Written by Colter Hawks 03 January 2019 The new year is here and 2019 is our year at Midwest eSports. We have more events than ever lined up. Which means more prizes and more chances to win. We are even giving away a dream PC valued at $1500. New Games are releasing or have been released which means more tournament options for you gamers out there. Our latest addition is offering tournaments for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. Midwest eSports has events throughout the year, but let’s also look at some of the key events in the esports industry as a whole coming up in 2019. Midwest eSports is starting the year hosting our annual Wichita eSports Convention for its 5th consecutive year. The event will be held at the Experiential Engineering Building at Wichita State University from February 1st-3rd. The Convention will hold tournaments for many games including a $20,000 prize pool for League of Legends. You can buy tickets online or at the door. Season 2 for the Overwatch League kicks off February 14th. Blizzard Entertainment has gone to great lengths to building up their game to become a top esport. This new season will include more teams and more arenas built for the game itself, making esports feel much more like traditional sports. The International will return for Dota 2 in the summer and you can bet that the prize pool will surpass last year’s total of $25.5 million. The International is the biggest tournament for the game featuring the best teams from each region. League of Legends will have their world tournament at the end of the year featuring the top teams from each region and will likely break records again for streaming viewership. Epic Games will continue to push Fortnite to the top of eSports, supporting tournaments with big prize pools. Epic Games said last year they were investing $100 million in prize pools through 2018-2019. The company banked a $3 billion profit in 2018, mostly due to the success of Fortnite. At the end of the year, Halo Infinite comes out in November. 343 Industries new shooter is hyped up to be the next big esport. For the first time since the first game back when it was still under Bungie, Halo returns to PC. This offers up a new range of possible tournaments and from a personal perspective, I couldn’t be more hyped. Far before that though, next week (January 11-13) , UGC St. Louis will be hosting the Halo Classic. A Halo 3 tournament featuring 128 teams, battling it out in a $30,00 prize pool. How much growth can the industry expect? Based on Newzoo’s report, we can expect an increase in revenue between 28%-35%. While Looking at about a 15% increase in audience viewership. It’s likely with the major games that have a huge staple in esports we will see less new teams as these leagues cost a lot of money to buy into, but who knows what the future brings. At the end of 2018 More and more athletes, former athletes (Like Michael Jordan) and big businesses were investing into teams or creating their own, and we will likely see that again. Through the ups and downs I think it’s safe to say esports is here to stay, and with the help of investors, tournament organizations and of course the players and viewers, esports can become the biggest entertainment industry in the world. 2019 is the year the whole world starts to realize that.