The Video James Corner: Good Game

Over the past two months, I’ve had the pleasure of sharing my love of video games with the Almanac, and I couldn’t be happier with the fantastic esports played this year for me to share. This year has been absolutely spectacular for esports with everything from international controversies to top-level championships making headlines. So, to close the year off, let’s look back on how much the industry has accomplished in such a short amount of time.


This past year, there have been more than $211 million USD in prize money up for grabs in over 150 games. In July, Epic Games held the Fortnite World Cup tournament with a $30 million USD prize pool, in which 16-year-old Kyle “Bugha” Giersdorf walk away with the first-place prize of $3 million USD. August saw Dota 2’s The International 2019 holding the single largest prize pool in esports history with a whopping $34 million USD spread across 18 teams. This month alone has seen some incredible tournaments in both the Rocket League World Championship and the Capcom Cup, which had $200,000 USD and $250,000 USD awarded to first place respectively.


One thing almost as impressive as the prize money in esports is the viewership. Most recently, Rocket League’s World Championship drew in almost 300,000 concurrent viewers across Twitch and YouTube, making it the game’s highest viewed championship of all time. Riot Games’ League of Legends holds the title of most-viewed esports tournament this year, with the 2019 World Championship peaking at over 44 million viewers for the final game across Twitch, YouTube and China’s Douyu streaming platform.


Esports aside, the gaming community has made huge efforts for many charities around the world. Roost Teeth raised $1.4 million USD for the Extra Life charity stream held this past November, with $934,000 coming from fan donations. Down Under, Unreal Aussies raised $8,000 for Beyond Blue in July, beating their $5,200 total set in 2018.


Esports in 2020 is set to look far better than we’ve seen before. Many recurring competitions will return and continue to exceed expectations in viewership, prize pools and talent. On top of this, we have a couple of outstanding international events to look forward to. Capcom’s Pro Tour and the Capcom Cup will return in 2020 with a total of 32 events spread throughout the year. My most anticipated event of the year is hands down the Intel World Open, which sees high-level Rocket League and Street Fighter V talent from countries across the globe come together to compete for $250,000 USD. The event will be held in Tokyo from July 22-24, tying in with the Tokyo Olympics which start on July 24.


These amazing achievements and incredible upcoming events are not one-offs. They are a true representation of the passion that gaming communities can put towards game-changing efforts (excuse the pun). I feel like a proud parent as I look back on the past year, esports has definitely reached new heights and I trust that the projects underway now will lead to a huge 2020 for the industry. The growth this industry has achieved has incredibly motivated me as a journalist moving forward, and I hope this sentiment has been echoed in these Almanac columns.


I keep saying getting into gaming has never been easier because I feel it’s vital that we all know how accessible the medium is. I was incredibly nervous when I found out I was writing an esports column for a football website, but I could not be prouder of the positivity surrounding the column and the conversations that have developed over the past couple of months. At first glance, it may just look like a tonne of money is being thrown at people playing video games, but a deeper look will find that there is an outstanding market for it all. The passion, the storylines, the journeys, the crowds, the drama. This is why we love sport. It’s not just about the game, but about the experiences and community, and esports is no different.


If you have some time before the new year, consider catching up on some of the esports moments that have made 2019 so incredible. For now, I’m taking a walk outside.


To read more Video James Corner click HERE


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Our writers are independent contributors. The opinions expressed in their articles are their own. They are not the views, nor do they reflect the views, of Malarkey Publications.


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