The ESports Industry’s Best Games
The profile of video games has been transformed from “mindless hobby” into sports where players can make millions of dollars. As the industry grows, so do profits, and more profits mean more eSport-eligible games. Here, we’ll reveal the best and most popular eSport games the industry has to offer.
The list below doesn’t simply highlight the biggest payouts in eSport championships, but rather looks at a mix of important factors: how unique and popular a game is, how high its quality is, and much more.
Dota 2 is one of the hottest games in the industry. It was released seven years ago and has been free to play ever since. With millions of active players, it’s definitely one of the most popular video games ever. The game type is what’s called a MOBA: a multiplayer online battle arena. This type of game typically has objective- and strategy-based play and involves small teams. Dota 2 tournaments are held regularly, some of them with prize money in the millions of dollars.
Call of Duty
The Call of Duty franchise is one of the best-known in the world. The first-person-shooter known for its action and brutality has been a fan favorite for over a decade. Call of Duty games is played competitively in hundreds of local events around the world. Global Championships are typically held in North America, the U.K., South America, and Australia. With millions of players and new games being released constantly, Call of Duty is a titan in the eSports industry.
Fortnite is one of the biggest games in eSports, not just because of how popular it is, but because of how much money its creator, Epic Games, has paid out in prizes. For this reason, players and teams from all over the world have been flocking to Fortnite. It started out as a survival game, where players built and collected resources, and has since turned toward its massively popular battle-royale version.
League of Legends
League of Legends is arguably the most popular game in the world. Viewership numbers for its world championships have recently exceeded those for the Super Bowl. League of Legends is another MOBA, in which two or more teams compete to complete objectives. Its popularity only seems to be increasing.
PUBG, otherwise known as PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, is a battle-royale type of game. PUBG is known for large battles where a hundred players fight it out until one player is left standing. With this format, PUBG inspired the rise of the battle-royale era. Other games, most notably the Call of Duty series, have jumped on board and added battle-royale modes.
Overwatch is one of the most popular FPS (first-person shooter) games in the world. It’s available to play on gaming consoles as well as on PC and has its own eSports league. The game was created by Blizzard Entertainment and released in 2016, and it’s now increasing in popularity daily. With large investments by traditional-sports superstars like Shaquille O’Neal, Overwatch seems to have an attraction that other games don’t.
CS:GO, otherwise known as Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, is a first-person-shooter game created by Valve. It was released in the early months of 2012 and has grown into a giant in the eSports industry. The game is strategy-based and puts great emphasis on teamwork. It even has a live market where players can trade in-game items for real money.
Starcraft II is most popular in South Korea. The game started out in 2010 with various price tags. In 2017, the creators removed that tag and turned the game into a free-to-play adventure. It highlights a one-on-one battle system, third-person graphics, and a hefty amount of competition. The eSports level for Starcraft II isn’t nearly as large as those of games like League of Legends or CS:GO, but with high-end tournaments, it’s still worth watching.
Hearthstone came out in 2014 as one of the first digital card games to hit the market. Many say that Hearthstone actually launched the era of digital collectible card games, known as CCGs. Created by Activision’s Blizzard division, Hearthstone is immensely popular and maintains a very competitive eSports league.
ESports game genres
The world of eSports has dozens of different styles of game. Below are some of the most popular types.
Multiplayer online battle arena
Often referred to as a MOBA, a multiplayer online battle arena is typically strategy-based and involves two or more teams fighting to accomplish conflicting objectives. Those objectives can be a variety of things. One is to simply wipe out the other team. Typically, there’s a great emphasis on teamwork. Examples of MOBAs are League of Legends, Dota 2, and Smite.
First-person-shooter games are popular with millions of video-game players worldwide. Otherwise known as FPS games, they give players a first-person perspective on their virtual worlds. These players typically have access to weapons and are tasked with wiping out either an opposing team or computer-controlled enemies. Examples of FPS games are the Call of Duty franchise, Overwatch, and CS:GO.
Card-game battles are perhaps the most simple to explain of all the games on this list. They’re basically digital versions of physical card games. Examples include Hearthstone, Poker, and Go Fish. Some card-game battle games are labeled DCCG, or “digital card-collecting games”.
Battle-royale games are relatively new to the world of gaming and eSports alike. These games typically consist of 50 to a hundred players battling it out in a massive arena, trying to become the last player standing. Popular examples are Fortnite, PUBG, and Call of Duty’s Blackout.
Sports video games are essentially models of real-world sports: the same rules, the same infrastructure, the same people, just rendered as a virtual world. Famous real-world players often have roles. Examples of these games are the entire FIFA series, as well as NBA 2K.