While it might be nearly halfway through the year, there’s still loads to look forward to when it comes to the biggest Esports events of the year. We’ve passed the yearly E3 games convention, with their host of crazy announcements. We’ve also seen our way through a number of qualifiers for gaming tournaments this year, but the biggest and best are yet to come.
We’ve put together this list of the 5 Esports events you simply can’t miss this year, with their times, dates and ticket prices (if you’re looking at treating yourself to a trip overseas to see the pros doing it live). We also added a handy guide at the end of the list, so that you can find the best places to watch live Esports in South Africa.
Now let’s ready up, and dive in.
The Biggest Esports Tournaments of 2019
Here’s a list of the five biggest Esports events still to come in 2019. They cover a whole host of games, and take place on all corners of the globe, meaning there’s going to be something here for you (if you’re not a big enough fanatic to watch them all).
Fortnite World Cup: The Biggest Esports Event of 2019
When: 26th – 28th July
Where: New York City
Ticket Price: Sold Out
Prize Pool: $30 Million
Fortnite is easily the biggest game of 2019, bringing Battle Royale to the forefront of gaming, after being a popular sleeper hit game style for a number of years.
Its huge appeal comes from the fact that it’s both free, and a game meant for all ages – so it’s no surprise that the Fortnite World Cup 2019 is shaping up to be one of the biggest gaming events in history. It will also have the largest of all Esports Prize Pools at $30 Million in total.
You can tune in this July to watch the world’s top Fortnite players battle it out in Solo, Duos, Trios and Squad events over a number of categories. While the world final takes place over a LAN in New York, the other categories such as the World Cup Creative and World Cup Online Open will be just as titillating. So be sure not to miss them in the days and weeks leading up to the event!
League of Legends World Championship: Prize Pool Galore
When: Starts 2nd October / Finals 10th November
Ticket Price: Unannounced
Prize Pool: > $7 Million
We all know Riot Games’ League of Legends as one of the most popular Esports games worldwide, both for gamers and streamers.
Their World Championships are no different, and this year’s Season 9 edition will see one of the largest LoL Prize Pools yet, likely ensuring them a fourth place in the top 10 biggest Esports prize pools of all time.
It was recently announced that the World Championship will take place in Paris later this year, starting in early October with group stages, quarterfinals, and semifinals; all the way up to the main final event on the 10th of November 2019.
Since the 2020 Worlds will be taking place in China, and the 2021 Edition in North America, this might be your last chance to catch an LoL World Championship in Europe for a couple of years, so keep an eye out!
Tickets aren’t on sale yet, but we can be sure that they’ll sell out incredibly fast, so keep an eye out for their release so that you don’t miss out on this opportunity to see the pros live in action.
CS:GO Berlin Major (Starladder Esports League)
When: 5th – 8th September
Where: Mercedes Benz Area Berlin
Ticket Price: €25.00 – €79.00
Prize Pool: $1 Million
Counter Strike: Global Offensive is a lucky game in many ways, one of which is that the biggest tournaments are anything but few and far between. It’s one of, if not the, biggest competitive FPS games today, and has been that way for a long time, so it comes as no shock that this Major will be the 15th Anniversary of Starladder’s Counter Strike Majors.
The main event takes place in the very popular Mercedes Benz Arena in Berlin, hosting up to 14 000 fans who can watch their favourite teams win (or lose) their chance at a big slice of the $1 Million prize pool. The winner will go home with half of that, and the runner up team will still have a decent $150 000 in their pockets, with everyone up to 8th place receiving a share of that prize.
This is one not to be missed if you’re a CS:GO fan. Tickets are quite reasonably priced compared to some of the bigger gaming tournaments around the world, so this might be just the right opportunity for you to expand your horizons and visit Berlin!
Overwatch World Cup Esports Tournament
When: Group Stages – 1st November / Finals – 2nd November
Where: BlizzCon 2019 in Anaheim, California
Ticket Price: BlizzCon tickets are Sold Out
Prize Pool: TBD
Finally, a South African team has made it into the Overwatch World Cup!
If you had told us this a few years back, we’d probably need funeral insurance for the pending heart attack!
This is great news for us, and a big win since SA gamers have been waiting years to watch some great players defend our title in an Esports World Championship series.
The event will take place on Friday and Saturday during BlizzCon 2019 at the Anaheim Convention Centre in California, and we’ll see the worlds biggest (and smallest) Overwatch teams fight for the title of World Champion.
During the preliminary rounds, we’ll see a single-elimination seeded bracket decided by the national rankings – except for the top 5 countries, who will automatically progress to the group stage.
At this point, the ten teams in the group stages will be split into two groups of five teams each to play a round robin against the rest of their group. This will see the top team from each group head to the semi-final playoffs, and the second and third-ranked teams going to the playoff quarterfinals.
Finally, the top six teams will play a single-elimination bracket to win Gold and Silver medals, and a further match between the losing teams from the semifinals to be awarded Bronze. It’s going to be an Overwatch event like no other, so be sure not to miss out!
Dreamhack Winter, one of the Biggest Yearly Esports Events
When: 29th November – 1st December
Where: Elmia Exhibition and Convention Centre, Jönköping Sweden
Ticket Price: TBD, Sales starting August 3rd
Prize Pool: Too many to count!
Dreamhack is somewhat of a pilgrimage for PC gamers. It’s the single biggest – and the oldest – LAN event in the world. Seeing over 10 000 gamers bringing their PCs to the convention centre and playing some good old-school LAN matches.
It’s been a staple of the PC gaming community in terms of culture, and it’s a great place to compete in and watch some smaller Esports leagues and tech-related tournaments. The main event will be the CS:GO Winter Open, one of Europe’s biggest Counter Strike events, with a prize pool of $100 000 – quite a number for a non-pro series.
While this is just one of five or six Dreamhack events that happen each year, the winter series is the main event, by anyone’s standards. It’s a great way to immerse yourself in the giant and ever-growing worldwide gaming community, even from the comfort of your own couch.
Speaking of which, let’s take a look at some ways to watch these events in South Africa, whether you’re watching at home alone, or with friends at an Esports Bar.
Where can I watch upcoming esports events in South Africa?
The easiest way to watch all of these tournaments, if you’re at home watching on your computer, cellphone or Smart TV, is to stream them on Twitch or YouTube. Almost every gaming tournament, popular or not, is streamed for free on these websites, and make for a great way to spend the day with your friends for a little bit of a spirit cup.
In addition, you can always take a look around at your local gaming-friendly bars or restaurants. There may be one that might be open to changing the channel and showing a big gaming championship on their TV screen.
If you’re looking for somewhere to go out and watch these tournaments with other gamers, here are two great spots to do so:
ATK Arena, Cape Town
ATK Arena in Claremont, Cape Town, is a newly-launched gaming lounge. They’ve got R60 000 PCs which you can pay by the hour to play on. In addition, you can hire out the space for LANs, Birthday Parties and Private Functions. Perfect for a stress-free group gaming experience hosted by knowledgeable and friendly staff.
ATK Arena screens the biggest in Esports tournaments each week on their projector setup, and you can head through there to watch them with your friends for a small fee. This is a great way to meet other local gamers and get immersed in the smaller gaming communities of South Africa.
CodeBro Cafe, Alberton
The CodeBro Cafe in Alberton, Johannesburg is an Esports fan’s dream. It’s a place to eat and drink, with an MSI PC gaming area. This space is available for single hire or LANs, as well as weekly events focusing on South African streamers, and screenings of the biggest worldwide Esports tournaments.
They have a few different gaming setups ready for gamers of all ages, so you can bring your little brother or sister along with you and let them play some Nintendo Switch while you enjoy a nice draught and the latest CS:GO major.
All of these Esport tournaments are going to be huge events, and it may prove hard to watch them all. But, if you get at least three in there, it should be more than enough to push you to game better, train better, and maybe one day have your own chance at a World Cup Gold Medal!
Happy gaming, and best of luck to all the competitors.