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Are big tournaments hurting eSports?

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I only really tune in for major eSports tournaments. I know that’s a bad thing, but I do the same for most sports – it just doesn’t interest me to watch unless there’s a lot on the line. However, this could be damaging the eSports industry according to a variety of insiders.

PC Gamer has published a “state of e-sports” article in which they interview top players from four major titles in eSports. There seems to be a recurring issue – how to grow the tournament scene without relying on massive prize pools or a few specific tournaments. On the one hand, there is an over saturation of tournaments, but on the other, teams are pulling out of a bunch of those tournaments because they will only play for the bigger and bigger prize pools.

That isn’t too much of an issue locally – we don’t have too many tournaments so most clans will jump at the chance to be a part of any event they can. Whether it’s DGL, Orena, NGL or even our little tournament, clans and teams get involved. However, if international teams and tournaments are tallied, there is simply too much going on for all the top teams to take part. This means that there is prioritizing from the various teams, each of which bring their own fan base. If, for example, Na’Vi decides to pass up on a competition, this will have an impact on viewership and appeal of the tournament.

Do you watch the smaller tournaments, or is it all about the major events? Do you think the smaller tournaments need to grow in order to make eSports a more established form of entertainment and competition, or are the flagship championships enough?

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Last Updated: January 30, 2015


  1. Hammersteyn

    January 30, 2015 at 11:15

    School boy, Varsity Cup, Club, Provincial, Super Rugby, International Rugby. Every sport has it’s grass roots. The higher the quality the more spectators. If eSports wants to be considered a sport they need to realize this.


  2. Grant [_G_] Hancock

    January 30, 2015 at 11:23

    Are big tournaments hurting eSports?

    The short answer is No

    The long answer is Nope


  3. Lardus-Resident Perve

    January 30, 2015 at 11:36

    Honestly, I don’t follow the eSports thing. Once, when I still had ADSL and was playing CoD online, I might have considered joining a clan since I was pretty good. Now, after so many years of SP, watching the eSports doesn’t appeal to me as much. Just like when I stopped playing rugby and cricket – now only the big matches matter.


  4. RinceThis

    January 30, 2015 at 11:52

    I think it’s like anything. You will have the smaller teams and they will attract their friends and others who are interested. It’s like people who like football. They still support their local smaller teams but will also watch the big games. Pyramid idea. Spread the viewers at the base for the many smaller matches, and for the bigger the… No, wait, this doesn’t work the other way round 0_O


  5. Gerhard Davids

    January 30, 2015 at 11:56

    You aren’t going to see national players playing in tiny events. Natuurlik nie.

    There’s nothing wrong, it leaves smaller events open to up and coming teams. Allowing them to impress sponsors and earn some $ without having to face the giants of their game. It grows the scene rather than hurt it from my PoV. But hell, it’s PC gamer, they can’t be wrong, right?


  6. Matthew Holliday

    January 30, 2015 at 12:28

    i think the opposite.

    big tournaments have led the way for small teams to make a name for themselves.
    that the teams are actively saying they physically cant enter all the tournaments is a good thing.
    Without the big teams making appearances, small dota teams like Power Rangers and other teams are able to actually WIN the small tournaments, allowing them to reliably gain experience and make a living of gaming.

    the tier system is the only way to grow an e-sports scene as big as dota is.
    sure, viewership suffers at the start, but the viewing numbers on the small tournaments are comparable to the viewing numbers the bigger events had when dota 2 first started.

    big tournaments are good for the scene.
    the top 100 e-sports players have all earned over 200 000$ from gaming, thats a good thing.


    • hairyknees

      January 30, 2015 at 12:46

      You said what I was thinking. This comment x 500 ^^^^^^^^^^^


  7. DarthZA

    January 30, 2015 at 12:40

    I watch about 2-3 hours of e-sports a day, and this goes on for about 8 months of the year. But all of this is LoL, and all through the official channels. Everything from their first rounds of pre-season each season, right through to the start of each season and the finals is just so professionally done that it is so easy to get into. There are now close to 40 different players that I follow more and know more about that any of our Rugby players (and I love my Rugby). So are the bigger tournaments ruining the smaller ones, no, not really, the bigger tournaments have just stepped into a different league. I don’t watch any school rugby…


  8. Gavin Mannion

    January 30, 2015 at 13:11

    Honestly I see it simply as a sport maturing… There are far more football tournaments than eSports tournaments and just because Liverpool doesn’t enter them all doesn’t mean the FA Cup and Champions league are damaging other tournaments.


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