There’s so much to talk about in the esports industry, but nothing beats the impressive records its tournaments have been able to achieve. Somehow, these events have made it to mainstream media and shattered many world records of viewerships across many forms of sports, both physical and virtual. In this article, we’ll deep dive into the world of esports tournaments and highlight some of the top contenders in the history of the industry.
How We Rank the Best Esports Tournaments
Before we rank these tournaments, we believe you need to know some of the criteria and factors we considered before curating this list. First off, we started by looking for those with the highest rewards in the industry, i.e., those that offer the biggest prize pool for the winners and participants. We then ranked them based on how much attention they were able to get (the viewership). Another thing we included in our ranking factor is how professional the planning is and which sponsors or organisations partnered for the events.
From our observations, we were able to notice a trend of increased esports betting. As the industry continues to grow, esports betting has also gained much ground. However, this is predicted to continue because many new gambling sites and online casinos continue to enter the market with eSports listed in their categories. Many streaming services have also started covering its tournaments, which boosts its popularity.
Betting on esports has also become a lot easier with getter markets and odds to suit players. As well as for the betting sites, casinos may offer exclusive bonuses for their players to play casino games, such as the free 5 no deposit. This bonus improves players’ betting experience and allows them to try slots or table games without incurring extra fees.
The Most Prominent Esports Tournaments In History
To sum up our ranking, you can find some of the most influential esports tournaments in the table below:
|Year||Viewer (in Millions)||Prize|
|The International – Dota 2 Game||2021||2.7||$40 Millions|
|Intel Extreme Masters ( IEM )Katowice 2017||2017||46||$250,000|
|Mid-Season Invitational ( MSI )2018||2018||60||$1.37 Millions|
|League of Legends World Championship 2019||2019||3.9||$2.23 Millions|
|Free Fire World Series 2021||2021||5.4||$500,000|
|The 2022 League of Legends (World Championship)||2022||5.1||$2.5 Millions|
|2021 World Championship [Worlds 2021]||2021||4.018||$2.25 Millions|
The International (TI) – Dota 2’s Epic Showdown
For many years, no tournament rivals The International (TI). Dota 2’s flagship event, TI, boasts the highest prize pools in esports history, with the last iteration reaching a staggering $40 million. Beyond its monetary offer, TI has consistently delivered thrilling spectacle for fans.
The 2.7 million peak viewers for this one solidified its position as an esports giant. Valve’s brilliant combination of crowdfunding and passionate player base ensures its enduring success. TI depicts the complexity of Dota 2 and the high level of skill players need to participate. It’s simply an annual spectacle that every esports enthusiast looks forward to.
Intel Extreme Masters Katowice 2017
The Intel Extreme Masters Katowice 2017 is a milestone in esports events’ history. It was sponsored by Intel and unfolded in Katowice, Poland. IEM was not just another regular championship — it was an epic show that revealed the diversity and global appeal of esports.
The event attracted a staggering 46 million unique viewers and accumulated 19.7 million hours watched. The peak viewership on Twitch was over 400 thousand (est. about 444,339), while the total peak viewership reached up to 724,317.
The prize pool was $250,000, and the competition ended after two weekends lasting between February and March.
What made the IEM Katowice 2017 genuinely remarkable was that it had not one but 3 winners. Astralis won in CSGO, the Flash Wolves in LoL, while StarCraft II glory went to Jun “TY” Tae Yang.
LoL Mid-Season Invitational 2018
It was held in Adlershof, Germany, and Paris, France, and was a crown jewel of esports events. What sets it apart is not just the tournament itself but its amazing number of viewership.
It had about sixty million unique viewers and more than two billion hours watched, this event rewrote the rulebook for esports spectacles. It wasn’t a championship but became the most significant event in esports history.
Fourteen elite teams competed on League of Legends Patch 8.8 in Riot European Studios and Le Zénith. The event drew over 25 million attention (448,451 Twitch viewers, 426,296 YouTube, and an average concurrent viewership of 24,590,504).
The whole event lasted less than a month i.e., May 3 to May 20, 2018 and the esports world experienced a fierce battle for dominion. While substantial at $1,370,520, the prize pool could not match the event’s overall magnitude. RNG won here, eventually securing their place in esports history.
League of Legends (World Championship 2019)
This is also an exciting force in Europe and is also a thrilling chapter in esports history. Many lesser-known regions participated in the Play-Ins, the NA teams lost in these encounters, and the various crazy clashes became part of esports history.
This championship witnessed the meteoric rise of FunPlus Phoenix, who dominated G2 eSports by securing a 3-0 win in the grand finale. Most-watched in League of Legends history, with around 4 million viewers. It was a moment that highlighted China’s dominance in the competitive MOBA scene.
Paris, London, Brussels, and Berlin were the battlegrounds for the 16 teams that were competing in League of Legends Patch 5.18, which started on October 1 and lasted till October 31, 2019. The stakes were high ($2,130,000 prize pool) for the champions, and every team was not willing to miss a lifetime opportunity.
Esports has allowed us to witness many record-shattering tournaments over the years. There was a crazy level of viewership on Free Fire’s Championship, League of Legends’ vibrance, and the creative gameplay from Intel Extreme Masters Katowice 2017 and LoL Mid-Season Invitational 2018. All of these events are proof of how far we’ve come in the esports world and how much potential the industry still has in the coming years.