While each esport has many tournaments to watch and bet on, there are a select few that draw in the biggest crowd, biggest prize pools, and biggest competitors. They’re also the best tournaments for experienced bettors to bet on.
Each of these tournaments provide some type of opportunity to make it big when it comes to betting because the stakes are so high and the competition is so huge. Furthermore, with these tournaments being so big, there are certainly going to be some underdog upsets to watch for.
But what constitutes a major esport? We’re going to be separating most esports from the major esports by how long it’s been in the game, whether or not it has a fixed system of tournaments, and the popularity it brings to the table.
Because of this, we’re only going to be focusing in on five esports: League of Legends, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Defense of the Ancients 2, Hearthstone, and Overwatch. Each of these have some type of defined tournament schedule as well as a large following for the esport.
Each of the games are different in their own way when compared to the others but one thing that brings them together is the opportunity that they bring to the betting community.
Hearthstone is an online collectible card game that focuses on taking down your opponent with your cards before they take down you. There are a variety of different cards that can be summoned with different mana costs and each one has its own special ability—or no ability at all.
This leads to an array of different combo types that can range from playing full defense till you find the right opportunity to strike or playing full-on offense to burn your opponent out. Heck, you can even build up insane combos that leave your opponent breathless.
Hearthstone is extremely simple and easy to learn. But the playstyles have evolved over the years and this has made Hearthstone into one of the most competitive card games in the history of the industry.
Here are some events to watch.
The Hearthstone Global Games is probably the biggest tournament of the 2018 season for Hearthstone. With over half a million in prize money, there’s a lot on the line for every team. HGG works such that each region picks who represents them at the tournament.Nine players go overall and four play on the team for each respective region. Forty eight teams go to the tournament and then proceed to compete in a round robin stage In the first round robin stage, only sixteen teams qualify. The rest are eliminated from the tournament.
It is here that the top sixteen teams are then assorted randomly into four groups. They then compete in a second round robin stage but this time only within each team’s respective group. For example, at the 2018 HGG, the United States team played New Zealand because they were in their group but they didn’t play China because China was in another group.
At the end of this second round robin stage, the top two teams from each group then advance into the third and final round robin stage. Like before, the top eight teams are assorted randomly into two groups. After the final round robin stage is completed, the top two teams from each group are placed into the Knockout Rounds in which the team that advances to the finals and beats their competitors wins the entire thing.
The reason this event is a go-to for every competitive bettor in the Hearthstone field is because this entire event lasts more than eight weeks. 2018’s Hearthstone Global Games started in July and didn’t end till November. That being said, you’re going to be provided with plenty of matches to bet on and a high chance of making a profit since you’ll have time to learn from your mistakes and bet on the right teams here and there.
For any experienced bettor, this should be your go-to tournament every single time. It provides plenty of opportunity and little chance of failure if you play your cards right. (no pun intended)
The HCT Summer and Fall Championships are two annual tournaments that diehard Hearthstone fans look forward to every single year. It brings the best of the best from every single region to compete in a grueling three day tournament that determines the best Hearthstone player in the world. While it may seem like a short tournament compared to others, each day offers a load of action with players competing nonstop. So, like HGG, this tournament provides several betting opportunities. The only difference is that you have to be more proficient in Hearthstone to succeed.
However, it’s not just the HCT Summer and Fall Championship that makes this tournament great. It’s the matches leading up to it. Four qualifiers come from four major regions: Americas, Europe, Asia-Pacific, and China. Each region determines their four qualifiers through a rigorous process in which more than sixty players compete to try to grab one of four spots available to take them to the World Championship of Hearthstone.
Each of these matches provide a betting opportunity that can cash you in and thus, makes this tournament extremely profitable. While it may not last as long as the Hearthstone Global Games, the HCT Summer/Fall Championships provide an excellent chance to strike big at one of esports’s biggest tournaments.
World Electronic Sports Games or WESG is a tournament held annually that brings some of the best games to the spotlight. It’s here that the best teams from the best regions compete for a prize pool that is well worth the wait. Last year, at the 2017 WESG tournament, $300,000 was given away in prize money with the first place contender, Fujitora, taking home $150,000. The tournament lasts a span of five days and several has thirty two of the best players from all over the world come together.
After a long series of qualifying tournaments, the top player(s) from every major region come together to play for one of the biggest prize pools in the Hearthstone community. Like HGG and the HCT Summer/Fall Championship, these tournaments have dozens of matches played and therefore, is perfect for your betting needs.
Furthermore, with such a high prize pool, there is definitely going to be major competition there, meaning that the odds are going to be in your favor of finding a good match. And if you don’t want to bet on Hearthstone, WESG has a variety of esports you can choose from.
Overwatch is the latest of first person shooters that have made it big on the esports stage. However, this isn’t your average FPS. Overwatch combines the ability aspect and character system of MOBA games like League of Legends and DOTA 2 with a unique set of controls to create a game that cannot be replicated.
While this may be one of Blizzard’s many creations, it can be ranked as one of their best and most unique creations. It combines a plethora of features from a whole span of games to synthesize a game that every typical gamer would enjoy. But it’s esports scene is even heavier. With the Overwatch League fully established and a competitive system unlike typical ones, Overwatch is the newest game with the best potential for becoming a big name in the next five years.
Here are some of the esports events you want to keep your eyes on when it comes to Overwatch.
The Overwatch League—also known as OWL for short—consists of twenty teams, ten from the Atlantic division and ten from the Pacific division. Each of these teams are guaranteed twenty-eight matches, meaning that there will be 560 matches played in total.
That’s more than Hearthstone’s HGG tournament! Furthermore, with four stages of play, you get four chances to recuperate if you made any mistakes from the first round. This allows for you to be freer with your picks.
Each stage of the Regular Season will provide you with stronger betting opportunities as the stages progress since, after each stage, you’ll be given new information on which teams are performing better. Thus, any bettor with decent logic and average statistics will be able to determine which teams have a higher chance of winning.
This event lasts from February 14th to August 25th, giving about seven months to bet on teams. Therefore, you can bet part-time on this event and still find results. It’s the perfect event to keep your eyes on while also focusing in on other events around you.
This part of the league is whenever the best of the best are determined. After all four stages of Regular Season play are finished, the top six will then participate in the playoffs portion of the Overwatch League Championship. The top two teams are automatically granted byes into the semifinals while the four remaining teams have to battle it out to grab two of the four remaining spots for the next round. What separates this from the Regular Season is higher risk and higher reward.
With more than 1.5 million and endless glory on the table, each team wants to grab that title. Regular Season finishes only determine seedings here, not the results. Last year, at the 2018 OWL Playoffs, the top two teams were the Los Angeles Valiant and the New York Excelsior.
However, neither team made it to the finals. Both were knocked out in their first match played. Each match is played in a best of three format, meaning more action for every match. This is whenever the stakes are at its highest and if you’re a die-hard Overwatch fan, this is an event you need to watch, regardless of whether or not you’re betting on the event.
The Overwatch World Cup is a smaller event that is sort of like Hearthstone’s Global Games. It takes the best players from every region and pits them into a single-elimination bracket. There are no seedings. Every country starts off on an equal plain.
Each match, except the final, is determined as a best of five format, meaning that a team has to win three games in order to advance. The final is played with a best of seven format. Thus, despite only taking place over two days, you can still expect a good dose of action from this event.
In total, there will be eight matches played: four quarterfinal matches, two semifinal matches, one third-place match, and one finals match. This event may be a little trickier since you can’t use past knowledge to your betting advantage. After all, it’s the best players from every region and this tends to mean that the teammates for that region’s team aren’t actually teammates on the OWL scene. However, countries to look out for whenever the Overwatch World Cup commences are South Korea, China, Canada, and United Kingdom.
South Korea has won this event two times in a row while China put up a strong performance at the 2018 Overwatch World Cup. Furthermore, Canada managed to make it to the finals of the 2017 World Cup while also making it to the semifinals of the 2018 World Cup in which they won the third place spot. While the World Cup isn’t as big of an event as OWL’s Regular Season or playoffs, it’s still a great tournament to look out for. It provides plenty of betting opportunities and nonstop action for every match.
DOTA 2 was the original game that brought Multiplayer Online Battle Arenas to the main stage. When they released, they provided something fresh in an industry that was dominated by one-dimensional games.
They used this momentum to later transition DOTA 2 into one of the biggest esports in the entire world. While they may no longer rule the esports world today, they’re still one of the biggest games today and the events they host are watched all across the world.
DOTA 2 focuses on a five-man team whose focus is to take down the enemy team’s base before they take down yours. Each person can choose from a variety of champions, each of which provides their own strengths and weaknesses for the overall team composition.
By taking down different enemy structures and securing neutral buffs, each team slowly pushes towards the other bases while fighting off their own enemies. This can lead to some pretty intense moments where everything is being put on the line. When it comes to the esports scene, DOTA 2 is notorious for its huge prize pools. In fact, it outmatches every other esport when it comes to how much it prizes its tournament winners, leading to some extremely popular tournaments.
Here are some events you need to keep your eye on for 2019.
ESL is notorious for its different esports events. It has tournaments for League of Legends, CS:GO, Starcraft II, and DOTA 2. ESL is also the home to some of the craziest plays in video game history. For example, at IEM Katowice in 2013, Fnatic’s xPeke pulled off an insane backdoor in their LOL match versus SK Gaming to send them to the next round.
While that may have been in League of Legends, DOTA 2 shares similar values as they are both MOBA games. At every ESL, DOTA 2 is one of the most watched games there. To add onto this, ESL has seen infamous teams such as Fnatic, Team Liquid, and Virtus.pro take place in their different events across the world. This year’s ESL One Birmingham 2019 will boast a $300,000 prize pool, an amount considered small to most DOTA 2 gamers. Nonetheless, we’re expecting to see some big-time names appear at this tournament.
With eight teams being invited and four qualifying from their respective region, it’s going to be exciting to see which team takes the crown this year. At the 2018 ESL One Birmingham, Virtus.pro took the title with a dominating 3-0 sweep over OpTic Gaming.
While ESL tournaments might take place all over the world and at any time of the year, each ESL tournament provides its own unique experience. Furthermore, unlike most tournaments in DOTA 2, ESLs don’t have fan-favorites, meaning that any team can take home the title.
Like ESL, DreamLeague is a tournament that runs throughout the season, bringing in only the best to compete. However, unlike ESL this year, DreamLeague is a major tournament, meaning that it’s one of the biggest events during the DOTA 2 season. With the revised competitive system for DOTA 2, it’s going to be even harder to receive an invite to the International—also known as the biggest tournament of the 2019 season. Tournaments are now broken into five minors and five majors.
These are the only tournaments that will give points to the teams so that they can receive one of twelve spots at the International tournament. The majors give out 15,000 points while the minors only give out 500 points. One of the five majors this year will be DreamLeague Season 11, meaning that the best teams are going to be trying to grab those points. A first place finish will guarantee 4,950 points out of the 15,000 point pool while a fourth place finish would guarantee 1,350 points.
With stakes this high and teams this good, it’s definitely a tournament that you need to put on the list. There are going to be serious betting opportunities at this event and missing out on it will be the last thing that you want to do.
The International is the tournament that every minor/major in DOTA 2 revolves around. It’s the biggest piece of the 2019/2019 season and it’s the tournament where the best of the best go to prove themselves. The winner of this tournament not only cements themselves as one of the best teams in the history of DOTA 2, they also receive a healthy chunk of prize money—around twenty million to be more specific. In 2018, Origen, the winners of the tournament, received around eleven million dollars for their first place finish.
The runner ups, PSG.LGD, received four million for their healthy run as well. Even the fifth and sixth place teams received a million dollars each for their finishes. This tournament is a tournament that pays well for both the teams and the bettors. The tournament system runs such that all the teams compete in several round robin matches. The top teams are then placed into the upper bracket while the lower teams are placed into the bottom bracket. From here, the playoff rounds start.
The teams which lose in the upper bracket are given a second chance in the lower bracket. However, those who lose in the lower bracket are permanently eliminated from the tournament. That being said, each match is as important as a major tournament final and with millions of people watching this tournament all across the globe, it’s an event you don’t want to skip either. This is when the DOTA 2 betting community is in full swing and when people are putting up the big bucks.
Furthermore, each team at the International 2019 is highly qualified, either receiving an invitation to participate or qualifying for it through the regional tournament. Therefore, don’t expect any boring matches throughout the entire event. The entire event itself lasts ten days and each of these days provides a plethora of matches to watch. As long as you know the schedule of matches being played and have basic knowledge of the teams, you shouldn’t go wrong betting on this event.
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, also known as CS:GO for short, is the biggest first-person shooter game in the industry right now. It combines the classic action from old FPS games like Call of Duty with a strategic aspect that forces every player to think outside of the box if they want to succeed at the game.
Like DOTA 2, CS:GO is a game that is composed of two five-man teams. However, unlike DOTA 2, CS:GO isn’t about destroying a base. Each team is assigned one of two roles: terrorists or counter-terrorists. The terrorists are responsible of planting a bomb at one of two bomb sites. Meanwhile, the counter-terrorists’ job is to keep them from planting the bomb. However, if the terrorists do manage to plant the bomb, then the counter-terrorists need to defuse the bomb before it goes off.
If the bomb goes off or the terrorists manage to kill all the counter-terrorists, the terrorists win the round. If the counter-terrorists kill all the terrorists, keep the terrorists from planting the bomb, or defuse the bomb if planted, then the CTs win the round.
Each match is played to a best of thirty. This may seem like a lot but each game lasts about two to three minutes and it’s not uncommon for games to last less than two minutes. Therefore, a best of thirty match usually ends in about an hour or so.
This unique play on the FPS genre has led it to dominate the esports scene since its arrival and it’s created an integrated system of tournaments that you don’t want to miss out on.
WESG was one of the tournaments we told you to watch for Hearthstone but WESG’s main attraction is its CS:GO audience. The Counter-Strike: Global Offensive audience is huge and this is thanks to the fact that WESG attracts several of the best teams from around the world. Names like G2 Esports and OpTic Gaming are expected to join the fray of top competitors at this year’s WESG. And with a prize pool of $850,000, be ready to see tons of highlight plays and close matches for that first place title.
The entire tournament will last about a week with two stages of group play. The first stage has eight groups with four teams each and the second stage has four groups with the same number of teams in each group. In the first stage, each match is a best of one series. The top two teams from each group advance to the second stage.
In the second stage, each match is a best of two. The top two teams from each of the four groups will then advance to the playoffs. Each match in the playoffs is played as a best of three. If you look at this from a betting perspective, there are so many matches to bet on that you’d be foolish not to do so, considering this is one of the biggest events of the CS:GO annual calendar.
If you’re just an avid fan, the WESG tournament never fails to give a highlight of top plays to watch. Therefore, it should be something that you put on your schedule to watch because I’m sure that it will not disappoint.
The ELEAGUE Major is one of many tournaments hosted by Valve and a major championship in the world of CS:GO. That being said, it’s a pretty big deal and this event has never failed to impress CS:GO viewers.
Last year, the ELEAGUE tournament hosted twenty-four strong teams ranging from CS:GO powerhouse, Astralis, to North American hope, Cloud9. At the 2018 Boston ELEAGUE, the new challengers were put into a play-in stage in which the top eight were then put into a round-robin group with the other eight teams. The top eight teams of the final group stage were then put into a playoff bracket. The finals of the 2018 Boston ELEAGUE saw tournament favorites and dominators, FaZe Clan, face off against North American’s underdogs, Cloud9.
In a match that had some of the biggest CS:GO highlights of 2018, the Boston ELEAGUE Major proved that it can soon become the main face of the CS:GO season. Even before the Boston ELEAGUE Major, the Atlanta ELEAGUE Major showed tremendous success.
Almost all of the best teams in the world have attended this event since it started and it doesn’t look like anything is going to change. After all, the ELEAGUE tournaments are infamous for bringing together all of the best teams from across the world on a variety of different games ranging from Rocket League to Call of Duty: Black Ops.
An ELEAGUE event is scheduled to happen for 2019 and for any bettor, this would be a great opportunity to hop on. This is by far the best tournament to bet on throughout the entire tournament. Not only are the best teams going to be there, the tournament favorites aren’t necessarily going to be the winners.
Last year, no one expected Cloud9 to win it. In fact, the Europeans were set to have a better running than the North Americans. That means that betting on the underdog in this tournament isn’t necessarily a bad choice and can provide high return for anyone willing to take a risk.
If I had to choose one major esport even to bet on out of all the events already listed, I would definitely go with this one. It has to much potential to just pass up.
Right now, League of Legends is the biggest esport in the field right now. It currently boasts millions of players and tens of millions of daily viewers for the major events they throw in. The League of Legends tournaments also never fail to put up big numbers.
League of Legends is like DOTA 2. It is a Multiplayer Online Battle Arena game in which two teams of five both race down three lanes to try to destroy the opposing team’s base. You can only do this by breaking down the enemy structures in your way while also giving yourself a better chance of taking down the enemy by gathering neutral buffs.
While this sounds simple, the game has tens of thousands of different team combinations and hundreds of millions of item combinations, making it a game that no one has truly mastered. Instead, it’s a naturally evolving esport that brings more to the table every single patch update.
The League of Legends scene has become quite established and has built itself into a thriving community. That being said, here are some of the best events to watch for 2019.
There are currently tour major regions in League of Legends competitive play: NA LCS, LEC, LCK, and LPL. For those who don’t know these abbreviations, these stand for the four major regions, North America, Europe, Korea, and China.
Each region has its own group of teams and over a series of weeks, they compete for seedings in the playoff tournament. That means each team is guaranteed over twenty matches to determine their placement in the post-season tournament.
Like HGG and OWL’s Regular Season, League of Legends’s Spring and Summer Regular Season provides plenty of betting opportunity as well as the chance to learn off of your mistakes. It’s perfect for an amateur bettor who’s trying to learn the ropes as it provides hundreds of tournaments to watch over a series of regions.
You can watch Fnatic play Misfits Gaming during the LEC Regular Season or you can watch South Korea Telecom battle long-time rival KT Rolster in the LCK. Most North American bettors would probably be best off watching the NA LCS though since it coincides with their time-zones the best.
This is a more laidback tournament that lasts quite a while—almost the entire first and last half of the year—and therefore, doesn’t need to have a ton of stress and thought put into it. If you’re an amateur bettor that’s looking to get a start, this is the perfect option for you.
The MSI is the biggest international tournament that follows the Spring Season. While it’s not the biggest international tournament of the entire year, it provides strong content for viewers following a long Spring Season.
The Mid-Season Invitational works such that the winner of the post-season playoff bracket from each major region meets to battle it out at an international tournament. Fourteen teams go but only six compete since ten of the fourteen teams come from minor regions and thus have to go through a play-in stage.
The play-in stage consists of the ten minor regions split into two groups of eight with the two biggest regions out of those ten automatically granted playoff spots. The top two finishes are then granted spots into the groups stage. During the main groups stage, teams compete against each other and the top four are placed into a playoff bracket. Last year, Royal Never Give Up took down the tournament favorites, Kingzone Dragonx to win it all.
This is the perfect mid-season tournament to bet on for League of Legends because it provides you a watered down version of the LOL World Championship, the biggest tournament during the LOL season. From both a betting and watching standpoint, it’s the perfect small-scale tournament for you.
The LOL World Championship is the biggest tournament of them all. Like the Mid-Season Invitational, it hosts the biggest names from every region and in these regions, up to three teams can qualify for the World Championship unlike MSI’s one team policy.
Of course, the minor regions participate in a play-in stage just like the Mid-Season Invitational but at times, the three seed from some of the biggest regions have to participate. For the groups stage, there are four groups with four teams in each group.<
The top two teams from each group advance to the playoffs where teams are assigned at random. The winner is the one who goes undefeated throughout the entire playoff stage. Last year, China had a historic running as Invictus Gaming took the crown, grabbing China’s first ever World Championship.
Out of these three events, the World Championship is the best one to bet on. It provides the most opportunity while also giving each bettor a fair chance at winning each round. Plus, this event isn’t going away anytime soon as the viewership keeps going up since the Season 1 World Championships.
Overall, the League of Legends betting scene is extremely strong and it’s largely due to this event and the different teams and potential it brings from all across the globe. For example, Albus Nox Luna, a random team out of nowhere, managed to make it to the Knockout Rounds a few years back at the World Championship.
Anyone who bet on them cashed out while those who went the safer route found themselves facing heavy losses. Therefore, this event is one that you can’t pass up if you’re looking to bet on League of Legends.
Every esport has events to either watch or go to. The biggest of them provides the best betting chances for bettors both novice and veteran. Each event also offers its own format and series of play. For example, the HGG tournament is just a series of regional favorites brawling it out while the OWL shows off the best teams from across the globe in their own format.
Each esport has its own potential to cash out the money you want. In the end, though, it just depends on which events you choose to bet on. Whether they’re big or small, if you choose from this list, I can guarantee you that your chances of making profits are high.
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