Like me, a lot of you esports fans not only follow our favorite players and teams on the big major tournaments but also follow them during qualification stages. Aside from that, some of us also have dreams of being picked up by an esports team or organization and make our dreams of playing games professionally a reality. Some would even try to form a team with a couple of their friends and brave new waters and join in events for the hope of qualifying into one of these major tournaments.
Now the topic I will be talking about actually encompasses all of these variables that I mentioned. Like I said earlier, most established esports squads all undergo these qualification processes in one way or another. These could be in the form of joining a league for the whole year and earning points to get invited to the big year-end event or enter smaller tournaments up until they can secure an invite to these coveted LAN events.
For the smaller esports organizations and the newly formed squads, you will not be able to join the high tier leagues that the big dogs go to. However, you can still emulate the second option that some of them go thru, by qualifying through smaller tournaments. So for our topic today, I will be listing the various ways that a squad has to secure an invite for a prestigious LAN event.
Counter Strike Global Offensive
Being able to play in LAN events used to be easier back when Major League Gaming or MLG was still active for Counter Strike. Almost all of the North American squads right now, cut their teeth back in the day by joining the prestigious LAN event. Back then, all you need to do is just show up and register at the MLG event that is being held in your area, and you are eligible to play in a prestigious CS:GO LAN event.
Nowadays though, it is not that easy. For newer teams, you would need to go through stringent qualification processes by playing in a lot of Tier 3 and Tier 4 tourneys. These newer squads can now head over to either ESEA or FaceIT and join their various leagues that they offer in there. ESEA’s Mt. Dew League is a very good example of this Tier 3 league to join if you want to make a name for yourselves in the Counter Strike scene. From there, you can make your way up to the Tier 2 and start qualifying for Minor events.
If ever you win a Minor, then that will be your ticket to the big stages as winning a Minor guarantees an invite to a big Major if one is tied to it. Once you are able to qualify for a Major and do well on it, then a lot of doors will open for you. You might be a constant fixture in the Minors, and might also get invited to some big leagues like the Blast Pro Series.
Up next is probably the most coveted tournament that people of all walks of life wanted to be a part of. The International has been breaking records in prize pools since it was first incepted way back in 2011. As of right now, Dota 2’s The International is currently the biggest eSports event with the prize pool of $30+ million (in the year 2019). So it is very understandable to if you want to be a part of it, but getting into is very hard. To secure an invite to the TI, your squad should be a part of the Dota Pro Circuit. And currently, only the big established squads are the part of that.
Now if you are a smaller squad, do not be sad. There is still a chance for you to be able to qualify for the most prestigious Dota 2 LAN. The only option would be the Regional Qualifiers. Every year, TI will always have wild card slots that are open for all the 6 major regions of the world. There will be one for North America, South America, Europe, CIS, China, and South East Asia.
This would be the best chance for squads that are not part of the DPC to be able to compete in the TI. Also just remember, this qualification process by region is not only locked to The Internationals. This also applies to any other Major and Minor that Dota 2 has in all of their LANs. This is because almost all of the big Dota 2 events always offer wildcard slots for the regional competitors.
Now Hearthstone has one of the best and the fairest road to qualify for their prestigious Hearthstone Championship Tours. If you are a fan of competitive digital trading card games and esports in general, then Hearthstone is your best bet of reaching the global stage if you want to hop on the biggest LAN events.
The first step in securing a spot on their LAN events is basically just reaching a high Legend rank in-game. If you are a Hearthstone player, you always have a chance to be able to secure a direct invite, as long as you hit the minimum required points. Usually, these will be in a 3 month period. This is called a season. If you qualify for the particular season, then you will get invited to the online qualifiers for either Spring, Summer, Winter or Fall.
Once you are on the online qualifiers, all you need to do to get invited for the seasonal LAN is to hit Top 16. Once you have achieved that top 16 rankings in the seasonal LAN, you have a chance to get invited to the big HCT event at the end of the year if you place on the top 4 of the seasonal HCT you were in.
Now, this is only the case for the Hearthstone Championship Tour. They also have other LAN tourneys like Hearthstone Masters. To get qualified for those kinds of tournaments is much easier since you do not need to hit a points requirement. All you need to do is to become successful at the qualifier tourneys that they usually announce at the Blizzard website. If however, you bummed out on the qualifier tourneys, Battlefy also offers Last Chance Trials for you to be able to get another shot at joining their prestigious events.
Out of all of the eSports events out there, Starcraft 2 is by far the hardest game to get qualified in. This is due to the road to qualifiers being populated by famous players, so for aspiring gamers such as me and you, there is a very big possibility to get smacked and eliminated during the group stages if you go against players like EnDerr, Scarlett, Life or Zest.
This is because Starcraft the WCG year-end event for Starcraft 2 requires massive points for the invite that the professional players will often still join the qualifiers just to be able to secure the points for a direct invite for the yearly event. The professional structure of Starcraft 2 is somewhat similar to those of poker players, who need to accumulate points for the year to be able to qualify for the largest LAN tournament, which is the WCG event at the end of the year.
Magic The Gathering: Arena and Magic The Gathering: Online
Qualifications for MTG Arena is somewhat similar to that of Hearthstone, where you need to be able to reach a specific rank. In Hearthstone, you needed to reach Legend, while in MTG Arena, you need to be able to hit the Mythic rank. Every month, there will be a season reset, and they will take the top 1000 players for the big qualifier after 3 monthly seasons. Those 3 monthly seasons are called Mythic Championship Qualifiers, and only the top 16 from Magic the Gathering Arena get the invite to the Mythic Championships.
However, if you are not successful in Magic the Gathering Arena, you can also try to qualify for the same Mythic Championship by playing a different format in MTG Online. MTG Online usually have the Modern formats, while MTG Arena offers Standard formats.
As we can see, everyone has a chance to qualify for the biggest esports events, no matter what title you play. We all have a chance to become rich and famous without leaving a gaming chair. But you need to understand, that only the best payers can become professionals, so a lot of time should be invested in practicing. Good luck!