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Top eSports Tournaments and Leagues

Popular eSports Tournaments and Leagues

eSports have changed since the early days especially when it comes to leagues and professional tournaments.  eSports is growing tremendously and attracts large audiences which are continuously increasing.  This also means that leagues and tournaments are also changing.  Here are a few of the biggest leagues and tournaments in the world.

The International

The International is the largest of all eSports tournaments and is as big, if not bigger than playing bingo for money has to offer.  It is based on Dota 2 and has been held each year since 2011.  It is hosted by Valve Corporation who is the developers of Dota 2.  The very first tournament had 16 teams and offered the largest prize money ever of $1.6 million.  The International attracted much publicity at the time.  The first team to win were from Ukraine, Natus Vincere. The International held in 2012 was won by Invictus Gaming, a Chinese team.  In 2013 Valve released an interactive compendium to the public for them to purchase.  This enlarged the prize pool.  In 2014 it was held in a larger arena allowing for a larger audience and tickets were sold out within an hour.  The International also has a partnership with ESPN.

Dota Major Championships

The Dota Major Championships was also started by Valve Corporation in 2015.  These championships include The International and other tournaments.  This allowed Valve to expand their strategy.  Each tournament that makes up the Dota are hosted by other organisations and held in various locations.

League of Legends

The League of Legends was first held in 2011 and is one of the most popular eSports on the gaming calendar.  The winners will receive the prestigious Summoners Cup together with a large pool of prize money.  The format has changed over time, but currently there are 16 teams that qualify depending on their performance in other leagues.  The groups are split up into groups of four and in the first stage each group will play twice against teams in their group.  The winners of the best of one format games will progress to the knockouts.  The teams for the knockout stages are seeded and the matches, which include the final are played in the format of best of five.


Electronic Sports League (ESL) is another large eSports competition and this offers various ranking tournaments for all types of players.  Players can move through the various levels with the highest level being the Major level.  Once they have reached this level they can play in professional competitions.  Pro Leagues and ESL One tournaments are the main competitions.  The most featured game is Counter Strike: Global Offensive (CSGO) and is usually held multiple times every year.  Also organised by ESL is the Intel Extreme Masters and is a series of tournaments held around the world.


ELeague (EL) is professional sports league and was launched together with CSGO in 2016 and has 24 teams from all over the world.  EL is widely televised and extremely popular.