The eSports community is growing, and as of 2023, the global eSports audience stands at 532.1 million.
While the COVID-19 pandemic slowed the growth of eSports, limiting large public events and imposing travel restrictions, the recovery of the eSports community has been phenomenal. More major tournaments and conventions are announcing the return of physical events, and the general buzz is at a high.
Events and tournaments are an important aspect of the eSports and gaming culture and community, fostering healthy competition, and providing a level of engagement similar to the fanfare of regular sports. Regional matches and leagues also lead up to the decisive championships, with grand titles and lucrative prize pools at stake. There are now dozens of major eSports events worldwide, often with substantial prize pools.
Let’s take a look at some of the most popular eSports & gaming events to look forward to in 2023.
eSports & Gaming Events to Look Forward to in 2023
Very few eSports and gaming events take the time out to just be a celebration of gaming. And that’s understandable, considering the high level of competition that goes into any of these events. But Carry1st’s annual 1stival stands clear of the crowd, combining the rugged heat from competing teams with the passion of lovers of gaming. It’s the best of both worlds.
1stival is scheduled to hold on July 1st, 2023, and will feature a host of games; from console-based titles to board games and even mini-mobile game tournaments. There is also an extensive pool of cash and merchandise prizes, meaning everyone and anyone can leave a winner. Besides gaming, 1stival will also showcase side attractions, like music, art, food, a throwback gaming contest on older generation consoles and even a celeb contest.
Fortnite World Cup
Epic Games is hosting the Fortnite World Cup this year, in a tournament that pits the best Fortnite players all across the world against each other. It’s a lot different from the World Cup we saw in 2019, but the excitement, prizes, and competition hit the same mark, if not higher.
The 2023 Fortnite World Cup will take place in Copenhagen, Denmark sometime during the end of the year. Epic hasn’t announced a specific location for the tournament yet, but we know that this year’s world cup will feature a $4 million prize pool contested by 75 teams.
Leading up to the World Cup, or FNCS Global Championship 2023, will be a series of competitions to determine which teams qualify for the Global Championship in Copenhagen. Here’s what the timeline looks like:
- Major 1: February 2 - March 5
- Major 2: April 13 - May 14
- Major 3: July 20 - August 20
- Last Chance Major: August 24 - 27
- FNCS Global Championship 2023: To Be Announced
2019 saw amazing performances and showcases from players like Aqua, Wolfiez, Bugha, and Nyhrox. We expect to see them pull out all the stops, as well as entrances from newbies on the scene.
Tribe X ACGL Free Fire Championship
The Tribe Community is always looking for new ways to take the gaming culture in Africa to the next level. And in partnership with ACGL, one of the continent’s premier esports companies the Free Fire Championship* is set to achieve just that.
Tribe and ACGL’s Free Fire Championship runs from June 8th to July 29th and will feature the best of the best Free Fire enthusiasts from the African continent in a showdown to determine an ultimate champion. The best teams will then compete against teams from other continents at a later time.
With bragging rights for not just the country but also the entire African region, and a mouthwatering pool of over 1500 USD worth of prizes, it is set to be one for the ages.
Valorant Champions Tour 2023
If you thought the road to the Fortnite World Cup was long, then you should hold your breath for the Valorant Champions Tour 2023.
The Valorant Champions Tour 2023 kicks off its international league playoffs on May 19th, ending on the 28th. The top three teams from each of the three international leagues (Pacific, EMEA, and Americas) will qualify for the Masters Tokyo, held between June 11 - 25.
The Challengers Ascension, held between June 28 - July 16, will then promote one team into the international leagues. The Champions CN Qualifiers will pit twelve Valorant teams from China against each other to determine the region’s strongest contenders. The Last Chance Qualifier is the final opportunity for teams to claim a Champions 2023 slot.
The main event of the tour is the Champions Los Angeles, which will feature the top 16 teams from all across the world, slugging it out in Los Angeles, for the title of ultimate Champions.
Comic Con Africa 2023
“YOU'RE ON YOUR WAY TO A GEEK'S PARADISE”
That’s the promise that Comic Con Africa 2023 rests its laurels on, and there is no doubt that it is going to deliver. Massively. Arguably the largest gathering of gaming, anime, manga and comic book fans on the continent, CCA 2023 Comic Con Africa is the ultimate blend of pop culture & gaming offering a platform for the biggest showcases in the world as we know it.
The festival will run for FOUR packed days, and if 2022’s edition was anything to go by, it may just be the most awesome thing yet. This year’s edition will run from the 22nd-25th of September at the JHB EXPO CENTER in Johannesburg. From cosplay to exhibitions and tournaments, you don’t want to miss it.
Nerdwork Comic Con
Still in the spirit of conventions, Nerdwork Comic Con 2023 is set to provide the best gaming and pop-culture on a local scale when it hits Port Harcourt City, Rivers, Nigeria in September. Taking place on the 2nd from 10AM - 6PM at the the famed Aztec Arcum, NWCC23 will feature:
- Talent/Creator Showcases
- Talkshows (Q & A sessions, banters and character talks)
- And of course gaming tournaments
There is an undisclosed feature prize pool, but knowing what the organizers of the previous editions have shown up with; you can expect it is going to be big.
Mettle-state Esports Championship Series
From FIFA, CoDM, and Clash of Clans, to Brawlhalla, Fortnite, and Rocket League Swipe, the Mettlestate Esports Championship Series 2023 features an array of competitions under various titles for gamers to test their strengths. No wonder it is called one of Africa’s biggest tournaments.
There is definitely something for every gamer, no matter their preferences. And with prize pools of up to $10,000— the stakes are even higher!
You can keep up with which competitions are currently running by signing up on the Mettlestate events page. In May alone, there are competitions for FIFA Mobile, Call of Duty Mobile, and Clash Royale..
League of Legends World Championship
Every League of Legends enthusiast has their eyes set on the League of Legends World Championship this year, where the best of the best LoL players come together to battle for the top spot. This year, the competition holds in South Korea, between October 11th to November 19th.
With teams like T1 DAMWON and FNATIC, and current holders DRX Gaming, the competition is set to be a hot one. Will we see a new team crowned champions, or will DRX stage a grand showdown to defend their title against all odds?
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive is one of the most popular titles in the global community, so you can imagine that announcement of the CSGO Major was one of the most anticipated Esports news and updates of 2023.
The CSGO Major has already kicked off as of May 8th in Paris, with the competition ending on the 21st. Teams Heroic and Vitality are the first teams to qualify for the playoffs as at the time of publishing, while teams FURIA and 9INE have been eliminated with a 0-3 record. Teams G2 and FaZe are now in the 1-2 pool, extending their time at Paris to another day.
You can follow the tournament on BLAST.tv, through the tournament broadcast on BLAST’s YouTube channel, or on BLAST Premier and BLAST Twitch.
COD Mobile World Championship 2023
This list wouldn’t be complete without a Call of Duty event. And there probably isn’t any better showcase of talent in the Call of Duty community to talk about than the COD Mobile World Championship 2023, one of the most famous mobile esports tournaments.
The competition is already underway, having kicked off on April 27th, with the first stage ending on May 14th. All players who earned 100 points from the ranked matches will move on to Stage 2 Pre-Heat, which holds between May 19 and May 21. Stage 2 kicks off properly on May 22, lasting till the 4th of June.
Dota 2 International
The Dota 2 International takes place in October this year, hosted by the lovely city of Seattle. Featuring the best Dota 2 teams in the world, this keenly contested competition is split into two events. The group stage runs from the 14th, while the International finals start on the 27th, lasting through to the 29th.
There are 18 teams in contention. Twelve teams qualify through the Dota Pro Circuit, while six slots are available through regionals; one team from North America, Western Europe, Southeast Asia, Eastern Europe, South America, and China. Perhaps the best part is that The International, or TI 12 in its short form has a whopping prize pool of more than $20,000,000.
Gamr X 2023
No doubt Gamr X 2022 was big, and the 2023 edition promises to outdo its predecessor. Gamr X has always presented itself as a combination of everything that makes gaming amazing; so you’d be right if you called it more of a festival than just a competition.
18 African countries will grace this year’s edition in Lagos, with players contesting in the LAN tournament. The best of the best will compete for the event’s massive $15,000 prize pool. Taking place from June 16 to June 17, Gamr X will also feature game exhibitions, an anime festival, new launches, and a half-time show with musical performances.
PUBG Mobile World Invitational 2023
The World Invitational is one of the biggest PUBG Mobile tournaments and arguably one of the most anticipated Mobile Esports tournaments in the world. This year’s edition is taking place in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
Between the 11th of July and the 16th of July, 2023 24 PUBG teams from around the world will compete for bragging rights and a prize pool of $3,000,000. The competition is split into two major events; the PMWI Allstars Stage from the 11th to the 13th of July and the PMWI Main Tournament from the 14th to the 16th of July.