The four most popular eSport games

As eSport games are turning into serious sports and gamers making millions of dollars playing them, it’s safe to say that the times we live in are changing. Some say that eSports face too many difficulties being too complicated to replace traditional sports, whereas others claim that it’s just a matter of time.

No matter which your opinion you may be of, the eSport industry is in fact growing faster than ever. This has opened up new possibilities for game developers as designing a game towards becoming an eSport can be a successful strategy. In the following article we’ll be taking a look at the four most popular eSport games and how they’ve succeeded as eSports.

1. League of Legends (LoL)

The number one eSport game is probably one that you’ve heard of as its player base of more than a hundred million unique players won’t let the game go unheard. We’re talking about League of Legends, which is an extremely popular MOBA (Multiplayer Online Battle Arena) that’s been given the title of being the most played game in the world.

The game was released in 2009 by a company called Riot Games and was actually the first standalone game to be widely recognized as a MOBA. The fact that League of Legends was first on the market in combination with being released as free to play attracted a huge number of players. With advanced game mechanics that make the skill cap high, League of Legends had all the tools to become a huge eSport, which it did.

Since release nearly 2000 competitive tournaments have been held, whereas the championship tournaments have had amazing prize pools as a high as a $5 million!

2. Dota 2

League of Legends might have impressed you with its stunning prize pool, but it’s nothing compared to what this next game has to offer. Dota 2, which is short of defenders of the ancient 2, is a MOBA just like League of Legends. In fact, the main developer of League of Legends is one of the creators of the original Dota, which was first released as a custom made mod to the real-time strategy game Warcraft 3.

Dota 2 was released as a standalone successor in 2013 and has then managed to build a unique monthly player base of 13 million players. This is not nearly as popular as League of Legends, but the prize pools that are being offered in the competitive tournaments are amazing. The prize money that was up for grabs in the 2016 world championship was an unbelievable €20,770,640.00, which is more than a lot of traditional sports offer, such as the NBA in basket and super bowl in American football.

3.Counter Strike: Global Offensive

Finding Counter Strike among the top four eSport games is probably to expect as this first person shooter franchise has been around since 1999 and always been a highly popular choice among gamers. There’s been competitive tournaments with considerably large prize pools of €100,000.00 held since 2001. With the release of Global Offensive in 2012 the game really flourished as an eSport and in 2015 it was awarded with the eSport game of the year award.

The biggest prize pool to date is from the 2016’s world championship where €1,500,000.00 were up for grabs and the winning team took home a nice $800,000.00. While the prize pools yet haven’t reached quite as high as with Dota 2 and League of Legends, the number of tournaments held has been that many that players have been burned out by travelling and playing too much.

4. Overwatch

Even though released only a year ago, Overwatch has become a huge success with more than 30 million people buying the game. This first person shooter is released by the infamous Blizzard Entertainment, who have previously released best sellers such as Diablo, World of Warcraft and Starcraft.

Overwatch is not the realistic and typical first person shooter, such as CS:GO is. The game offers several different characters that can be played, which all have several unique abilities and play a certain role in the game. This adds a lot of extra layers to it, which is what has made it such a huge success.

To date the highest prize pool offered in a tournament is $300,000.00, which can’t compare to the other mentioned games. It is however not more than a year old and as Blizzard is currently working on a competitive league that they have claimed will change eSports forever, we will surely have a lot to look forward on with Overwatch.

Last words

The eSport industry is taking the world by storm, growing bigger and faster for each year. In this article we only listed the top 5 biggest eSport games, but there are a lot more out there. We’re seeing several already released games taking a turn towards eSport, while game developers are planning features for it when creating new games from scratch.

Tournament prize pools just seems to be getting bigger and one might wonder what amazing amounts we will be seeing five years from now, considering there already being tournaments with more than 20 million dollars up for grabs.It’s exciting times for a gamer and it’s going to be an awesome ride following the evolution of eSports.