2016 was a glorious year for esports and the competitive scene of computer gaming. Already existing games became even bigger while new, rising games roared onto the scene. Here is a look back on some of the important things that happened in 2016.
The Rise of Overwatch
Photo Credit: Shack News
Overwatch is without a doubt, the new game of the year for 2016. It even won the Game of the Year Award at the 2016 Game Awards. Blizzard’s newest game had the gaming community sitting in front of their computer screens with its fast paced action and distinct array of heroes to choose from. Also, Blizzard has been carefully helping to nurture the growing competitive scene for Overwatch and now it can be considered a contender for one of the top 5 esport games. The developers have also been in contact with the community and have shown that they are willing to listen to community feedback and work alongside professional players to help improve the game.
CS:GO’s Million Dollar Majors
Photo Credit: ESL
The biggest criticism for CS:GO was that despite the size of the professional scene, the majors were still capped at $250,000 while other games of similar size had prize pools in the millions already. This changed in 2016 when Valve, the developer of CS:GO and Steam, announced that the majors would increase their overall prize to $1 million, a big step up from before.
The International Still Reigns Supreme
Photo Credit: EGamers World
DotA2’s tournaments still have the biggest prize pool of any competitive computer game. The International 2016 came in at a whopping total of more than $20 million with the first place team, Wings Gaming, receiving 44% of that or just over $9 million. The contribution to the huge prize pool comes from the 25% revenue of all T16 Battle Pass sales which helped raise $19 million to add to Valve’s own contribution of $1.6 million to the prize pool.
League of Legends Takes Note
Photo Credit: Unikrn
League of Legends adopted a similar system as DotA2’s International to raise money for Worlds. 25% of the in game sales of Championship Zed and the Championship Ward were used to fund the prize pool of Worlds. After the contribution of $2 million by Riot Games, the total the community raised for the prize pool was $4.7 million for a total of $6.7 million, a big increase from the $2 million prize pool of last years’ Worlds.
This past year brought a lot of exciting new changes to the scene and showed that gamers are a force to be reckoned with. What will the new year bring to help improve esports and what new innovations will we see in the future?