The ESL ONE tournament in Cologne, pictured here, delivers a gripping gaming spectacle unlike any other

By now even non-gamers have heard about one of the fastest growing industries of today: Esports. These multi-player video game competitions have captured the attention of millions from every corner of the globe and, although dozens of different titles exist, a special few have become large enough to support live tournament-style gameplay.  

Here are some of the most prestigious Esports events that are currently taking place in today’s gaming environment, including which countries host them, how big their prize pools are, and what fans can expect from their overall atmospheres.

ESL ONE

ESL, or the Electronic Sports League, has the honor of being known as the world’s biggest (and oldest) Esports organization, and the largest company of its kind currently broadcasting on Twitch.  

Although the league is made up of various teams and competitions that take place in several different countries such as Brazil, Thailand, and Poland, the ESL ONE tournament that is set in the company’s home base of Cologne, Germany is undoubtedly the most famous. This summer event kicks off annually in July at the modern LANXESS Arena and sees thousands of enthusiastic Esports fans cheering on their favourite digital playmakers.

With a prize pool of $1,000,000, fame and prestige are just some of the benefits of walking away victorious at this impressive tournament.

The International

First established back in 2011, The International is an annual Esports event created exclusively for Valve’s hugely successful battle arena game, Dota 2. The competition welcomes 18 teams made up of talented gamers from several continents including North America, Europe, and Asia, all fighting for the highly coveted Aegis of Champions trophy.

Since its founding, the championship has taken place in breathtaking venues from cities across the globe like Shanghai’s Mercedes-Benz Arena, Stockholm’s Ericsson Globe, and Vancouver’s Rogers Arena.

However, the most unique part of The International is hands down its hefty monetary award offering. This Dota 2 event contains the industry’s largest prize pool amount for any single tournament in Esports. For example, in the 2018 edition of The International, the tournament handed out an epic $2.24 million for each member of the winning OG team. This number sure does seem momentous when you consider that the NFL athletes of this year’s victorious Super Bowl team received a mere $130,000 for their accomplishments.

League of Legends World Championship

The League of Legends World Championship, commonly known as LoL, is much like the Dota 2 tournament in that it was established the same year and has since exploded in popularity and prestige. Similar to other events on this list, LoL sees a variety of teams with international backgrounds and hosts the competition in some of the world’s most desirable cities such as Los Angeles, Berlin, Madrid, Paris, Beijing, and more.

With dramatic opening performances that bring gifted dancers and singers to the multi-colored strobe light-filled stage, fans look forward to attending this tournament for more than just the competition itself. Supporters rage as these professional Esports athletes face off in pursuit of both the Summoner’s Cup and a multimillion-dollar prize pool.

Esports tournament commentators work in much the same way as conventional sports announcers, bringing the game to life during each competition

Halo World Championship

Since 2001, the Halo franchise has managed to consistently produce what some would argue as the greatest first-person shooter titles of all time. With that being said, it’s no surprise that the Esports tournament featuring the famous game has also garnered much attention over the years.

Equipped with some of the best announcers in the industry, a variety of guest teams, and one of the largest money pots for a first-person shooter game, this live tournament is not to be missed. It’s clear to say this Microsoft game has not only captured the attention of the average gamer, but also the world’s most elite professional players.

Nowadays it isn’t far-fetched to say that Esports is becoming the next big career choice for many enthusiastic gamers. This unconventional sport requires real skill, determination, and intense focus. Aspiring players can invest in high-quality gaming equipment to aid in their gameplay experience, and also to use for viewing tournaments as many are broadcasted live on digital platforms like Twitch and Steam.

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