Competitive gaming has come a long way since the first hot-seat games of Space Invaders in a penny arcade. Today, competitive gaming is on the verge of being recognized as a bona fide sport, with international governing bodies, major tournaments, and professional players involved in the scene.
eSports has seen explosive growth in the last few years both in the number of players and teams and the number of followers. According to some estimates, its viewership has already overtaken those of the MLB and the NBA in the United States – and it shows no sign of slowing down.
Although it may seem strange, considering that gaming is a home-based activity, 2020 was not a good year for eSports. 2021 was much better, with growing attendance numbers both online and in real life. And 2022 will probably be even better, with viewers returning to arenas to follow some of the biggest eSports events in the year. Here are the ones that you really should schedule your Betway download for.
The International – DotA 2
The story of DotA 2 would work as a “zero to hero” script for a movie. “Defence of the Ancients” was originally a modification (mod) for WarCraft III, Blizzard’s popular fantasy RPG/RTS title. It was a great success, gathering a devoted community – and it ultimately became a standalone game thanks to Valve.
Today, DotA 2 is one of the most-played eSports games with one of the biggest eSports events, The International, attached to it. The 2021 event was held in the Arena Națională (National Arena) in Bucharest, Romania, and won by Team Spirit, a Russian eSports team that took home the biggest single prize money payment in eSports history, $18 million.
The 2022 edition of The International will be held next September at a yet undecided location and online. The prize pool of the event is expected to be $45 million.
Intel Extreme Masters – CS: GO and StarCraft II
It’s not unusual for tech companies to sponsor major eSports events. Intel was among the first to do so – to this day, one of the biggest CounterStrike and StarCraft II events in the world bears its name.
The upcoming 2022 Intel Extreme Masters event will be held at the Spodek Arena in Katowice, Poland, between February 25-27.
League of Legends World Championship – LoL
League of Legends is perhaps the best-known and most played eSports game today. Inspired by DotA, it has built a massive international community and has one of the biggest followings of all. And it also has its major event each year, the Worlds (the League of Legends World Championship final). Visit LoL Fanatics for great tips and advice to help you win your game.
Next year’s Worlds will be held at the Chase Center in San Francisco, California, at a yet unannounced date. Until then, in turn, there will be major events throughout the world: the Play-in to be held in Mexico City, the Grup Stage and Quarterfinals in New York, and the Semifinals in Toronto, Canada. The 2021 champions at LoL were Edward Gaming, a Chinese eSports organization based in Shanghai, that became the first eSports team to do so playing three full best-of-five series.