2019 has played host to some absolutely incredible events, with something exciting occurring literally every weekend. We saw major video game titles such as Rocket League and Overwatch establish themselves as high-grade sports worthy of the name “esport.” For 2020, we have the highly anticipated Call of Duty League launching their series in January.
Whether you want to tune in for a few hours of action-packed tournament gameplay between the top pros or follow your favorite team week after week in an esports league, we’ve put together a list for you. It’s impossible to rank them, but we’ve listed below what we believe to be some of 2020’s greatest esports events. Let us know if you think we missed anything.
Call of Duty Championships | Schedule | World Tour
After much anticipation, Activision Blizzard is establishing a professional league around one of the biggest games in the world. Activision Blizzard has supported “Call of Duty” competitions for years, but the Call of Duty League introduces multi-million-dollar franchises and a structure that parallels the major American sports leagues. The schedule is divided into two splits for the spring and summer seasons, with the championship planned for August or September 2020.
The International | Schedule | Sweden
The International is the premier Dota 2 tournament that attracts teams from around the world. After the third year of the tournament in 2013 and beyond, Valve has sweetened the pot by adding 25% of the total sales of the in-game Battle Pass to the prize pool. This instantly made it one of the best paid esports tournaments in the world, With a total prize pool of over $33 million, it’s no wonder that this is one of the world’s biggest and most popular esports tournaments.
Worlds | Schedule | China
The Overwatch World Cup | Schedule | 19 Cities Worldwide
The Fortnite World Cup | TBA
The Fortnite World Cup brought with them a prize pool worthy of the world’s most popular game: $40 million. That’s nearly half of the $100 million that Epic Games pledged for 2019 to make their hit game into an esports juggernaut. Although the game’s suitability for true competitive play is still questionable, the sheer size of the pool drew players and streamers from a variety of backgrounds to play.
EVO (Evolution) Championship Series | July 31 – Aug 2 | Nevada
If you’re a fan of fighting games, odds are you’ve already heard of the Evolution Championship Series, or Evo for short. Evo is easily the biggest esports tournament in the genre, growing year after year since its start more than 20 years ago in 1996.
This year’s tournament took place in Las Vegas from August 2-4. It featured brackets for a variety of fighting games, including Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, Tekken 7, Street Fighter V, Dragonball FighterZ, and others.
The Intel Extreme Masters | Feb 28th – Mar 1st | Katowice
The Intel Extreme Masters is a series of international esports tournaments held in countries around the world, one of the longest running series of esports tournaments around. These Electronic Sports League (ESL) sanctioned events, sponsored by Intel, include events in Starcraft II, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Quake Live, League of Legends and Hearthstone.
It features a number of tournaments in different locations around the world, capped off with a World Championship. This final tournament typically takes place in Katowice, with separate prize pools and brackets for each game.
Majors (Counter Strike: Global Offensive) | Schedule | Location TBA
Known simply as Majors, are biannual esports tournaments sponsored by the game’s developer, Valve Corporation. They’re widely considered the most prestigious CS:GO tournaments, with players from around the globe competing. Although the prize money is supplied by Valve, the tournaments themselves are organized by other esports organizations, including ESL, Major League Gaming, and DreamHack.
The most recent Major took place at the Intel Extreme Masters XIII, with Danish squad Astralis winning first place and $500,000. The Fall edition is set to take place in Berlin with a $1 million prize pool.
StarCraft II World Championship | Schedule | Multiple Locations
The 2019 StarCraft II World Championship Series is a series of events organized by or in cooperation with Blizzard Entertainment. They are designed to include four major StarCraft II broadcasters, AfreecaTV, DreamHack, ESL and StarLadder. Like in 2018, there will be a 2 million USD prize pool, that will be spread out among multiple events throughout the year. WCS will be essentially split between the WCS Circuit and WCS Korea, only reunited in WCS Global Events and in the WCS Global Playoffs and Finals that conclude the season.
The Hearthstone World Championship | Schedule | the Americas, Europe, and Asia-Pacific
The Hearthstone World Championship is the official Hearthstone world championship and the finale for the Hearthstone Championship Tour. Each year, the Championship gathers the best 16 players in the world, 4 from each region, to compete against each other. The competitors are selected using a number of criteria, including in-game performance in Ranked Play and participation in selected tournament events. A substantial cash prize pool is divided between the top 16 players, and the winner of the Hearthstone World Championship is crowned as the Hearthstone World Champion.
Blizzard’s official World Championship featuring prize pool of up to $1 million, and livestreamers can earn money streaming gameplay on Twitch.tv.
Halo Championship Series | TBA
Halo Championship Series (HCS) is a professional Halo league sponsored by Microsoft and 343 Industries. It is governed by Electronic Sports League, more commonly referred to as ESL. Seasons 1 and 2 ran on Halo: The Master Chief Collection, specifically its remake of Halo 2. In August 2015 Microsoft announced it would be increasing the total prize pool of the HCS to $1 million USD, for the newly announced Halo World Championship, which will be the debut event for Halo 5: Guardians. This prize pool was later announced to be crowd-funded, which later resulted in Major League Gaming announcing that the prize pool had climbed to $2 million USD. Later that week, 343 announced that the prize pool was locked at $2.5 million USD. This was confirmed to give the winners, later announced to be Counter Logic Gaming, the largest single monetary prize in console eSports history.