eSports Has been gaining in popularity for many years now. In fact, it has since taken over traditional sports in a lot of ways and it is only expected to continue growing at alarming rates. In the United States alone, eSports is expected to have more viewers than every traditional sport other than the NFL . This shows how the industry is growing and how influential it has become.
In fact, it has become so influential that some of the largest companies in the world such as Amazon have been betting big on eSports and the video game industry as a whole. Below, we will be discussing some of the most popular eSport games and some of the reasons they have become so popular.
1. Defense Of The Ancients 2 (DOTA 2)
This is easily one of the most popular eSports games currently and it has been for a while. This is primarily the largest eSports game in the industry because it continues to draw in millions and millions of viewers with the largest prize pool tournaments. The game has in-game microtransactions which largely fund the ultimate prize pools for the tournaments.
Therefore, the tournaments are funded by the community which has really helped DOTA 2’s rise in the eSports industry. Along with this, it is one of the most popular games being played on Steam which is the largest PC community in the video game industry. The viewership is continually the highest in the industry whenever the tournaments are aired reaching over 92 million viewers at once.
2. Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO)
Counter-Strike is another very popular PC game that is continually ranking as one of the most played on Steam and one of the most watched on Twitch. While CS:GO doesn’t have the same type of prize pools that you will find in some of the other tournaments that are being played, it has withstood the test of time on the market and continues to be one of the most watched and most played games within the PC community.
This game is easily one of the most competitive available and the developers continued balancing efforts for the game have paid off in a big way. A majority of the most watched streamers on Twitch play Counter-Strike which has really propelled its continued growth. Because they do not continually release new games and they stick with the tried and true formula, it has been able to remain a staple in the competitive space for a long time.
3. League Of Legends
League Of Legends is another PC game that is considered as one of the largest eSports games in the entire world. League Of Legends continues to rake in absurd viewership ratings and every time a tournament is hosted, it rivals some of the largest events in traditional sports. League Of Legends has such an established and large viewership base that a lot of traditional sports owners have begun to invest heavily in their own eSports teams for the game. The prize pools found with the World Finals has reached over $4 million which makes it easily one of the biggest prize pools found in eSports.
4. Call Of Duty (On Console)
Call Of Duty is another staple in the eSports arena. This is largely because it happens to be one of the most bought and played games year after year. If you look at the year-end rankings in terms of games (units) sold, you will find an iteration of Call Of Duty every single time. This is largely what propels its dominance in the competitive scene. Call Of Duty also happens to pull in some of the biggest viewership numbers that you will find in eSports. This is another franchise where a lot of traditional sports owners are investing in their own teams.
There are countless tournaments held every single year with an iteration of Call Of Duty. Along with this, it happens to pull in very impressive viewership ratings and numbers on Twitch which shows how popular the game is on the competitive scene.
Overwatch is another extremely popular game that is taking over the eSports scene. Blizzard released Overwatch to critical acclaim and it has since taken over the industry. The Overwatch league has since been picked up by ESPN, Disney, and ABC due to its rising popularity. This shows how much potential it has as an eSports franchise. Overwatch is a battle arena and hero based first person shooter style game. Millions of people tune into the tournaments and it is only expected to continue to grow with the rate at which Blizzard is pushing the game and updating it with new characters.
What Makes A Game A Hit On The eSports Scene?
As you can see from above, a majority of the most popular games that are on the eSports scene come from the PC space. However, as shown with Call Of Duty, the console eSports gaming scene is alive and well. There are a variety of factors that come into play when it comes to whether or not a game is going to be attractive on the eSports scene. For one, you need to have a game that is highly addictive and one that is extremely balanced. Without balanced gameplay, you are simply not going to have an eSports hit on your hands. At the same time, you need to have a game that achieves high ratings on Twitch. Without a game that is being continually streamed on Twitch and YouTube, you are not going to be able to reach the kind of numbers that will make it a top eSports game. Lastly, you need to have competitive gameplay elements and continued support for years and years.
Overall, there are many games being developed as eSports titles now that it has become such a lucrative industry. Because of this, you can expect the eSports scene to continue to drive game development in a big way. These are some of the biggest eSports titles to keep an eye on as the industry continues to see increased interest and as the advertising money flows in.