2016 was an exciting year for eSports, as a whole, with several huge moments in tournaments that made a lasting impression. But, with 2016 coming to an end, we have a whole host of events to which we can look forward in 2017.
While most of the larger tournaments for the major players are months away, there are still some heavy hitters in January that you won't want to miss. Here is a look at the upcoming January tournaments that you won't want to miss.
Dota 2 has several tournaments with prize pools in the millions. Pit League is not one of those, with a base prize pool of $125,000. That prize pool is growing, though, with percentages of ticket sales and in-game items contributing to the overall prize pool.
But even for these comparatively small potatoes, several major teams are participating, such as The International 2016 Champion Wings Gaming and the Boston Major Champion OG, so we're sure to see exciting matchups that could act as a precursor to April's Kiev Major Tournament.
League of Legends
The NA LCS has been around for a few years now, representing one of their biggest annual tournaments. The tournament kicks off in late January, but it's a long-haul-type tournament, with 9 weeks devoted to regular season play, followed by the playoffs.
That means we'll probably see this tournament well into March before the Grand Finals.
Blizzard partnered with NGE to put on a $100,000 Overwatch tournament, rivaling the prize pool set by Overwatch's September Open. Teams have already gone through open play, so every game matters as of Jan. 3, where 8 teams will play in a round-robin format, with six best teams advancing.
Then, on Jan. 17, those six teams will again play a round robin with only four teams advancing to the grand finals, which will be held in late January at a currently to-be-determined date and time.
The 2017 Smite World Championship tournament will be held this year at the Hi-Rex Expo in Atlanta, Georgia. If you are a Twitch prime member, you will be eligible for exclusive benefits.
This will be Smite's second world championship tournament with the capped prize pool – a $1,000,000 sum that a few eSports players recognized could be a lot higher.
WESG 2016 has been going on for several months now, but it will all come to a glorious conclusion in January. It will feature the Grand Finals of four different tournaments across four different eSports – Dota 2, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Starcraft II and Hearthstone.
Dota 2 and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive will each have a $1.5 million prize pool, Starcraft II will have a $400,000 prize pool and Hearthstone will have a $300,000 prize pool.