eSports are huge right now, and it’s easy to understand why as there’s genuinely something for everyone. Maybe you love strategy and puzzle games, outthinking your opponent and playing all the best moves. Or maybe fighting games float your boat, utilizing items and combos to deal dazzling damage to your opponent. Or maybe you just love shooting everything in sight and the sound of a successfully placed grenade is sweet music to your ears. Whatever it is that entices you, eSports covers it and we’ve come up with a list of all the games people are talking about right now.
League of Legends
Already a giant in its own right, League of Legends really comes into its own in multiplayer mode. With its 2016 World Championship tournament attracting nearly 60 million viewers (more than the NBA final of that year), it’s safe to say there’s big money in League, and this reflects in the odds online. A battle arena game, it combines strategy with fighting which makes for a very popular combo.
Defense of the Ancients 2
This battle arena game rakes in eight times fewer players each month than LoL, however DOTA 2 receives the highest number of viewers in the world per tournament of any eSport. The top 50 eSports players in the world are all DOTA players, making it a very lucrative sport to be good at.. It’s confusing and frustrating which is why it’s so popular, as it makes it all the more rewarding when you get a win.
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive
A real classic, the original Counter-Strike was released in 1990, and it has definitely built up a loyal following in that time with the current CSGO reeling in around 46.5 million viewers a month on Twitch. Less complicated than LoL and DOTA, Counter Strike plays off the first person shooter format, with a seemingly very simple 5v5 setup. However, it requires a little thinking too, as death is permanent in each round, meaning some serious game plans are involved in getting your whole team through each stage.
Based on the already fantastically popular World of Warcraft, Hearthstone has absolutely leaped in popularity over the last three years, with a 600% increase in registered users. It’s a collectible card game, something that anyone born after the 1980’s is acutely familiar with, however, its popularity is in its simplicity. The effects of each card are self-explanatory making the game super easy to follow and addictive to watch.
Still hugely popular seven years after its initial release, Starcraft 2 is an absolutely unforgiving click-based real time strategy game requiring serious endurance and attention to detail. Out of every eSport on this list it has by far recorded the most tournaments and highest prize funds. It also has the highest proportion of spectators in its competitions of any eSport game. Various challenges, modes and achievements keep this game interesting, and make it very difficult for professional gamers to master each one, allowing for some seriously addictive spectating.
Despite these five games being the most popular eSports games out there, they are very much only the tip of the iceberg. Fighting games like Street Fighter and Super Smash Bros continue to dominate the fighting game circuit, whilst first person shooters like Overwatch and CoD take pride of place just behind CSGO in terms of popularity. Really it’s all about spectator preference, and we’d seriously recommend watching the pros battle it out on any of these games (and having a go yourself!)