eSports has become a worldwide phenomenon with a rapidly-growing fan base. As of today, it has over a billion fans and has earned revenue of over USD 1 billion, only based on data reported last year. It’s not much of a surprise given how fast the gaming industry has been growing in the past few years. Besides, gamers are also promoting it like crazy, which help attract a new wave of gamers.
For those wondering about top eSports games, the concept isn’t difficult to grasp. eSports is a form of competition that uses video games. In other words, it’s a platform where gamers meet and compete at a professional level. The ones who manage to rank the highest would come out as the winners or the best at playing their respective games.
This isn’t something that we haven’t heard before, but the idea of holding a game competition on a worldwide scale professionally is rather new to us. Many tournaments offer big prizes, which further tempt gamers to join in.
Interestingly, some gamers end up pursuing it as a career and making a living out of it.
The Hottest eSports Games in 2021 (likely to remain so in 2022)
Blizzard, the company behind the creation of Overwatch, did the right thing with this game. It turns out that Overwatch is not the only game by this developer that successfully broke into the mainstream. If you know World of Warcraft and Startcraft, they also belong to Blizzard.
Overwatch has an amazing gameplay. This game lets you take control over a character or known as a hero. Every player is assigned to a different hero, equipped with a set of unique skills. Although there are many heroes to choose from, they are classified into 3 major categories.
Damage heroes, as the name suggests are those who inflict damage the most on enemies. Meanwhile, Tank heroes are all about absorbing damage and Support heroes are designed to assist the others mentioned before. If you want to take part in an Overwatch tournament, there’s an event called the Overwatch League.
It went down in history as an eSports tournament with a high inaugural prize pool. Starting at $3.5 in 2018, it went up to $5 a year later. And the figure remained the same for this year’s competition.
2. Call of Duty
Call of Duty is another well-known title in the world of eSports. This game was developed by Infinity Ward and published by Activision. Call of Duty has been around for years, first introduced in 2003. Thanks to the long history and tremendous popularity, you may still have fond memories of playing it.
The franchise has undergone constant improvements, keeping the fans loyal to this day. Speaking of the tournament, the first world championship took place back in 2013. Gamers competed for a total prize of $1 million. The number has been steadily increasing since.
This year’s tournament has the prize pool sitting at $6 million. Call of Duty has comparable viewership to Overwatch nowadays although the latter did exceptionally well at its peak.
3. Counter-Strike: Global Offensive
It’s been years since the game made its debut, but it can still give other games a run for their money. To this day, counter strike is still loved by millions and has turned into an eventful franchise. It has seen a range of updates to keep fans happy. Besides, it has also spawned major tournaments with some being held this year.
For those who are curious about 2020 championships, we’ll spill some info. The first one is Blast Premier: Spring 2020 with a prize pool of over $500,000. And then, there’s the ESL One Cologne 2020 that takes place in Germany where participants have the opportunity to win a total prize of $1,000,000.
Another upcoming event that’s highly anticipated is the ESL Pro League Season 12. The location is yet to be announced, but according to reports, the prize money for this championship stands at $750,000.
4. League of Legends
Needless to say, League of Legends is one of the biggest eSports in the world, rightfully so. Just like many other top eSports games, League of Legends has been around for as long as we can remember. Collectively, the entire championships conducted for the game has awarded over $73.5m to the winners.
While the game’s popularity is widespread across the globe, it’s in South Korea where the game performs amazingly. To put it into perspective, out of the top 10 earners, 8 of them come from the country. Besides the total prize pool, high viewership is another marker for its success in which it was averaging 8 million players concurrently.
The figure is slightly below Fortnite, but that’s still impressive nonetheless.
Getting a high concurrent player record isn’t an easy feat. But for some reason, this doesn’t sound a like stretch for Fortnite given the soaring popularity. Early this year, the game got around 12.3 millions gamers playing at the same time, part of it was because the superstar Travis Scott was performing at the event. This caused the game to skyrocket in popularity although it was already huge to begin with.
Fortnite has everything that makes it appealing to gamers. First, it’s free, which is a big deal knowing many gamers are very young. Second, it falls under the Battle Royale genre. As we know, these type of games are all the rage today. People like playing them because they satisfy our natural instinct of competition.
Besides, things can be unpredictable when you squeeze all human players into one small space. This is way more challenging than beating CPU players. Since the player base is enormous, it will only take off from there. All the Youtube gamers also promote non-stop, which helps it reach new heights in terms of recognition.
6. Dota 2
Many games are like easy to learn, but difficult to master. It’s especially true for Dota 2 and you may share the same sentiment. One of the things that makes eSports exciting is because it’s filled with games that take much practice to master. Dota 2 is more than just a MOBA game. It’s one of the most recognizable titles from the genre. Everyone who’s into MOBA games should know about it.
The objective of this game is you choose one of the heroes (there are 100 of them with each having unique skills and play style). You use the hero to boost the power of your team and achieve victory.
Speaking of popularity, The International which is an annual world championship for the game has hit the 30-million mark in prize pool, only a shy away from the record breaking $34.3m.
It’s a respectable increase from the previous year, part of it is attributed to increased in-game purchases especially the immortal Treasure II collection.
If you want to play a card game like Yu-Gi-Oh, this makes a perfect choice for you. There’s no doubt that Battle Royale games are everywhere right now, but card games aren’t less exciting especially for those who always want to challenge their cognitive skills.
The objective is you construct cards on the deck and use them to fight against the opponents which come from all parts of the world. It offers a few play modes. In addition to ranked matches, players can also compete in team battles.
The incorporation of fantasy-themed elements is what makes it special. When it comes to prize pool, it has paid out large sums, too, which has surpassed 20 million in total.
8. Rocket League
This game lets you experience soccer in a unique way. It’s about 2 groups trying to score on each other. Only the difference is you won’t see people playing on the field, but they are replaced by high-tech cars.
The tournament was first held in 2016, not long after its debut to the public. A total of $55,000 was paid out to winners during the season and it has increased constantly since. The prize pool as of today is around $350,000. Although the game itself is awesome, it lags behind in viewership especially outside major events.
But taking into account the relatively low prize pool, the game does great. At its peak, it managed to attain a concurrent player count of half a million users.
9. PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds
With a tremendous player base, it’s not hard for this ‘last man standing’ game to remain in the public eye for long. PUBG is one of the few games that stand out in the Battle Royale genre. The premise is very exciting.
A total of 100 players parachute down onto an island. There you have to fight each other until there’s one left which will come out as the winner. The smart design and deep level of sophistication are what makes it epic.
10. Super Smash Bros.
For 90’s kids, we all grew up with the franchise. But the interesting part of Super Smash Bros is that it puts together all your favorite characters and let them attack each other.
There are over 75 characters to choose from with different skills. The tournaments are largely community-based, which means they’re conducted by fans of the franchise.
FAQs – Things Related to Esports Games Today
What is the highest paying eSport?
The highest paying eSport in 2020 belongs to Dota 2. Prize money tends to vary from year to year, but for 2020, it’s Dota 2 tournaments that paid out the most to the winners. This is not much of a surprise given the popularity.
The prize pool, when we count it from the beginning is estimated to be around $224,300,000. It maintains its healthy lead over the second-placed CS:GO. Counter Strike has a prize pool of $4,900,000 this year or just slightly behind Dota 2.
What games do pro gamers play?
All eSports games that offer a lot of money usually attract professional gamers. Hence, the answer to this question is those with high-paying tournaments.
The list that we’ve provided can give you a picture of games that pro gamers like to participate in.
Hearthstone, Overwatch, and Counter Strike: Global Offensive are just a few examples.
Who is the richest gamer?
eSports has birthed some of the richest gamers, which makes sense because the prize pools of major tournaments are huge. The first name on this list is dTyler “Ninja” Blevins. He’s a pro gamer, but also considered a pro streamer.
For those unaware, both terms have slightly different meanings. How did he get rich?
One of the sources of his net worth was the amount he received for being an exclusive streamer on mixer. Professionally, though, he’s known for playing PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds.
Who is the richest eSport player?
If we gotta be more specific as in the highest earner from eSports, then Johan Sundstein deserves a shoutout. Playing under the alias of n0tail, this Danish guy has earned about $6.9 million to date.
And he broke the record at a young age, too. Sundstein is a staunch supporter of Dota 2, has played for major tournaments since 2014 and won The International twice.
What is the biggest eSports game by viewership?
The top position on this list is League of Legends. The game shows its dominance again this year with the highest average viewership among all eSports games with 250.000 players. This game puts 2 teams in a battle arena, both consist of 5 players.
Your job is to destroy the opposing team’s base together with your teammates. LoL remains one of the most popular games this year with more than 100 million active players. The price money has been consolidated at about USD 9 million.
Meanwhile, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive is trying to catch up with 200,000 of average viewership. Other well-known titles like Fortnite and Dota 2 also make an appearance on this list.
Top eSports Games Conclusion
Choosing an eSports game is an important step in participating in an eSports championship. It’s hard to master every game because each one requires a different level of mastery. You should be great at one game instead of being the jack of all trades.
But how is it to pick a good game?
The rule of thumb is it should spark your interest as it affects your willpower in improving skills. We’ve mentioned some top eSports games, but you may wonder what makes a game an eSports game. For a game to snatch that title, it should have two important things, namely balance and fun factor.
A game needs to have balance to avoid it weighing on certain elements in the game. For example, if a game has a hero that overpowers the others by a huge margin, then players may be focused on getting it. Technically, this is not wrong as long as the hero is accessible to anyone, but the game can look repetitive this way.
As for the fun factor, an eSports game needs it as well. Keep in mind that eSports has players and fans, both of which want entertainment. When a game is fun, gamers will be thrilled to play and the fans will also be excited to see their favorite teams perform.
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