Minor, major, league — what's the difference?

Nov 04 2019 4 min read
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Minor, major, league — what's the difference? And can you activate your brand through them?

The rapid development of esports and the emergence of a huge number of fans around the world are arousing great interest in this field. It's not only online content but also offline events that bring together tens of thousands of people in stadiums. Talents sign contracts, designers create merchandise with team identities, companies invest in national teams and championships, and channels compete for the right to broadcast matches. But, as in traditional sports, the events themselves differ in format, scale, prestige and, of course, the amount of the prize pools. In this article, we will look at three main types of tournaments — minors, majors, and leagues.

Minor — what is it?

In a narrow sense, minors are tournaments that have lower prize pools (depending on the game) and lower team levels than major tournaments. Let's take an example. Dota 2, one of the most popular esports titles, has a DPC system (Dota Pro Circuit) with clearly defined requirements for minors and majors, which was introduced by the American company Valve that owns the rights to this game. Thus, according to DPC, the organizers of the minor must:

  • hold not only online matches but also a LAN event

  • organize open qualifiers in each of the six regions (North and South America, CIS, Europe, China, and South-East Asia), based on the results of which the participants of the tournament are determined

  • provide a prize pool of $300,000.

For its other game, CS:GO, Valve requires only $50,000 for the prize pool. Of course, one may ask why there is such a big difference in the prize pools between seemingly equal titles. The reason is simple: if for CS:GO minors are just the qualifiers for majors, then for Dota 2, they are also serious and independent events.

Also, minor tournaments are an opportunity for teams and individual gamers not only to gain invaluable experience but also to prove themselves in the eyes of esports organizations that are looking for new promising squads. 

Major and minor. What's the difference?

The main difference between major and minor is the higher level of teams, the scale of the event, and the prize pool — $1,000,000 for both Dota 2 and CS:GO. For clarity, the Dota 2 major can be compared to the UEFA Champions League. It's easy to see how outstanding the event is for the esports world

To participate in a tournament, teams must also pass open qualifiers or, if we talk about Dota 2, win the previous minor. Besides, the winners of the Dota 2 major get a chance to compete in The International — the most exciting event dedicated to this game, which can be compared with the World Cup. Unfortunately, there is no similar event for CS:GO yet. But maybe it's only a matter of time ;)

Esports league

The league is one of the most popular formats for esports competitions. It takes place with relative frequency, with a specific theme and includes open qualifiers and a series of tournaments that end with the LAN finals. 

For example, esports leagues include Dota Pro Circuit, an annual series of minor and major tournaments that Valve uses to determine which teams can take part in The International.

Another perfect example is The World Electronic Sports Games, a kind of the esports Olympics.

If you need an example from the world of CS:GO, then Forge of Masters — the league from WePlay! Esports — will be a vivid example! It started in May 2019 and consisted of open qualifiers, online tournaments, and an exciting LAN final which took place at an important historical location in Kyiv — in the “National Expo Center of Ukraine” at VDNG. The second season of Forge of Masters will take place in November 2019 and will be an even more unforgettable show in esportainment format!

Each event is a unique experience for the esports world. It fires the imagination and lingers in the memory of the audience. Also, on our site, you can learn more about esportainment format and esports tournaments by WePlay! Esports!


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