Esports: top leagues, games and sponsors
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eSports are those video game competitions that take place at a professional level around the world. This industry generated more than 1 billion dollars in 2021 and will continue to grow steadily. In that same year, video game fans grew 6.7%, with more than 465 million viewers, according to data from Newzoo.
In this regard, for eSports to be considered as such, they must meet a series of guidelines. The first is that the game must be played between two or more players, who must compete on equal terms, i.e., omitting any kind of cheating. At the same time, there must be official regulated leagues and competitions, organized by sponsors or companies, which aim to reach a significant number of fans who play or follow the games. One of the most famous platforms to enjoy this hobby via streaming is Twitch, owned by Amazon.
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eSports tournaments take place as in conventional sports; they bring together renowned players of each video game, use stadiums to play the games and there is a massive sale of tickets, as well as an audience that watches directly from their homes.
Main leagues and games
1.League of Legends World Championship
Organized by Riot Games, it is one of the most popular games and generates the highest income, with a prize of almost 1 million euros.
The game was designed for the Microsoft Windows operating system and a version for OS X was launched, which has been improved by the game’s users themselves, giving rise to an enhanced version of the game.
2.Fornite World Cup
There are many variables that have made this game successful. The first is that it is free, which encourages people to play it.
Because of this, the creator of the game, Epic Games, holds this tournament every year, which distributes up to 100 million dollars. The 100 best players and the 50 best couples get a place in the final.
3.PUBG World Championship
It is organized by the companies Tencent and Pub. Corp. During the tournament, teams face off in weekly rounds and as they advance to the final they can compete for a cash prize of up to €2 million.
The game consists of 100 competitors parachuting to an island where they will stock up on equipment to survive and kill their opponents.
It is a tournament for DOTA 2 fans, sponsored by Valve Corporation. The first world championship was held at Gamescom 2011 in Germany, where thanks to its success, it was taken to multiple cities around the world, such as Seattle, Vancouver and Shanghai.
It is currently the most played videogame on the Steam platform.
5.Call of Duty World League
Its first edition was in 2016 and in one of its most recent editions it handed out a total of 6 million dollars in prizes, for the 2019 season. The tournament series was suspended and in early 2020 the Call of Duty League became a franchised league, with twelve teams distributed in eleven cities.
6.The Overwatch League
Produced by Blizzard Entertainment, the first edition of the competition was held in 2017.
The game is composed of four phases lasting approximately one month each and the prizes distributed are $200,000 for the winner; $100,000 for second place and $50,000 for third and fourth place.
7.Counter-Strike: Global Offensive
Also called CS:GO, it was designed for Windows and developed by Valve Corporation and Hidden Path Entertainment in 2012.
It is one of the most successful shooter games on the market for having a free access to the application. This videogame, creates an action-packed environment where players need to defend themselves otherwise they die permanently.
Undoubtedly, the world of eSports has ceased to be a simple pastime to become a million-dollar industry, which is also sponsored by large companies. One of the most important eSports sponsors is Vodafone Giants, which in association with Nike, became the first global sponsor in Europe for the 2020/2021 season.
Another sports company that has been a sponsor is Adidas, who since 2019 made such an agreement with Heretics.
But the automotive industry is not left behind, Mercedes-Benz has occupied an important position by sponsoring the League of Legends Worlds 2020 championship.
On the other hand, Global Esports Federation (GEF) partnered with Microsoft’s Global Sports Innovation Center (GSIC) in 2020. The Brazilian organization Furia Esports was sponsored by Red Bull in 2021. Meanwhile, Telefónica Movistar is a sponsor of the Movistar Riders team, in addition to creating a channel called Movistar eSports.
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