The year 2021 will always be remembered for two things, crypto, and Esports. Arguably, it was the best year for Esports so far, with the highest recorded growth in both viewership and prize pools. The global pandemic stopped everything, but it didn’t stop Esports as the industry continued to grow and reached its peak in 2021. With that in mind, let’s check out which were the biggest Esports tournaments in 2021.
VALORANT Championships 2021
The 2021 edition was the first-ever VALORANT Championship tournament organized by Riot Games. The tournament was held in Berlin, Germany, from December 1st to December 12th. It featured 16 teams from all over the world, and the total prize pool was $1,000,000 USD. This tournament broke many records and the total number of hours watched was 46 million hours which is incredible due to the fact that Valorant is still a relatively new game. This is a huge success for both Valorant and Esports.
League of Legends: Mid-Season Invitational 2021
The Mid-Season Invitational, also known as MSI, is an annual LOL tournament hosted every year since 2015, with the exception of 2020, when it was canceled due to the pandemic. It is also the second most important tournament in the game and a great opportunity to bet on League of Legends. In 2021, a total of eleven Spring Split champions from all regions were invited during the mid-season to compete for a prize pool of $250,000 USD. Even though the prize pool wasn’t so big, this tournament caught the eye of many fans with more than 61 million hours watched in total.
League of Legends: LCK Spring Split 2021
We are opening this list with LCK Spring Split, the 13th LCK season, and the first franchised season of the League. The prize pool of this tournament was ₩375,000,000 KRW which is around $334,000 USD. The tournament was held in Seoul, South Korea. Even though it was not a big tournament, it attracted a huge audience. Out of 270 hours streamed, fans watched 67 million hours in total.
CS:GO PGL Major Stockholm
PGL Major in Stockholm was the biggest ever CS:GO Major with the biggest prize pool so far and the only Major in 2021. Every single Major tournament since 2016 featured a $1,000,000 USD in the prize pool. However, Major in Stockholm doubled that amount, and it was worth $2,000,000 USD. The main reason for that is obvious; CS:GO didn’t have any Majors from 2019 thanks to the pandemic and the canceled Major in Rio. The total number of watched hours was 71,26 million, and it broke all previously set CS:GO records. In addition to that, the tournament ended in a spectacular fashion, and s1mple’s NaVi won their first-ever Major tournament.
Dota 2 The International 10
The tournament that broke all the records was Dota 2: The International 2021. Considering the fact that the total prize pool was a whopping $40,018,195 USD, there is no wonder this tournament was watched for more than 107 million hours. Team Spirit won the tournament and went home with around 18 million USD, a life-changing amount and the biggest ever prize won by any Esports team. If we talk money, it was the biggest tournament of 2021, but in terms of viewership, one tournament was even bigger.
League of Legends: World Championship 2021
We conclude our list with Worlds, a tournament with the most hours watched ever recorded, 174,82 million hours. Riot Games confirmed that the Grand Final match between DWG KIA and EDward Gaming attracted an audience of over 73 million peak viewers. The prize pool of this tournament was nowhere near TI10, but $2,225,000 USD is still a decent amount.
We hope you liked our list of the biggest Esports tournaments in 2021. Keep in mind that this list didn’t include mobile game tournaments such as Free Fire World Series 2021 Singapore, which broke all the records, but it still isn’t considered a real Esport. Be that as it may, it will be interesting to see if the mobile esports trend continues and if they can actually break some new records.