After hearing about all the incredible things coming out of the DreamHack Convention in Anaheim, California, we’re getting excited for the rest of 2020’s big gaming events. Here are the eSports conventions, tournaments, and championships that we’re looking forward to this year.
1. PAX East 2020
The Penny Arcade Expo (a.k.a. PAX) is one of the biggest gaming conventions worldwide, bringing together gamers from all over for live competitions, game development panels, hands-on demos of unreleased games, concerts and more. PAX East, the Boston-based expo of the PAX brand, starts tomorrow, February 27.
2. ESL One Rio Major
This Major tournament for Counter-Strike: Global Offensive is not the first, the biggest or the only. But ESL One Rio is the first time a CS:GO Major will be hosted in South America. This is particularly exciting because famed CS:GO team MiBR (a.k.a. Made in Brazil) will be able to play for their hometown crowd, hoping for the chance to break team Astralis’ four-title winning streak. With a prize pool of $1 million, the action will take place May 11-24 in Rio de Janeiro.
3. E3 Expo
The Electronic Entertainment Expo showcases the newest games and gaming innovations from the biggest names in the industry. This year is expected to bring major announcements and showcases from the exhibitors, including Xbox, Nintendo, Ubisoft, SEGA, Capcom, Warner Bros., and more. And new to 2020, if unable to attend, you can now connect through a new E3 Livestream. Check out E3 Expo this June 9-11 in Los Angeles, CA.
4. Fortnite World Cup
The championship games of one of the most popular games in the world, produced by Epic Games, is naturally one of the most anticipated events of the year. But 2020 may be particularly so considering that the 2019 prize pool was up to $100 million in total, giving away more than any other gaming event in history. The 2020 Fortnite World Cup is also expected to be big as it will be the first World Cup of the new version of the game. Over 10,000 people typically attend the event in New York. Dates still TBD, but likely sometime mid-summer.
5. Fortnite Secret Skirmish
We’d be remiss not to mention the Fortnite Secret Skirmish. A series of short events that precede the Fortnite World Cup, they are both qualification rounds and little prize-awarding tournaments of their own, with cash prizes of around $500,000. The 2020 dates are still TBD.
6. Capcom Cup
The pinnacle for traditional fighting games, Capcom Cup is a live tournament for 16 to 32 players who qualify at smaller competitions beginning in March. Scheduled for July 4-5, 2020, this year’s cup will be held in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.
7. Evo 2020 Championship Series
The Evolution Championship Series is the elite tournament for fighting games like Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, Tekken 7, Street Fighter V, Dragonball FighterZ, and many others. It’s the longest-running fighting games championship and is unique in that anyone can attend and even have the chance to play against the most established fighting gamers in the biz. The 2020 series will take place from July 31 to August 2 in Las Vegas, Nevada, at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino.
8. The International
The International is the world championship for Dota 2 and another of the biggest eSports events each year. With a massive prize pool, —2019’s winners collected $15 million out of a $34 million total prize pool—it’s a hugely popular event with lots on the line, especially because coming into 2020, the two-time champion team OG will be attempting to defend their title. For this year’s tenth annual TI, game developer Valve Corporation will host it in Stockholm, Sweden, over August 18-23.
9. FIFA eWorld Cup
Participants number in the millions, making the FIFA eWorld Cup one of the most populated and popular eSports events every year. The initial competition rounds are open to everyone online, but the final tournament happens live. No official location or dates have been announced for the 2020 tournament yet, but it will most likely be in August somewhere in Europe.
Potentially the most widely known gaming convention, Blizzard’s hosted BlizzCon since 2005 and attendance has grown to over 40,000. Along with new game previews and live concerts, BlizzCon has the Overwatch World Cup, Starcraft II Championships and the World of Warcraft Arena World Championship. BlizzCon 2019 was a mega-hit, and 2020 is predicted to be even better, with lots of new info on the upcoming Diablo 4 and Overwatch 2. Taking place in Anaheim, CA, the convention will most likely be in October.
11. Overwatch World Cup
Hosted by Blizzard Entertainment, this tournament is specifically for players of, you guessed it, the beloved game Overwatch. Qualification rounds are held all around the world in 19 different cities—this year including New York, Paris, and Shanghai—to find the five qualifying teams for the ultimate Overwatch World Cup. The tournament has a generous prize pool of $5 million, which places it in the top end of the spectrum for award amounts. The 2019 World Cup took place in October and November, so you can expect similar timing for 2020’s event in Philadelphia, PA.
12. Smite World Championships
While not as popular as games like Overwatch or Fortnite, Smite is unique in that it’s one of the only MOBA games to successfully transfer to controllers and consoles in addition to its original mouse and keyboard form. The prize pool is lower than the others, but large numbers still attend the event, in part because it does not happen every year. The Smite World Championships for 2020 have been confirmed for November 15-17 in Atlanta, GA.
13. League of Legends World Cup
One of the eSports originals, League of Legends has teams and leagues all over the globe. Fittingly, the World Cup travels each year, and in 2020, the championship will land in China, hosted by Riot Games. This year’s cup will see around 24 teams from 14 countries compete for top-notch prizes that fall in the range of $2 million per pop. The 2020 dates have yet to be announced.
14. International eSports Federation World Championships
Set up as an Olympics-style competition, the teams at the International eSports Federation World Championships compete on behalf of their countries, instead of competing under their normal team structure. The first tournament in 2008 began with leagues from South Korea, Germany, Vietnam, Taiwan, and some other European countries joining forces to create this form of international competition for games of all sorts—MOBAs, fighting games, first-person shooters, etc.—which change year to year. The dates and locations for 2020 have not been announced yet, but they are likely to be hosted in South Korea or Taiwan.
15. Rocket League Championship
With regional qualifying rounds taking place exclusively online, the hype for the final rounds in front of a live audience gets real for the Rocket League Championship. The regional elimination rounds determine the best teams from Oceania, North America, South America, and Europe, which then go on to the finals. Hosted by game developer Psyonix, the championship dates for 2020 have not been announced, but prizes are expected to be similar to last year’s, which had grown from earlier championships up to $1 million.
There’s a lot to look forward to this year, and this just scratches the surface. Look out for our upcoming post about which new game releases and team and league launches we’ll be buzzing about in 2020 and don’t forget to tell us what you are looking forward to in the coming year via Facebook and Instagram.
In the meantime, keep calm, game on and win well!