The toughest e-sports tournaments

Tom Johnson


The toughest e-sports tournaments for pro gamers

As popularity and professionalism in e-sports grow, tournaments continue becoming tougher and tougher. The toughness of an e-sport tournament can be gauged based on the qualification process, the kind of sponsorship it attracts and the winning margins. Based on these factors, here are the toughest e-sports tournaments on the globe:


The International

Valve, the creators of Dota 2, bring together the best players of the game every year to battle it out. The series that has been running since 2011 pits together the 18 best teams. Twelve of these earn a slot at the tournament from a competitive series- the Dota Pro Circuit. The remaining six battle out for a slot through playoffs across Europe, South-East Asia, CIS, China the Americas.
Over the duration of its existence, only one team-OG- has won the international more than once (2 times). The popularity and toughness of the competition have led it to become the best-paying e-sport tournament on the globe.

League of Legends World Championship

One of e-sports’ most popular games, League of Legends brings together the best of the best in a global final as a culmination of its season. Up to 24 teams drawn from 14 countries globally go up for the Summoner’s Cup and a pre of over a million dollars. The tournament has proven so competitive that it has attracted Olympic interest to the game. LA2024 is considering including League of Legends in the 2024 Olympics. Riot Games organises the tournament.

Overwatch World Cup

Blizzard Entertainment organises this competition yearly, bringing together the best ten countries. The organisation and qualification process is what makes this tournament so competitive. It begins with preliminary stages then proceeds to group stages. The top five ranked teams get an automatic qualification. Seeding is done to avoid eliminating strong teams early. At the finals, the ten teams are pitted into two groups of five. Each group produces three teams that then clash in a knock-out playoff. South Korea has been the most dominant team in the competition with three cups to its name. The USA are the reigning Champions after beating China in the 2019 final.

CS: GO Majors

This is the most prestigious and competitive tournament of the FPS game CS: GO. It has been running since 2013. The first edition had 16 teams while the current format brings together 24 teams from all around the globe. A section of teams receive direct invitations, a second portion qualifies from the previous tournaments while the rest play qualification games. This means that a CS: GO team has to put in the best effort whether they are playing at the Valve-Sponsored Majors or at the third-party sponsored minor tournaments. A one million dollar prize is more than enough motivation to give every game the best shot.


Dreamhack is more of a convention rather than a sports tournament for a particular game. It brings together various players and teams through a LAN connection in the biggest LAN gaming fete in the world. It earns a place amongst the toughest competitions because of the quality of players it attracts in each discipline. Dreamhack organises the tournament.

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