‘Esports’ is the specific umbrella term used to describe the industry around playing video games professionally. Hundreds of organisations have begun to invest their financial resources into creating and sponsoring their own pro teams and players over the years, with each and every major Esport title now possessing stacked competitive calendars filled with tournaments worth thousands upon thousands of dollars.
With the competitive bar being raised year on year and the stakes subsequently growing with every passing event, which tournament organisers are the best at capturing the excitement, providing the best experience for fans and supplying the pros with the kinds of prize pools to make their mouths water?
ESL Remain The Hosts To Beat
The Electronic Sports League (ESL) was founded all the way back in 2000 with the goal of tapping into the blossoming world of competitive video gaming, and has since gone onto becoming the undisputed kings of organising events and tournaments. Seeing the potential of the Esports industry long before anyone else, ESL have continued to innovate and establish themselves as the go-to gurus for hyper-competitive LAN events over the years, with every event delivered with a remarkable amount of polish whether you’re following them in the flesh, or online at an online streaming platform such as Twitch.tv.
ESL have etched themselves firmly in the history books by hosting some of the most fabled and prestigious events in the Esports calendar, with their flagship Counter-Strike: Global Offensive tournaments such as IEM Katowice, ESL Pro League and ESL One Cologne being some of the most hotly anticipated annual dates fans look out for.
On top of their CS:GO events and fleshed out ladder system, ESL have established professional circuits and leagues around for Dota 2, Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege and PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG) that fans are able to tune into and follow the action with.
Rely On Riot To Put On A Show
One look at the League of Legends betting markets available at a site like Unikrn.com will show you just how diverse and popular the world’s biggest Esport title really is, so possessing the crown as the game’s biggest and best tournament organiser really is a prestigious honour.
In fairness, League of Legends is not exactly a game where fans are spoilt for choice when it comes to tournament organisers, given the fact that all top tier events are put into official regional leagues organised by the game developers, Riot Games.
Fortunately, this design has still led to competition amongst each league helping to push the production values of each region’s division to new and exciting heights year on year. Much like the Champions League in a real world sport such as football, where the top teams in each country come together to compete in a cross-region tournament, Riot bring together the highest finishers across the globe and host the annual World Championships, perhaps the best example of just how huge the Esports sector has grown over the past decade or so.
Blurring the lines between jaw-dropping entertainment spectacle and hyper-competitive sports event, the Worlds is watched by millions of people around the world, boasts a prize pool that eclipses most others in the industry and is filled to the brim with various shows and performances that help the event stand out against all others present in the industry.
Consistency Is King For DreamHack
Though it is now officially an arm of the ESL empire, there’s no denying the legacy and unique vibe DreamHack events give off whenever they roll around in the Esports calendar.
Another tournament organiser that caught wind of the potential of Esports before most others, DreamHack have become known for being the kings of organising large scale festival-styled events that often bring together gaming communities from a whole plethora of titles and run tournaments in these games concurrently with each other.
As well hosting stacked competitive calendars for games ranging from CS:GO, PUBG, Rainbow Six Siege and Hearthstone, DreamHack has joined up with various professional circuits such as ESL’s Pro Circuit over the years in order to ensure pros and fans alike are never in doubt of just how important a part of the industry their events and tournaments are.