As we near the start of summer, the sporting calendar is beginning to fill up with some pretty exciting events. From the Cricket and Rugby World Cups to the Champions League Final, not to mention some major esports tournaments, there’s plenty for sports fans of all genres to look forward to between now and the end of the year.
So, let’s look at some of the biggest events you should have marked on your calendar.
Cricket World Cup: 30 May – 15 July (England)
Cricket’s showpiece event gets underway in England later this month, with 10 of the world’s best teams competing over six weeks to be crowned world champions. While Canada won’t be appearing in the tournament, failing to reach the finals after a disappointing qualification campaign, hosts England will begin the World Cup as the betting favourites ahead of five-time winners Australia and cricketing powerhouse India.
Golf – The Open: 18 – 21 July (Royal Portrush)
Golf’s oldest major will attract additional interest this year as the sporting world waits to see whether Tiger Woods can continue to roll back the year as he did at Augusta and win a fourth Open title – his first since 2006. Defending champion Francesco Molinari pushed Woods all the way in this year’s Masters, and don’t be surprised if the duo find themselves competing at the top of the leaderboard come the final round at Royal Portrush this summer.
Dota II – The International: 16 – 25 August (Shanghai)
Esports can now count itself as one of the most popular sporting genres in the world, attracting huge audiences and making superstars of people playing games such as CS:GO, Dota II or even Overwatch. One of esports biggest tournaments is The International. First held in Cologne, Germany, during the trade show Gamescom, the tournament shortly followed the unveiling of Dota II to worldwide audiences. From an initial prize fund of $1.6 million in 2011, last year’s event boasted a prize of $25.5 million – highlighting just how big esports is.
Rugby World Cup: 20 Sep – 2 Nov (Japan)
The Rugby World Cup kicks off later this year in Japan. The tournament always attracts interest from around the world, with the likes of Canada and Georgia coming up against rugby giants such as New Zealand and South Africa. While the All Blacks will go into the competition as the overwhelming favourites, the likes of England, Wales, Australia and South Africa will all feel they have enough talent to compete with the defending champions and, let’s not forget, the plucky Canadians.
League of Legends – World Championship: TBD October (Paris)
The League of Legends World Championship brings each season to its epic conclusion, with teams from across the globe competing in the tournament hosted by Riot Games for the Summoner’s Cup, not to mention the $1 million championship prize. The competition, which is held over a month, attracts incredible viewing figures online, with more than 60 million viewing the live stream of last year’s event.
So, as you can see, there is something for everyone coming up this year. Stay tuned.