What was remarkable in esports in 2020?
2020 was difficult for the whole world – the covid pandemic was the main event, which influenced the majority of life aspects. It made its impact on esports too but competitions were hosted after all and games developed – there were even the new ones. The year was not that poor on events: there were lots of interesting things in every esports discipline but only a few main moments, which determined the face of esports last year, should be noticed.
The coronavirus, cancellations, and delays
The esports year began as usual but then bad news started getting together: it appeared that it was vulnerable to the vicissitudes, which were happening in the world, just like the usual sports. Tournaments were postponed or canceled one after another in all disciplines, some of them were even canceled a few days before their beginning.
There was a massive transition to online and many viewers got tired of online tournaments in the middle of the year. In this situation, the winners included the ones, which managed to host large LANs after all, even with the restrictions, and the main tournament of the year was undoubtedly The 2020 Season World Championship in LoL.
Many new viewers paid attention to this discipline because the competition became significantly weaker, and The International 2020 was even delayed to the undetermined date. Riot managed to bring participants to Shanghai from all over the world and carry out the tournament without issues. China showed everyone an example: there were even viewers in the finals, despite there being only a few thousand of them.
And there we have Riot Games once again – the company released a new big esports discipline last year – Valorant. It can be said that it was successful: it managed to host a series of tournaments, even big organizations and famous players from other disciplines began looking closer at the game. The main achievement was that it managed to attract the audience, so now they will have to develop the game and build the competitive system around it, and Riot knows how to do it.
The mass bans of coaches in Counter-Strike
Valve has way bigger problems with the control of their disciplines. There was a large scandal in CS last year: there was a bug in the game, due to which coaches were able to move a camera on the map in the game and help their teams with information. The investigation found out that very many coaches used it, on the outcome of which dozens of coaches were disqualified from their activity for a few months or up to a few years depending on the number of violations and a willingness to cooperate with the investigation.
But even such a great scandal did not cause an outflow of sponsors or other really global consequences – and this is the main positive outcome. The discipline continued improving its positions and Valve finally received the working model, which can be used as a basis for Dota 2 – and its things are way worse.
The failure of Warcraft III: Reforged
Out of respect for the original Warcraft III, the release of Reforged should be noticed on the list of important events. Of course, strategies can’t compete with the most popular esports disciplines now but fans of the genre connected the remaster of the classic with careful hopes for a resurgence. Unfortunately, it didn’t make it, what is more, Reforged has become one of the loudest failures in the whole gaming industry: due to the game’s very low quality, there was a scandal, and Blizzard’s reputation was hit very significantly.
The development of esports continues
Despite all the turmoil of 2020, esports demonstrated its viability one more time – not all leading disciplines of our time will remain the same in five years but esports, in general, will become even more popular, there is no doubt about it. The supply of money continues in it even in such a difficult year for the whole world economy: according to analytics, 1 billion dollars was invested in all disciplines last year. This is not a record but it is a pretty significant sum and the market’s potential is overwhelming.