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Esports Tournaments and Events in South Korea 2021

Esports tournaments and events in South Korea have become quite popular within the past few years. In 2019, the esports industry even became a multi-billion dollar industry worldwide. With games like League of Legends (LoL), Overwatch, and Starcraft, gaming is at a whole new level. If you want to learn more about the industry in general, click here before scrolling down.

As for tournaments and events, since esports are so popular, the South Korean government created the Korea Esports Association (KeSPA) to handle anything esports-related. KeSPA even built the first-ever stadium for esports in Yongsan in 2005. Now, the building of esports stadiums around the world for tournaments and events is more common.

In addition, there was the creation of the Asian Electronic Sports Federation (AESF) alongside another international federation for esports gaming and events. AESF and the International Esports Federation (IESF) organize events and tournaments for esports each year. And since esports can all be done online, tournaments and events are still happening in 2021.

Esports Tournaments and Events

The international events can be seen on the IESF calendar. It consists of events that are broken into five sections: World Super League (WSL), Global R&D Programs, Regional Events, Global Esports Executive Summit (GEES21), and the EILAT 2021 13th Esports World Championship.

Here is the list of events to check out:

  • WSL
    • Game Titles Announcement: March 15, 2021
    • Global Finals Announcement: April 2021
    • National Games (Online/Offline): June 16 – September 15, 2021
    • Regionals Games (Online/Offline): October – December 2021
    • Global Finals: December 2021
  • R&D Programs
    • Esports Academic Archive Launch: May 2021
    • IESF Global Referee Academy Launch: June 2021
    • International Esports Referee Summit: August 29 – September 1, 2021
    • Training Program Launch: October 2021
  • Regional Events
    • Open Asian Esports Games (Season 1): May 2021
    • Open Asian Esports Games (Season 2): October 2021
  • GEES21
    • Official Announcement: June 15, 2021
    • Global Esports Executive Summit: August 29 – September 1, 2021
    • Bid Book for 2022 WC: February 2021
    • Game Titles Announcements: March 1-15, 2021
    • First Entry Registration: June 30, 2021
    • National Qualifiers Period: June – September 2021
    • Second Entry Registration: August 31, 2021
    • Global Regional Games: September – November 2021
    • Global Finals: November 2021

Some of the event dates may change, so stay up-to-date on the IESF social media outlets for changes and details.

The AESF website also mentions past events, but their news and media section is more up-to-date with esports news. To find out more, click here.

As for KeSPA events, the LoL KeSPA Cup 2020 just ended in January (Dec. 21, 2020 – Jan. 2, 2021). Check out this website for more details on past and future KeSPA Cups. KeSPA also joined the Korean Wave initiative with the CAST project to expand on Korean and esports culture. For more details about this project, also click here.

How to Watch or Participate in Esports Tournaments and Events

A person sitting in a gaming chair playing pc games, possibly at an esports tournament or event.

Photo by Florian Olivo on Unsplash.

If you enjoy esports and events, you can definitely get involved. Many attend tournaments and events through live streaming or in-person events (when there is not a pandemic). Some social platforms to stream from are Twitch, Mixer, or even YouTube Gaming. You can view many matches through these platforms on a regular basis. However, not all of the matches will be high-profile. There will definitely be more events to watch on these platforms, so stay up-to-date on these platforms to see more matches. For example, the LCK_Korea account on Twitch just recently finished an 11-day LCK Spring CL for LoL.

Another way to watch esports is by TV! In the United States, it may seem different for those who don’t know much about gaming (but it’s still doable). However, watching tournaments live on TV is quite common in Asia. And if you want to learn more about streaming esports, check out this article.

As for participating in esports as a player, it’s not so bad if you are just looking to play for fun. You should find a genre of games that you enjoy and that you can improve on. And from there it’s a matter of finding the right platform to play on while interacting with others. You can find a great community of players through these interactions. And you can play with them regularly and make an online presence for yourself.

If you are looking to play seriously, then you need to do those first steps but go further. In order to join a tournament, you should join a team. And in order to join a team, you need to have great skills, an online presence, and maybe even sponsors.

Rules and Regulations

Every organization or company has its own set of rules to follow. And it’s no different in the gaming world. However, to make it simple, I will only discuss the competition rules for IESF since it’s international.

There are many rules, regulations, and statutes to keep in mind. So, I will be doing a brief overview of a few basic pieces. For the full set of rules and regulations, click here.

For Participants:

  • All participants must have good behavior during competitions. This applies to participants, referees, officials, spectators, and others involved. Everyone must be respectful and have good sportsmanship.
  • Participants can’t be sponsored by anyone involved with adult themes, drugs, tobacco, alcohol, or gambling.
  • No forms of cheating are allowed. Anyone who is caught cheating will be disqualified and banned from participating in tournaments for at least six months.
  • Participants are not allowed to bet on match outcomes directly or indirectly. Anyone caught betting will be disqualified and reported to the local law.
  • Participants are not allowed to be under the influence of alcohol, drugs (prescription or otherwise), or doping substances while taking part in the tournament.
    • There is a set of statutes about doping and other situations here.

There are many more rules and factors that you should be aware of, but you can find them in the link above. The IESF also talks about penalties and scoring, different game matches, and the responsibilities of all parties involved.

Esports Industry

A person at a gaming keyboard.

Photo by Emmanuel on Unsplash.

As you can see, there is a lot to grasp from esports tournaments and events. There are many moving elements to think about when joining the sport. But it’s always good to start with streaming. You can acquaint yourself with events and games by streaming skilled teams and players. Along the way, you could even learn about the many rules in-depth and start playing with other great players. Whether you start playing for fun, or for tournaments, gaming can be for everyone.

If you enjoyed this article, don’t forget to check out the rest of the blog! For more information and updates about Korean culture or gaming, check out KWorld Now.


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