Anyone who knows football (soccer) also knows the Bundesliga. There are first, second, and third leagues, regional leagues, and this translates to almost any other sport in Germany.
In the eSport world it's not that simple, and that is largely because there is no “One Sport” in eSports, but rather every eSport title stands for itself. Every game has its own leagues and tournaments.
WHO ORGANIZES ESPORT LEAGUES?
The right to organize leagues and tournaments belongs to the publisher of a game- the company that owns it. There are also development and third party companies that get licenses to be able to organize leagues or tournaments. Because titles always belong to a large company, unlike sports, there cannot be a uniform league regulation.
For instance the publisher and developer Valve organizes “The International,” the largest Dota 2 tournament in the world. Players can qualify for the tournament in the so called Majors and Minors, where they gain league points.
At the same time there are a bunch of other tournaments that don't fall into the same league system where newbies can test the waters. These are usually organized by individual leagues.
In Germany providers for these include the Deutsche eSport Bundesliga (DeSBL) and the Electronic Sports League (ESL). These leagues organize the tournaments, game plans, and point systems. As a newcomer you are given opportunities to work your way up or get to know other players. The ESL even offers the opportunity to play up the leagues and win prize money.
SO WHAT LEAGUES EXIST?
- The International (Dota 2) is the most well known eSport-Event in the world with over 15 Million Dollars of prize money for the winning team.
- The League of Legends Championship Series (LCS) have the highest viewership in esport. Players from all over the world can qualify in the regional league format.
- The Overwatch League is still young and is run by the developer, Blizzard. It is run similarly to the NFL playoffs, teams compete in weekly matches to fight for the title.
- The ELEAGUE revolves around Counter Strike: Global Offensive. There are two seasons where teams fight in group games for a place in the play-offs and try to move to the Finale.
- ESL Pro League are professional competitions of the most popular titles. These include games like Overwatch, CS:GO, and Rocket League.
SO MANY LEAGUES, AND SO MANY OPTIONS
Anyone who wants to prove their skills has every opportunity. A diverse league system creates space for newcomers where preparedness and game play skill are rewarded. Inexperienced players can play tournaments on sites like ESL Play or DeSBL to get their footing in their first professional games.