- Fortnite World Cup
- Evolution Championship Series
- Counter-Strike: Global Offensive Major Championships
eSports World Convention
The eSports World Convention (ESWC) is one of the earliest pro gaming tournaments. The ESWC came about as an off-shoot of multiple gaming events and parties in Paris and across Europe. These small factions came together to form the first ESWC tournament in 2003, and it has been held every year since.
The eSports World Convention started off mostly focusing on first-person shooter and action genre games. However, it has expanded and diversified over the years to include games in other genres.
FIFA eWorld Cup
Soccer is undoubtedly one of the most popular e-sports – so popular that it has given rise to entire virtual sporting markets, including the incredibly popular fantasy soccer betting segment. Unsurprisingly, the FIFA eWorld Cup is one of the world’s biggest pro gaming tournaments.
This tournament is so big that Twitch, YouTube, and other streaming platforms are insufficient. To this end, the tournament is broadcast live on TV in many countries to reach millions of fans worldwide.
The first FIFA eWorld Cup debuted in 2004. The tournaments have attracted huge audiences worldwide ever since. It is one of the most dynamic virtual pro gaming tournaments, as there is always something new each year.
Call of Duty Championships
Call of Duty may not be the ultimate first-person shooter game, but it holds a dear place in the hearts of pro gamers. To this end, three of the biggest pro gaming tournaments are based entirely on this game: Call of Duty Pro League, Call of Duty World League, and, ultimately, Call of Duty Championship.
It is a hierarchical affair, whereby participants have to emerge victorious in the CoD Pro and CoD World Leagues to qualify for the CoD Championship Tournament.
This tournament has many ways to keep things interesting, besides the thrill associated with Call of Duty games. For instance, every tournament is based on the game’s latest version – for example, the 2018 tournament was based on Call of Duty: WWII, while the 2019 tournament was based on Call of Duty: Black Ops 4.
Additionally, the tournament creates segments inclusive of all qualifying players. For example, there are segments for pros and amateurs. The prizes also vary and include six-figure cash prizes and the latest gaming equipment.
Fortnite World Cup
Fortnite is one of the most popular (some people would also argue addictive) games at the moment. To this end, it is understandable why news of Google banning the game from the Android platform and PlayStore made headlines for the fury it created. It is also understandable why this game is at the center of one of pro gaming’s biggest tournaments: Fortnite World Cup.
Fortnite has climbed up the ladder incredibly fast, considering that the game first debuted in 2017. The main tournament brings together thousands of participants from all over the world, and millions more tuned in via the various live streaming platforms.
One of the most attractive things about Fortnite World Cup is its huge prizes. The main tournament has a cash prize of $30 million, while the smaller weekly tournaments pay $1 million, which is significant compared to most other gaming tournaments.
Evolution Championship Series
For a tournament that focuses solely on action-themed fighting games, the Evolution Championship Series is one of the most welcoming tournaments. The first tournament debuted in 2002, which makes this one of the longest-running tournaments – however, this usually goes unappreciated as the first tournaments were small and mostly localized to Japan.
Many aspects of this tournament are extraordinary compared to other tournaments. However, this may be partly explained by the tournament’s origins: Japan, the birthplace of many revolutionary video games, and a place of unusual concepts and mannerisms.
The Evolution Championship Series, popularly dubbed EVO, takes place every summer in Las Vegas. It brings together thousands of attendants at the designated venues, and millions more join in virtually.
As mentioned, EVO focuses entirely on action-themed fighting games. Popular options include Mortal Kombat, Street Fighter, Super Mash Bros, Tekken, and virtually any other popular fighting game. The tournament lasts for three days, which affords participants plenty of time to duel on multiple games.
One of the best things about the Evolution Champion Series is that anyone can participate, including amateurs. However, it is advisable to polish up your skills when tossing your hat in the ring to avoid disappointment – don’t forget that it is an event that brings together the best pro gamers.
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive Major Championships
It is amazing how far Counter-Strike has come. However, regardless of having started off as a basic first-shooter game with pitiful graphics, this game has inspired one of the biggest pro gaming tournaments – so big that it takes place twice yearly to accommodate the numerous participants and fans. This tournament is so popular that it has simply been dubbed “Majors” for its top position in the industry.
The pro gaming industry is worth billions, and its value is increasing rapidly as it gains millions of fans and audiences worldwide. It is one of the most diverse and robust gaming segments, with millions of tournaments based on as many video games as there are taking place on hundreds of streaming platforms.
However, these six tournaments are among the best, biggest, and most exciting – and not to be missed by any pro gamer worthy of the name. Some of the biggest pro gaming tournaments were postponed in 2020 due to COVID-19, so stay up to date on rescheduled events so that you can tune in!