Not long ago every parent would say that playing video games is a waste of time, a notion that grows harder to refute with every day passing. Even prior to Valve’s last record-breaking The International 2015 tournament for Dota2 where $18 million where given away, there were big tournaments where gamers could earn a life-changing amount of money by finishing in the top 3 spots. Even the 2014 edition of the annual The International tournament was something previously unseen where another record-breaking prize pool of $10 million was split among the teams that took part in the competition.
For Dota2 fans, eSports betting enthusiasts and gamers overall tournaments like these are like the World Cup in football with millions of viewers connecting to watch the live streams of the finals held in tightly packed arenas that accommodate thousands of spectators.
Premier Dota2 Events and Tournaments
As mentioned, The International 2015 is by far the biggest event not only in Dota2 but in eSports overall. It was held in July 2015 in Seattle with 16 teams competing for the biggest portion of the overall prize pool which amounted to $18,429,613. Evil Geniuses from the USA won the tournament and walked away with $6,634,660.68. The main event took place in Seattle Center with a seating capacity of 17,000, but millions of fans watched it live via the Internet. Even the first The International tournament in 2011 was a spectacle in itself with a $1.6 million prize pool where $1 million went to the winning team.
Other big tournaments in terms of prize pools and viewership are:
- Dota 2 Asia Championships
- World Cyber Arena (WCA)
- The Summit
Starcraft 2 – A Legendary Game with Not So Big Prize Pools
With all the followers and glory that the first Starcraft game and its Brood War expansion gained, you would think that Starcraft 2 attracts big prize pools. But, unfortunately it is not so, mainly because it is a very difficult single-player game and doesn’t offer the excitement that MOBA or FPS games like Dota2, League of Legends or Call of Duty offer. The biggest SC2 prize pool was at the 2015 World Championship Series (season 1, 2 and 3) organized by ESL and Blizzard where the first-placed player won $30,000. A much enticing event for a pro SC2 gamer is the WCS Global Finals where the best player gets $100,000.
League of Legends – The Most Popular eSports Game
Although LoL events and tournaments don’t have as nearly as big prize pools as Valve’s The International for Dota2, LoL’s biggest rival game, League of Legends is nevertheless the most popular game at the moment with more players logged in playing and watching games than Dota2 players. Until know LoL tournaments had prize pools no bigger than $2.1 million, an amount offered at the LoL 2014 World Championship. However, this is bound to change.
What about First-Person Shooter Events?
The two most popular FPS eSports games are Counter Strike and Call of Duty, with the latter being played at events where the prize pool reaches up to $1 million, like at the Call of Duty Championship 2015, whereas the largest Counter Strike events like DreamHack and ESL the prize pools feature just $250,000 prize pools. What’s even better for Call of Duty fans and bettors is that Activision is planning to launch the biggest Call of Duty competition so far called the World League with a prize pool starting at $3 million.
Best Tournaments and Events for eSports Betting
All of the events mentioned here offer very exciting betting opportunities. They are held annually, while some of them feature smaller events that lead to the main event and serve as sort of qualifiers. Even there you can find some exciting games to bet on. You can find a complete eSports betting offer at Pinnacle with lots of useful articles on the events and eSports betting in general which can be found in their eSports page.