With the rise of streaming services allowing users to watch games from anywhere in the world, eSports have become a constantly growing phenomenon.
The international gaming scene has quickly evolved from a collection of tournaments held in expo centres to massive events with bigger prize pools than the Super Bowl and their own opening ceremonies.
The South African competitive scene also reflects this growth, featuring bigger and better tournaments such as the DGL Masters Series.
With 2016 promising even larger tournaments to look forward to, let’s take a look back at the 5 biggest eSports tournaments of 2015.
LoL 2015 World Championship – $2,130,000
The League of Legends World Championship is the biggest annual tournament for the game.
League of Legends is massively successful, and players enjoy an opportunity to play for over $2,000,000 during it’s annual World Championship.
The League of Legends World Championship 2015 was won by SK telecom T1.
Smite World Championship – $2,612,259
Smite is a MOBA which features the gods and heroes of ancient mythology as playable characters.
While games like Dota 2 and League of Legends are played from a top-down 3rd person perspective, characters in Smite are controlled from a close-up perspective – presenting a narrower field of vision and an interesting form of action-packed gameplay.
The rapid growth of Smite‘s community is reflected in this tournament’s large prize pool – which was mostly crowdfunded by players and potential spectators.
The Smite World Championship 2015 was won by Cognitive Prime.
Dota 2 Frankfurt Major – $3,000,000
Dota 2 is a classic MOBA which is completely free to play. The game was originally developed as a mod for Warcraft 3, but has since grown into a standalone game and is one of the biggest names in eSports.
Dota 2‘s Major tournaments have the biggest prize pools of any competitive game in the world.
The Frankfurt Major is an annual tournament featuring the best teams in the world and boasting a prize pool of $3 million. Valve is now supporting three Major tournaments a year in addition to its annual International tournament.
The Frankfurt Major 2015 was won by Team OG.
Dota 2 Asia Championships – $3,057,521
The Dota 2 Asia Championships are sponsored by Perfect World and MarsTV.
The tournament was held in Shanghai, China and consisted of several invited teams competing against teams which advanced from qualifying rounds. The tournament had a prize pool of $3,057,521 – slightly more than Valve’s Frankfurt Major.
The Dota 2 Asia Championships 2015 were won by Evil Geniuses.
The International 2015 – $18,429,613
The International Dota 2 Championship is Valve’s crown jewel of Dota 2 tournaments.
The tournament has a fixed initial prize pool which is increased by the contributions of the Dota 2 community. The prize pool for The International 2015 reached an unprecedented $18,429,613.
Valve also released a free film available on Steam – titled Free to Play – which documents the 2011 International and portrays the rapid growth of eSports which the tournament has facilitated.
The International Dota 2 Championship has seen a steady increase in total prize pool since the tournament debuted, and has become a large influence on eSports worldwide.
The International 2015 was won by Evil Geniuses.