The esports scene has undergone a drastic change this year, but the competition hasn’t slowed down. Championships and tournaments are going ahead regardless, adapting brilliantly to the new challenges involved – luckily, a career that began with people sitting alone in front of a screen for hours ended up being fairly COVID friendly.
– so we can all get our sports fix without the fear of spreading plague everywhere we go. It’s an exciting time to get involved, as several games gear up for their annual showdowns. Here are a few of our top picks for the rest of the year.
The Overwatch League:
Overwatch is an esports darling, seemingly designed from the off to dominate the field with its distinctive characters and counter-based gameplay. It returns this year with the third Overwatch League, which sees both former champions – London Spitfire and San Francisco Shock – return to compete.
With the playoffs currently underway, twenty international teams are going head to head for their chance at a staggering $1.5 million top prize. The Overwatch League intends to be the premier esports event, taking itself as seriously as any physical sports league, and it is always exciting to watch. You can get caught up with the playoffs on the official YouTube channel so you’re all clued in for the Grand Final taking place from the 8th of October. And if you fancy a flutter on eSports bookies like Bovada cover Esports tournaments like The Overwatch League just to mention one of many of them.
International Esports Federation World Championships:
This is a big one – much like the Olympics, competitors represent their countries in a series of tournaments focused on different games. This year, the IEF is hosting tournaments all around the world to determine the best of the best in PES, DOTA 2, and Tekken 7.
Regional competitions will take place from October 20th to November 20th – perfectly timed to fill that void in your heart Overwatch League might leave. According to IESF president Colin Webster, this is going to be “one of the most well-produced world championships ever”. “Special thanks must be extended to the publishers of the titles for the use of such titles. Without the continued support of the publishers, Esports would not be the most vibrant sport in the world.”
The tournaments will whittle the competitors down to just 16 players in the eFootball/Tekken field and ten DOTA 2 teams for the Grand Final. You can check out the regional distribution and get more information about the International Esports Federation World Championships on their official website.
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive Major 2020:
The sixteenth Counter-Strike Major takes place in Rio De Janeiro from the 9th to the 22nd of November. It was originally set to proceed in May, but Valve made the decision to delay it based on the COVID-19 pandemic. Twenty-four international teams will compete for an astonishing $2 million dollars, the first time the event has ever offered such a huge prize.
The competitors have already proved themselves in the qualifying event “Road to Rio”, but they still have everything to play for. With a titanic prize on the line, this is going to be the most intense Major yet.
The Majors were originally hosted by Swedish company DreamHack in 2013, which seems appropriate as the country has produced a ton of high-level Counter-Strike players. The prize money back then? $250,000.
The International (DOTA 2)
We couldn’t make a post about top esports events without mentioning DOTA 2, which is easily one of the biggest showdowns of the year. Unfortunately, this premier event is currently without a date, with various options being explored but a strong likelihood we won’t see any DOTA championship action until 2021. With a total prize pool of $34 million last year – the winners collecting just under half of that alone – this is big business, and there are doubtlessly going to be a lot of disappointed competitors and players if it can’t go ahead this year.
This indefinite delay is slightly puzzling as several other big tournaments have been able to go ahead with some admittedly drastic adjustments, but this is a huge event, and they must want to be able to do it properly – especially with that much prize money on the line.
The International might be cancelled, but there’s still plenty of quality esports entertainment to watch this year. Check out the tournaments above – even if you haven’t watched them before, it’s a great time to start.