Biggest esports tournaments and winners of 2023

by Brian Bencomo

Last updated April 11

From League of Legends to VALORANT to Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) to Super Smash Bros. and everything in between, there have been many incredible esports tournaments this year and more to come. The list of events below is a snapshot of some of the biggest tournaments happening in esports in 2023. For amateur and semipro players competing in a game’s solo queue or at local tournaments like those hosted here at Nerd Street, these are the events players will aspire to compete in and watch in 2023.

To keep the list concise and to showcase tournaments where esports’ biggest stars and best organizations will shine brightest in 2023, the list includes just over 30 major international offline LAN tournaments across about a dozen esports. The list does not include online competitions, regional LAN events or offline league play like you might see in League of Legends’ regional leagues and CS:GO’s ESL Pro League.

This list will be updated throughout the year to note the winners and include new major events that are announced.

Genesis 9

Super Smash Bros. Melee and Ultimate

San Jose (California), United States

Jan. 20-22

WINNERS: Jake "Jmook" DiRado (Melee) and Leonardo "MkLeo" Lopez Perez (Ultimate)

Photo credit: Andrew Zhou

The ninth edition of Genesis saw Jmook win his first Smash Major and MkLeo win his third Genesis title in Ultimate and fifth overall including two he won competing in Smash 4 on Wii U.

For Jmook, the moment was incredibly significant. Last year, Genesis was his breakthrough tournament. He placed second at Genesis 8 and finished second at several other major tournaments later in the year and got signed by FlyQuest as he quickly rose up the ranks of the best Smash Melee players in the world. Yet, first place at a Major had eluded him until Genesis 9.

Read more: Top 10 best Smash Melee players of 2022

For MkLeo, another Genesis title was further confirmation that he is the best player in the world in Smash Ultimate. Despite not receiving a top seed entering Genesis and falling to the lower bracket, MkLeo ultimately triumphed over Antony "MuteAce" Hoo, the 39th ranked player in the world who had himself a breakout tournament at Genesis.

IEM Katowice


Katowice, Poland

Jan. 31 - Feb. 12

WINNER: G2 Esports

Photo credit: Helena Kristiansson / ESL

Winning IEM Katowice was a coronation for G2 Esports, who established themselves as the best CS:GO team in the world. After winning the Blast World Final in December, the organization rode a 21-map winning streak into the final, where the streak was broken by Heroic. However, G2 ultimately won the final 3-1 to lift the IEM Katowice trophy for the first time. The victory was extra sweet because the organization lost the Katowice final last year and longtime G2 player Nikola "NiKo" Kovač finally won the tournament after losing three previous Katowice finals.

CDL Major 2 - Boston

Call of Duty

Boston (Massachusetts), United States

Feb. 2-5

WINNER: Atlanta FaZe

Photo credit: Atlanta FaZe

After constantly finishing second at Majors and CDL Champs last year, the 2021 Call of Duty League champions finally broke their second-place curse and won the Boston Major. It was yet another tournament title for the tiny terrors Chris “Simp” and Tyler “AbeZy” Pharris and longtime teammate McArthur “Cellium” Jovel, who have made FaZe the most successful Call of Duty team since the inception of the Call of Duty League in 2020. COD veteran Austin “SlasheR” Liddicoat, who joined FaZe in the offseason, also added another title to his successful career.

ALGS Split 1 Playoffs

Apex Legends

London, England

Feb. 2-5


Photo credit: Joe Brady / EA

The most successful organization in Apex Legends esports got its first international tournament win since 2019. In 2019, the duo of Phillip "ImperialHal" Dosen and Jordan "Reps" Wolfe won the EXP Invitational at the X Games and the Apex Legends Preseason Invitational to establish themselves and TSM as the ones to beat in Apex. Over the past year-and-a-half in the ALGS, ImperialHal, Reps and Evan "Verhulst" Verhulst have re-established TSM as the best team in North America, but were missing an international title until now.

Six Invitational

Rainbow Six Siege

Montreal, Canada

Feb. 7-19

WINNER: G2 Esports

Photo credit: Ubisoft

This has been the most unlikely major tournament win so far this year. Although European teams dominated the Rainbow Six esports scene throughout 2022, it was Team BDS, KOI or Wolves who were all considered favorites over fellow EU team G2, who was ranked 10th in the global standings heading into the Six Invitational. Not only that, but G2 got knocked into the playoffs lower bracket after one round by Wolves. G2 then proceeded to go on an epic lower-bracket run, winning six consecutive best-of-three elimination matches to reach the grand final, where they beat Brazil’s w7m esports 3-1. The win gave the organization its second major title of the year and has made G2 an early front-runner for esports org of the year.

HCS Kickoff Major Charlotte

Halo Infinite

Charlotte (North Carolina), United States

Feb. 24-26

WINNER: OpTic Gaming

Photo credit: 343 Industries

OpTic Gaming continued to prove that they’re the best Halo team in the world, and it’s not really close right now. OpTic won the Orlando Major in September, won the Halo World Championship in October and have now won the first international event of the 2023 season. Matthew "FormaL" Piper continues to add to his legacy as one of the best two-game esports pros with titles in Call of Duty and Halo.

Read more: Why OpTic Gaming was the best esports organization in 2022

Capcom Cup IX

Street Fighter V

Los Angeles (California), United States

Feb. 14-19

WINNER: Saul Leonardo "MenaRD" Mena II

Photo credit: Robert Paul / Capcom

After a disappointing performance at Evo last year, MenarRD is back on top in a big way. He’s the first player to win two Capcom Cup titles. MenaRD previously won the Capcom Pro Tour’s season-ending championship tournament in 2017. He beat up-and-coming player Zhen "Rou" Kuang in both the winners final and grand final. With Street Fighter 6 set to release this summer, this was one of the last major tournaments featuring Street Fighter V.



São Paulo, Brazil

Feb. 13 - March 4

WINNER: Fnatic

Photo credit: Riot Games

This was the biggest VALORANT tournament to date and the first of the new VCT partnership era including all 30 partnered teams plus two from China. Fnatic beat LOUD in a thrilling five-map final to finally get their first international title after finishing second at the first-ever global VALORANT tournament in 2021. LOUD were denied a chance to become the first team to win multiple international VALORANT titles, to win back-to-back tournaments, and to win in front of a home crowd in Brazil.

Lima Major

Dota 2

Lima, Peru

Feb. 22 - March 5

WINNER: Gaimin Gladiators

Photo credit: Adela Sznajder / ESL

European teams stood out at the first Dota Major of the year as Gaimin Gladiators beat Team Liquid twice, in the upper bracket final and the grand final to win the Lima Major. Gaimin Gladiators finished second to Team Liquid in Tour 1 of the Western European Dota Pro Circuit, but had a perfect run in the Lima Major playoffs as they didn’t drop any maps. Evil Geniuses’ Peruvian roster finished in the top six at the first-ever Dota Major held in South America.

CDL Major 3 -- Dallas

Call of Duty

Dallas (Texas), United States

March 9-12

WINNER: Toronto Ultra

Photo credit: Toronto Ultra

OpTic Texas went on quite a run in front of their fans, but the Toronto Ultra ultimately triumphed 4-2 in the grand final. Although Call of Duty is typically dominated by North American teams and players, this win was a triumph for European talent as three of the four players on the Ultra roster hail from across the pond. The lone American on the squad, Thomas "Scrappy" Ernst, is a talented rookie who won his first Major and was named MVP of the tournament. Fellow rookie and teammate Charlie "Hicksy" Hicks, who was moved to the starting roster ahead of Major 3 qualifiers, became the first player since the legendary Seth “Scump” Abner to win the first Major he competed in. Across the stage, OpTic featured a rookie on their roster too, Daniel “Ghosty” Rothe, who coincidentally joined OpTic shortly after Scump retired earlier this season.

Smash Ultimate Summit 6

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate

Los Angeles (California), United States

March 23-26

WINNER: Mashita "acola" Hayato

Photo credit: Beyond The Summit

Acola, the No. 2 Ultimate player in the world, won the final Smash Ultimate Summit. The 16-year-old Japanese player has had a meteoric rise since bursting onto the scene last year after winning in his North American debut at Gimvitational, and finishing fourth at Ultimate Summit 4 and second at the Ludwig Smash Invitational. Beyond The Summit’s tournaments have become beloved by fans for their unique approach to high-level tournaments as they use intimate and casual settings to showcase the personalities of some of the brightest stars in esports. Earlier this year, BTS announced they will be shutting down and that Smash Ultimate Summit 6 would be the last Smash Summit organized by BTS.

Read more: Why Beyond The Summit's closing is painful for the Super Smash Bros. community

Evo: Japan 2023

Street Fighter V, Tekken 7 and other fighting games

Tokyo, Japan

March 31 - April 2

WINNERS: Multiple

Photo credit: Red Bull

Evo Japan crowned champions in Street Fighter V, Tekken 7, Guilty Gear Strive, The King of Fighters XV, Melty Blood: Type Lumina, Granblue Fantasy: Versus and Virtua Fighter 5. Street Fighter, Tekken and Guilty Gear featured the most entrants as each had over 1,000 competitors. Li-Wei "Oil King" Lin (Street Fighter), Arslan "Arslan Ash" Siddique (Tekken) and Masaya "GOBOU" Shiratori (Guilty Gear) were the champions in these games. For Oil King, it was redemption after a poor showing at the Capcom Cup. Arslan Ash showed that he’s still one of the best Tekken players in the world. He last won Evo Japan in 2019. This was GOBOU’s first big tournament win since REV Major 2022.

RLCS Winter Major

Rocket League

San Diego (California), United States

April 6-9

WINNER: Karmine Corp

Photo credit: Psyonix

Across the fall and winter RLCS splits, Karmine Corp had established themselves as the best Rocket League team in Europe. At the Winter Major, KCorp proved to be the best in the world with a dominant performance. The team only lost one map in group play and won playoff series over top contenders G2 Esports, Team Liquid and FaZe Clan to claim the winter title. It was the first international RLCS tournament win for the Blue Wall and arguably the biggest for the organization that was founded by French content creator Kamel "Kameto" Kebir in 2020. Axel "vatira" Touret was MVP of the tournament and picked up his second international RLCS victory after winning the 2022 Spring Major with Moist Esports.

CDL Major 4 - Columbus

Call of Duty

Columbus (Ohio), United States

April 13-16

A different team (New York Subliners, Atlanta FaZe and Toronto Ultra) has won each of the Majors so far in the Call of Duty League season, so there’s no team that’s the clear favorite to win this Major. OpTic Texas have looked very good during Major 4 qualifiers, but success during qualifiers hasn’t necessarily led to success at Majors so far this season.

Blast Copenhagen Major

Rainbow Six Siege

Copenhagen, Denmark

April 24 - May 7

This will be the first Major of the 2023-24 season in Rainbow Six. With European teams dominating the 2022-23 season and this event happening in Denmark, European teams G2, and MNM Gaming are among the favorites to win this Major. M80, DarkZero and Spacestation Gaming are all strong North American teams that should be vying for the title too. Perennial Brazilian contenders FaZe Clan and Team Liquid also should be in the mix as well as Six Invitational runner-up w7m esports.

League of Legends Mid-Season Invitational

League of Legends

London, England

May 2-21

Photo credit: Riot Games

Riot Games’ midseason international League of Legends tournament will be returning to Europe for the first time since 2018 and London for the first time ever. This year’s tournament will look a little different from previous years with more teams and a double-elimination play-in and bracket stage. There will be 13 teams that qualify for this tournament, including the spring champs from all nine LoL esports regions and a second team from North America, Europe, China and Korea.

Read more: League of Legends MSI and Worlds 2023: What's new?

T1 and their legendary player Lee “Faker” Sang-hyeok have qualified for MSI and will be contenders, and so will fellow Korean team Gen.G who beat T1 in the LCK finals this spring. T1 finished second at both MSI and Worlds last year, while Gen.G were semifinalists at Worlds. Chinese teams JD Gaming and Bilibili Gaming also are contenders and so is perennial European powerhouse G2 Esports. Cloud9 will be representing North America on the international stage again and so will Golden Guardians, who will be making their international debut.

Blast Paris Major


Paris, France

May 8-21

With the news that Counter-Strike 2 is releasing this summer and preparations underway for the first-ever CS2 Major next year, the Paris Major will be the only Counter-Strike Major this year and the last for CS:GO. Usually there are two Majors per year, so this will give extra importance and prestige to this one.

Read more: What’s new for Counter-Strike 2?

Qualifiers are underway with some surprising results so far. Reigning Major champs Outsiders have failed to qualify, and last year’s other Major champs FaZe Clan also stumbled during qualifiers but still have a chance to make it. Natus Vincere cruised through qualifiers and will be one of the favorites. G2 Esports and Heroic also should be favorites if they qualify. France’s Team Vitality will have the crowd behind them and should be a contender.

CDL Major 5 - Toronto

Call of Duty

Toronto, Canada

May 25-28

The Toronto Ultra previously hosted a Call of Duty League Major in June 2022. Canada’s only CDL team has a vibrant fan base, and the team has been one of the stronger ones in the league over the past couple years.

Overwatch League Midseason Madness

Overwatch 2

Location TBD

June TBD

Activision Blizzard has announced the Midseason Madness tournament will happen sometime in June and will bring together teams from the East and West divisions of the league for an international LAN tournament. It will be the only time prior to the playoffs that teams from Asia and North America will compete against each other in an offline setting. The Florida Mayhem won the Overwatch League 2023 Pro-Am tournament in April and could emerge as the leading contender from the West division. The Dallas Fuel are the 2022 champs and have moved to Korea, which likely makes them the top team in the East division.

Blast Spring Final


Washington (D.C.), United States

June 7-11

Photo credit: Blast Premier

The United States will get a double dose of top tier CS:GO this year, with the Blast Spring Finals taking place just a few days after IEM Dallas, a slightly less significant competition than the culmination of Blast’s Spring CS:GO circuit. No American teams will get to showcase themselves in the US capital, but there will be one Brazilian squad (Imperial) representing the Americas and a couple of North American-based organizations (Cloud9 and FaZe Clan) albeit with European rosters. FaZe, G2, Heroic, Cloud9 and Astralis are currently scheduled to compete in both Dallas and D.C.

ALGS Split 2 Playoffs

Apex Legends

London, England

June 8-11

London is getting a lot of love this year when it comes to major esports events. Like the ALGS Split 2 Playoffs, the Split 2 Playoffs will be held in London too. This tournament will come on the heels of League of Legends MSI also being held in the British capital. The qualifiers for this tournament will be the top teams during Split 2 of the ALGS season.

VCT Masters: Tokyo


Tokyo, Japan

June 11-25

The VALORANT Champions Tour’s one and only Masters tournament this year is heading to Tokyo. It’ll be the first time Japan will host an international VCT event. The tournament will follow the conclusion of the 2023 seasons in the VCT America, EMEA and Pacific regions. The top three teams from each league will qualify plus an additional team from EMEA due to Fnatic winning the LOCK//IN tournament. Fnatic, LOUD, NAVI, NRG and DRX are early favorites to qualify for this tournament and contend for the title.

HCS Arlington Major

Halo Infinite

Arlington (Texas), United States

June 30 - July 2

Until another team beats them at a Major tournament or the team undergoes a roster change, OpTic Gaming will be the favorites. FaZe Clan, who signed the roster that previously played for Sentinels, finished second to OpTic at the Charlotte Major and are the leading contenders to take down The Green Wall.

RLCS Spring Major

Rocket League

Boston (Massachusetts), United States

July 6-9

After holding the Winter Major on the West Coast of the United States, Psyonix announced it will be holding the Spring Major on the East Coast. As the winter champions, Karmine Corp will be the heavy favorites if they qualify. However, no team has won back-to-back international events last season or this season, so there should be plenty of contenders among top European and North American qualifiers.

IEM Cologne


Cologne, Germany

July 25 - Aug. 6

Next to the Majors and IEM Katowice, IEM Cologne is one of the most prestigious CS:GO tournaments of the year. It’s affectionately known as the “Cathedral of CS:GO.” The IEM Katowice and Paris Major winners automatically qualify for this tournament, and the top teams in the ESL World Rankings also will get invites to this 24-team, $1 million tournament.

Evolution Championship Series (Evo)

Street Fighter 6, Tekken 7 and other fighting games

Las Vegas (Nevada), United States

Aug. 4-6

Photo credit: Li Xiu Hoang / Red Bull content pool

The Evolution Championship Series, colloquially known as Evo, is the biggest annual fighting games tournament of the year. More than just a tournament, it’s a weekend-long celebration of the FGC, with showmatches and other friendly competitions and events taking place alongside the main competition. Last year’s winners in the most popular games were UMISHO (Guilty Gear Strive), Kawano (Street Fighter V) and Jae-Min "Knee" Bae (Tekken 7). This year’s Evo Street Fighter tournament will feature Street Fighter 6, which releases in June.

RLCS World Championship

Rocket League

Dusseldorf, Germany

Aug. 4-13

With the Winter and Spring Majors being held in North America, the 2023 RLCS World Championship will be in Europe. Karmine Corp are the first team to qualify this year and are the heavyweight favorites from Europe. The defending world champs are Europe’s Team BDS.

HCS Fort Worth Major

Halo Infinite

Fort Worth (Texas), United States

Sept. 1-3

After seeing the results of the Arlington Major, we’ll get a better sense of who the contenders in the HCS are this year. OpTic figures to be the favorite, with FaZe Clan and Spacestation Gaming also contending.

Halo World Championship

Halo Infinite

Seattle (Washington), United States

Oct. 12-15

OpTic Gaming are the defending champions, and after winning the first Major of the year are favored to go back-to-back.

League of Legends World Championship

League of Legends

South Korea

Likely October-November TBD

Photo credit: Riot Games

The League of Legends World Championship, also just known as Worlds, is one of the largest and most popular annual esports tournaments in the world. Last year’s Worlds final filled the Chase Center in San Francisco and set a new League of Legends peak viewership record on Twitch. Riot Games announced a revamped format for this year’s 22-team tournament, with a double-elimination play-in stage and a Swiss style format for the main stage of the tournament rather than the traditional group stage.

Blast USA Major

Rainbow Six Siege

United States TBD

November TBD

We’ll get a better sense of who the favorites and contenders are after the results of the Copenhagen Major in May.

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