Gaming tournaments have recently become one of the most exciting elements of gaming culture. For gaming novices (... or noobs) here’s a quick rundown: Gaming tournaments, more commonly known as eSports, are organised video game tournaments. These tournaments range in size, as do the ability levels of their players, but most large tournaments will be attended by gaming professionals and even international gaming teams. From single-person strategy to large multi-player battles, these tournaments are designed to test every serious gamer’s abilities.
While eSports have existed for quite a long time - dating back to as early as 1980 - the popularity of gaming tournaments has grown rapidly since 2000. Some professional players have even become celebrities in their own right. In the early days, it was unusual if not impossible for fans to tune in and watch these tournaments but this practice has become the norm in recent years. Tournaments are streamed online, often to millions of unique viewers. The website Twitch (a gamer’s Youtube with live streaming features) has without a doubt played a massive role in the worldwide success and growth of pro-gaming.
The increasing popularity of gaming tournaments across the globe has not only led to bigger and better tournaments: It has also led to bigger and better prizes. Nowadays, the prize money for winning gamers in large tournaments can even run to over a million dollars. The prize pools are usually bulked up by development companies, computer manufacturers and energy drink brands, who sponsor the tournaments. In recent years, prizes at gaming tournaments have reached a new high; the following are the ten biggest ever gaming tournament prizes that made some lucky gamers very wealthy
10 CPL World Tour Finals 2005 - $510,000
9 Call of Duty XP - $1 million
8 Call of Duty Championship 2014 - $1 million
7 Call of Duty Championship 2013 - $1 million
6 The International 2012 - $1.6 million
5 The International 2011 - $1.6 million
4 LoL Season 2 World Championship 2012 - $1.97 million
3 LoL Season 3 World Championship 2013 - $2.05 million
2 The International 2013 - $2.87 million
1 The International 2014 - $10.9 million
The latest International final took place in July of this year in Seattle, Washington. The 2014 final proved to be the most exciting eSports event in history, with the prize pool mushrooming to five times the amount of other similar tournaments. The large pool meant all rewards were unlocked from Dota 2, including new visuals. First place was taken by Newbee. The five Newbee players - Banana, Mu, Hao, xiao8 and SanSheng, all hailing from China - split the incredible top prize of $5 million. Runners up Vici Gaming (also from China) and Evil Geniuses (hailing from the US, Canada and Sweden) were awarded $1.4 million and $1 million respectively. Newbee stunned viewers with their incredibly tough gameplay. Mu (Zhang Pan) was noted for his high risk yet methodical gameplay, while Hao (Chen Zhihao) has earned the nickname ‘General Hao’ from fans, due to his highly aggressive, militant attitude. As a whole, Newbee was praised for taking lots of risks that ultimately paid off, making it one of the most daring teams around at the moment, and deserving winners of the 2014 tournament.
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