Each year brings us a new and exciting season of sporting events filled with contestants that “won’t let this years prize get away from them” and the fury of fans in the stands eager to see if their teams and players meet or exceed their bets. Traditional sports used to, and still do, bring in tons of crowds but let’s not forget the newcomers in the world, the gamers! Gaming has exploded in every sense of the word in the last decade, and you can feel it in the air, especially now that Facebook wants exclusive streaming for some games. eSports is now quickly becoming one of the top sporting event turnouts in the world, and you already know this because you are looking for the next big event to go to!
Never fear, we here at infiniGeek have compiled a list of some of the top sporting and esporting events around the world so you don’t miss out any of the action (although you could probably catch a twitch replay if you did). So without further ado here are the biggest events in sports for 2018.
Intel Extreme Masters – Katowice, Poland
Poland being the historically impressive place that it is – made sure it’s mark is left on the gaming industry as well. Huge gaming publishers such as CD Projekt (of Witcher fame), Techland (of Dead Island fame) and others call Poland home. When it comes to eSports, they are doing it right. The Intel Extreme Masters in Katowice, Poland has been called the biggest esports event in the world with a turnout last year of over 173,000 spectators! The organizers of this event are clearly esports pros and you’ve probably heard of them, ESL is a tournament company and this is what they do, which is why it has attracted such a crowd as well as the best CS:GO teams in the world who come to compete for a share of $500,000 (winners get $250,000). If you are looking for a great esports event to attend this one keeps growing in popularity. If you are ever in Poland around the time this is taking place, or even in a neighboring country, this Polish tournament is something you won’t want to miss!
Horse racing is more than just a sport these days due to it’s long-standing history – it’s more of an art form! The Grand National is a place where history is made. Held annually across the pond at Aintree, just a stones throw from Liverpool, the first race was run in 1839 and spans over 4 miles with many a fence for horses to navigate. It is the race that made a legend out of Red Rum, who triumphed three times during the 1970s. This years event will be held at Aintree from April 12-14, 2018 – if you would like to attend this historic event be sure to book your tickets in advance from the official Grand National website and check the Grand National Start Time. From the 12th to 14th you can expect to see the Grand Opening Day (Thurday – tickets start at £29 and go up to £80), Ladies Day (Friday – tickets from £43 to £120) and Grand National Day (Saturday – tickets from £59 to £115). If you love horse racing you need to check this one off your bucket list.
The International – Vancouver, Canada
Universe $6,000,000 Echo Slam Dunk Dota 2 TI5
Last year, and several years before that, this event was held in Seattle (home of Valve), this year The International 2018 will be held at the Rogers Arena in Vancouver, Canada from August 20–25, 2018. Dota 2 is the sequel to the MOBA that started it all. A MOBA (for those who don’t know) is a competitive action/strategy game, with two teams of players competing head to head to own the middle lane! You’ve heard of League of Legends, and Heroes of the Storm, just like DOTA are played by millions of professional and casual fans worldwide. Valve likes to make things big, and they’ve succeeded in beating out the other MOBA tournaments in terms of the biggest tournament payouts (that prize money doe). Ever since 2011 The International has been breaking records and this year doesn’t sound like it will be any different.
The hype is real.
Contestants have to undergo several qualifying tournaments throughout the year to be accepted into The International, so really it starts long before it gets here as you follow your favorite teams battling it out in qualifications. The pressure is on to win, since last years’ prize pool was an astonishing $24,787,916! Making this years’ winners instant millionaires. Be sure to plan a trip to this event and be there live, since missing even a second of the game could cause you to miss the play of the tournament. This tournament is everything a Dota 2 fan could hope for and more!
Like the Grand National, there is a rich heritage behind the Kentucky Derby. The Kentucky Derby is the longest-running sporting event in the nation, period, uninterrupted and held each year ever since its debut in 1875! That alone is worth traveling to this historic horse race. If you haven’t had a chance to go, it’s every bit as whimsical as it appears on TV – over 160,000 people generally visit this race every year (the record was ~170,000 set just a few years ago).
The Derby to end all Derby’s takes place this year on May 5th, 2018 in Louisville, KY. Be sure to plan ahead and beat the crowd or you’ll be in for many over booked hotels and busy roads leading into the event.
DreamHack is the world’s largest “digital festival” and features live concerts, digital art and esports competitions, attracting tens of thousands of participants. So it isn’t JUST a competition, it’s like a gaming equivalent to comiccon – or any other worthy con! So if esports isn’t your thing there is plenty to see, but if esports IS your thing.. then…
You’ll find every type of gamer here, ranging from casual and fun, to real hard core attracting professional players. They feature tourneys for games in all major genres like fps, racing, fighting, sports, and strategic games. Many of the tournaments are open for everybody to compete in and often starts in the BYOC (bring your own controller) area to then move on to a tournament area. The final for the main games is played in front of thousand of people on dedicated esport arenas, the main stage or in the LAN. This years dreamhack is taking place on June 16-19th, 2018 in Jönköping, Sweden. So grab your controller and get there!
Formula 1 – British Grand Prix
The mother of all car races. I remember loving the Formula 1 cars as a kid – the style, the power, the elegance… the speed! I have always wanted to take part in this historic automobile race that has shaped the history of the industry ever since it’s inception in 1950 at Silverstone in England. While Europe is the sport’s traditional base, the championship is truly global, with 11 of the 21 races in the 2018 season taking place outside Europe. So if you are planning a Eurotrip this year you may be in luck, if not you could still catch one of these races in a country you might be visiting so be sure to check the schedule to find out which one will work best for your auto outing!
FIFA Interactive World Cup (FIWC)
Highlights of the FIWC 2017
FIFA has been making games for years, and despite it’s well known brand name, it is a small player in the world of esports. To grow their player base in 2016 EA gave players a way to compete and qualify for offline regional tournaments. These tournaments are basically qualifying games for the FIFA Interactive World Cup (FIWC), FIFA’s own official World Championship. Again this creates hype many months before the actual FIWC event. last years’ FIWC took place in London with players competing using PS4 & Xbox One versions of the game. In the end eSports pro Spencer “Gorilla_Unilad” Ealing took home the gold and a cool $200,000. This year they are doing the FIFA eWorld Cup – The host city for the first ever FIFA eWorld Cup will be announced soon on FIFA.com so stay tuned there.
Hope you enjoyed this list of esports and sporting events to check out this year!
if you’ve been to any of these please let us know about your experience in the comments! Did we miss your fav esports/sports event? Leave it in the comments! Thanks for reading!