The coronavirus is still around, but the esports industry faces brighter prospects in 2021 than in the year before. You will find all the top tournaments that were confirmed (or not yet canceled) in our calendar.
*At the time of writing this article, the tournament or its start date have not been confirmed by the organizers.
January 18 — the start of the Dota Pro Circuit 2021 season
Very soon, qualifying leagues for the first major of the Dota Pro Circuit 2021 season will begin in five regions at the same time. Because of the current coronavirus situation, Valve has thoroughly revised the selection system for The International. Now the selection of teams for the major will happen through leagues consisting of two divisions. For Europe, North America, South America and the CIS, these are scheduled to finish at the end of February – which China will continue playing in LAN conditions until the mid-March.
- March 25— the first major. It should be noted that the Chinese-region teams will be finishing the first qualifying league just 11 days before the start of the first major. It is still not known for sure whether the teams will play on the LAN or online.
- April 13 — the second set regional leagues. The second series of regional tournaments will run from April to May. These tournaments will determine the participants of the second major of the season.
- June 2— the second major. At the beginning of summer, the second (and the last) major of the DPC 2021 season will take place. Its results will determine the entirety of participants of The International 2021. Let’s hope that this year TI will happen at least in some form.
January 18 — M2 World Championship
In a few days, the season’s decisive tournament in the wildly popular mobile discipline Mobile Legends: Bang Bang will begin. Teams from Southeast Asia, Japan, Brazil and even Russia will compete for the World Champion title. All the key information about the event can be found in our preview.
January 19 — BLAST Premier Series
The organizers of BLAST Premier have postponed the final stage of the series to 2021. BLAST Premier: Global Final will be the new year’s first major CS: GO tournament, participating in which will be all the top teams from the previous season. Astralis, Vitality, NAVI and five more teams will compete for the first spot and the prize fund of $600 thousand.
- May 16 — BLAST Premier Spring 2021 Finals. The main BLAST Premier tournament of the spring will start in the middle of May. It will be preceded by a group qualifier and a Showdown tournament. Eight participants will compete for $425,000 and a slot for the Global Final 2021.
- November 23 — BLAST Premier Fall 2021 Finals. The decisive autumn tournament of the BLAST Premier series will take place at the end of November. Both the prize fund and the selection system for the event are identical to those of the spring championship.
- December 14 — BLAST Premier Global Finals 2021. This year BLAST expects to host the final tournament of the series in mid-December, featuring eight teams that will compete for one million dollars.
January 21 — PUBG Mobile Global Championship Season 0 Finals
16 teams will play at PUBG Mobile World Championship with a prize pool of $1.2 mln. Event will be held at Coca-Cola Arena in Dubai, tournament will be broadcasted in 10 languages.
January 22 — LEC / LCS
Spring splits have already started in almost all the popular regions of League of Legends, with only Europe and North America being late. LEC Spring Split 2021 starts on January 22nd. Almost all of the league’s tier-1 teams have updated their rosters in the offseason, and the tournament itself is worth watching even due to the debut of Rekkles in G2 Esports.
- February 5 — LCS Spring 2021. The North American professional League of Legends league is in no hurry to start, as it starts later than all the other regions. All the participants of the championship have thoroughly updated their rosters. It will be especially interesting to follow Team SoloMid, which after the World Cup replaced as many as four players while making Bjergsen the coach.
- May 4 — LCS Summer 2021. The summer split of the North American League of Legends franchise league starts in May. For now this is the only summer split among top leagues with a known date of the start.
- August 7— LCS Championship 2021. The season’s climax in the North American LoL region will take place in early August. The results of the LCS Championship will determine the participants of the World Championship.
January 23 — Call of Duty League 2021
The league’s new season will be dedicated to the latest version of the game — Black Ops Cold War. It is also noteworthy that in the new season rosters have four rather than five players. We wonder if there’s anyone who wouldn’t want to see the classic FaZe vs. OpTic rivalry?
February 9 — Six Invitational 2021
The final participants of the Rainbow Six Siege World Championship have been determined quite recently. The tournament itself will be held in February and will bring together all the top teams from all over the world. Would Spacestation Gaming be able to repeat last year’s success?
February 2 — PUBG Global Invitational.S 2021
PUBG fans can rejoice, as the main event of the season is just about to start! Embracing the LAN format (albeit without spectators) PUBG Global Invitational will take place in South Korea and the participants will compete for an impressive prize pool of $3.5 million. It’s going to be quite a battle!
February 16 — IEM Katowice 2021
While last year IEM Katowice was lucky to pass in LAN format (albeit without viewers), this time the championship will take place entirely online – which is quite regrettable. This time, one of the world’s most iconic esports events will host CS:GO, StarCraft II and Warcraft III tournaments.
- June 3 — IEM Summer 2021. Yet another IEM tournament to be held in summer. It will be held in ESL's Malta studio and will feature 16 teams who will compete for $250,000.
- October 14 — IEM Fall 2021. Same number of teams, same prize pool, same location.
- December 2 — IEM Winter 2021. This event will be held with the live audience in one of the Asian countries. 16 teams; $250,00 prize pool.
February 19 — Capcom Cup 2020
One of the most important fighting game tournaments will take place in one of the luxury hotels of the Dominican Republic. The world's best Street Fighter V players will compete for $200,000.
*Spring — Overwatch League Season 4
The Overwatch League is going through difficult times as its views are declining and the investors are rumored to be asking for reducing the cost of slots in the league. Overall, there are plenty of problems — otherwise, why would Blizzard refrain from announcing the start date of the new season yet? According to the latest announcement, the tournament will start in the spring, but no other details are available so far.
*Spring — Mobile Legends: Bang Bang Professional League (MPL)
As per tradition, the season’s main tournaments in Mobile Legends: Bang Bang will be the professional leagues in the Philippines, Indonesia and Malaysia/Singapore. The exact dates are not yet known — as they should be announced upon the end of the World Cup in late January.
March 10 — ESL Pro League Season 13
The new season of the ESL Pro League will begin in one month and a half. This time it is expected to take place in Malta while following LAN format. 24 best teams from all over the world will share $750,000. The winner, in addition to $175,000, will receive a slot at BLAST Global Final 2021.
- September 1— ESL Pro League Season 14. It is expected that the 14th season of the Pro League Season will also be hosted in Malta. The prize pool remains the same: $750 000 and a slot at BLAST Global Final 2021.
April 29 — DreamHack Masters Spring 2021
Yet another ESL tournament with 16 teams in attendance and $250,000 prize pool. Just as ESL Pro League and IEM events it will be held in the studio in Malta.
*Summer — Mid-Season Invitational 2021
So far, there has been no information about the interim international League of Legends event. It is possible that the Riot Games will cancel it just as in 2020. Otherwise, the tournament should take place during one of the summer months.
July 6 — ESL One Cologne 2021
One of the most iconic championships in CS:GO history is scheduled for early July. It is not yet fully clear whether the tournament’s format will be LAN-based or online, but ESL hopes that the situation at hand will allow organizing an event in Cologne at Lanxess Arena.
*August — The International 2021
The tournament is expected to take place in Sweden. Fingers crossed! The exact dates of the event are still unknown.
*August — FIFA eWorld Cup 2021
Last year the FIFA World Cup was canceled due to the coronavirus situation. However, it will take place this season, as the qualifiers are already in full swing. The date of the tournament was not yet announced by the organizers, however it usually takes place in August.
*August — Worlds 2021
To the credit of Riot Games, last year the company has managed to host the League of Legends World Championship, which means we can expect the same this year. Dates are unknown yet, but we can expect the event to start in September or October.
*November – Free Fire Continental/World Series 2021
The Free Fire World Championship will probably start in November. Last year, the organizers held a series of regional events — but perhaps the World Series will return to its classic format in 2021.
*November — Arena of Valor International Championship 2021
Another tournament to expect in November is the Arena of Valor World Championship, which traditionally takes place in November or December. The organizers have not made any announcements yet, but there is no reason to doubt that the tournament will take place this year.
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