Although there are only a matter of weeks remaining in the 2021 eSports calendar, there are still plenty of intriguing tournaments on the horizon. Budding eSports gamers and enthusiasts are multiplying week by week, as the concept of eSports penetrates further into the mainstream.
According to Statista, the global eSports audience has risen from 397.8 million in 2019 to 474 million in 2021, with forecasted audience figures expected to rise to 577.2 million by 2024. The viewing figures are continually on the rise because more of the most popular video and PC games are being embraced in the eSports scene. It’s an industry that’s finally being taken seriously, with some of the biggest sports stars spotting an opportunity to invest in eSports teams. eSports professionals are now so valuable that even chronic injuries sustained by eSports players are treated properly.
Let’s take a look at the biggest eSports events scheduled for the autumn and winter period of the 2021 season.
PGL Major Stockholm 2021
The 16thCounter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS: GO) Major Championship is scheduled for the PGL Major Stockholm 2021. Staged in Stockholm’s Avicii Arena, the PGL Major 2021 will consist of 24 of the world’s best CS: GO teams doing battle to qualify via regional rankings. Starting on 26th October, the tournament begins with a 16-team Swiss-style format, with the top eight teams qualifying for the New Legends Stage.
The New Legends Stage commences on 30th October, with the three-day event leading to the New Champions Stage starting on 4th November. This final stage is an elimination-style knockout tournament played in a best-of-three map format. No less than $2m is on the line at the PGL Major 2021, with CS: GO teams coming from as far and wide as Asia (TYLOO) and Oceania (Renegades) to try and upset the European elite.
Battle of Betway CS: GO
On the subject of CS: GO competitions, there is one other intriguing CS: GO tournament on the horizon before the year is out. Betway has unveiled the “Battle of Betway” – a tournament incorporating many of the professional eSports teams that the iGaming brand sponsors. European teams like Ninjas in Pyjamas, BIOG and G2 Esports will be represented, along with Brazil-based teams like FURIA and MIBR. The event is due to act as a precursor to the PGL Major 2021, giving viewers the chance to see their favourite teams compete before battling for the biggest prize of the year in Stockholm. Adam Savinson of Betway confirmed the event will provide hard and fast action, with best-of-one map contests reinforcing the need for precision and stealth.
In the last 12 months alone, Betway has invested time and money into growing its presence within the eSports industry. Historically, Betway has been best known for its online casino and sportsbook, both of which are licensed by the UKGC and MGA and regulated by eCOGRA and IBAS. However, more recently, it has sought to become a hub for eSports betting with coverage of many of the biggest tournaments across Europe, North America and beyond. In the Far East, China’s eSports teams reign supreme and, in games like League of Legends, they are considered to have the best teams on the planet.
BLAST Premier: Fall Finals 2021
Dubbed the “most entertaining eSports tournament” by its event organisers, BLAST Premier has its Fall Finals this autumn, staged in Copenhagen, Denmark. The BLAST Premier Group and Showdown stages were held in September and October, with the Finals scheduled to commence on 24th November. This eight-team event will compete for a prize purse of $425,000, featuring six of the qualifiers from the Group stage and two that are yet to be decided from the Showdown stage.
BLAST Premier was formed as a professional eSports franchise back in 2020, bringing together some of the best CS: GO teams in Europe and North America. The BLAST Premier season is split into two series – the Spring and Fall series. The BLAST Premier league has cashed in on its recent success by scoring a significant sponsorship deal with cryptocurrency exchange platform Coinbase.
DreamHack Open November 2021
The concept of the DreamHack Open circuit was to develop a proving ground for CS: GO players to turn professional and make it big on some of the world leading tours. DreamHack Open has secured a partnership with the ESL Pro Tour, giving participants a chance to qualify and partake in the biggest ESL tournaments.
The upcoming DreamHack Open event for CS: GO teams will take place in November 2021. It is known as a “Challenger level” competition, whereby successful teams can earn points towards the future EPT Masters Championship. Given DreamHack’s open and inclusive nature, there are open qualifiers for the November event, with an unlimited number of amateur, semi-professional and professional teams able to try and qualify for the main event.