If you believe the E-Sports International Federation, the largest esports tournament in history is coming to Las Vegas this December.
The E-Sports International Federation announced last week an event with a $100,000,000 prize pool (no, there are not three extra zeros) called the “E-Sports World Games.” There will apparently be tournaments in 24 games — including League of Legends, Counter-Strike, Overwatch, Dota 2 and Hearthstone — with six split between men and women for a total of 30 tournaments. It will allegedly feature 2,832 players from 300 countries over 24 weeks of play and culminate with a “World Finals” from Dec. 1-10 at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas.
All of this sounds like bullshit. Let’s take a deeper look.
First, let’s start with the prize pool.
More than 20,000,000 potential competitors for the first season! (2,832 players x 24 weeks x 300 countries / areas)
A global prize pool of more than $ 100,000,000 *
$ 1,000,000 * for the World Champion of each game,
$ 5,000 for the National Champion of each country + travel and accommodation for the World Finals
$ 500 per week, per country and per game, for the weekly tournament champion,
And with just 64 players / 32 teams expected per week, per country and per game!
More than 70% of the amount paid for the tournament registration is CONSIGNED and paid to the winners.
* If 100% of the slots / games / country / week are filled
The largest esports prize pool in history was last year’s International for Dota 2, with just over $20 million. It’s significantly aided by crowd funding that takes almost a year’s worth of sales on in-game cosmetic items to generate. This event claims its prize pool will be five times as much as that, but there’s a caveat. “If 100 percent of the slots/games/country/weeks are filled.” So the ESIF offered a prize pool without knowing how many people were even participating in its event. Seems smart…
Slingshot has also learned that for at least one of the games, League of Legends, the ESIF has not partnered with publisher Riot Games to run the tournament. That’s not to say Riot can’t or won’t partner, but as of right now, the ESIF is advertising a tournament in a game it doesn’t have permission to run.
That takes us to sponsorship and registration. An event this large will need some big-time sponsors lined up to back the record-breaking prize pool, yet when you head to their designated sponsor page, it’s empty. Beyond that, this tournament is supposed to begin in 22 days and the registration hasn’t even begun yet!
24 weeks of competition / 30 official tournaments per week on 24 games / more than 120 countries. From May 27th to November 10th 2017: registration from May 15th on www.eswg.vegas
Apparently, 12 days is all the necessary time to schedule 24 weeks of competition in 24 games from over 120 countries — or is it 300 countries? They mention both. This is such amazing efficiency, I can’t understand how it hasn’t spread to the rest of esports.
So, to keep track: Players and teams in hundreds of countries will compete for an alleged $100 million prize pool that is dependent on registration that hasn’t begun yet. For a tournament that starts in 22 days.
One passage of the website was particularly dumbfounding as it regarded drug testing, which on its surface isn’t an outrageous idea. It’s been part of ESL events since 2015, after all.
But, well, let’s just let the ESIF website tell the story…
It should be noted that anti-doping tests will be carried out by the USADA on the 92 World Champions.
That’s right, the The United States Anti-Doping Agency. The same USADA that caught and banned Lance Armstrong for life from competitive cycling that is also the official anti-doping association of the UFC. Thanks Semphis. Also, how did they come up with 92 champions? Does that also mean that only the winners will be drug tested? What’s the purpose of that?
Anyway, let’s move on. Who wants to go to Switzerland in December?
The awards ceremony will take place on DECEMBER 16th, 2017 AT THE OLYMPIC MUSEUM OF LAUSANNE.
A week after the event, if it even takes place, players will have to travel all the way to Switzerland for an awards ceremony.
The ESIF website also has a “participating countries” section, with a long list of countries — and also states — that are apparently participating in this event.
Did they really ask all these states in India and China to participate? Again, I’m skeptical.
The more time spent looking at this organization, more oddities come up. The event’s Twitter account has more than 13,000 followers (it had 11,000 as of Thursday afternoon) but has a total of four tweets and six re-tweets.
The organization also has 201,000 followers on Facebook with only two posts, on a page created in 2010. A business entity search revealed the ESIF was incorporated in March 2016, even though the website says the organization was founded in 2010. Something doesn’t add up.
Maybe I’m being a little too skeptical, or maybe there have been one too many events like Gamer’s Paradise or the World Series of Video Games for me to give new events with preposterous pie-in-the-sky promises the benefit of the doubt. But hey, I’m sure the organizers of the Fyre Festival think this is totally legit.
Look, I don’t know what the intentions of the ESIF are with its “E-Sports World Games” because representatives for the ESIF did not respond to my requests for an interview. All I’m saying is that if I was going to try to scam people out of money in the name of an esports event, my website might look like this one.