The eSports gaming scene has been thriving in the second quarter of 2020, particularly since it was one of the only active alternatives to casino and sports games. The global COVID-19 pandemic froze the sports leagues across the globe and led to casino shutdowns, but eSports kept on going. The numbers on major streaming platforms like YouTube and Twitch have tremendously increased over the last three months with viewership on eSports topping the charts. This industry is growing faster than ever before.
If you’ve never tried eSports, then you’re missing out on a lot of fun. Just like playing free online slots SlotoZilla offers, you can play for free without spending any money in the game, and similarly, there are plenty of opportunities to play for real money on both types of games.
To get you started on the world of eSports, here’s a highlight of the best games based on two factors; the volume of active player base and prize pool for gamers who play for money get after winning in competitions.
Hearthstone is a free card game produced by Blizzard. It first came out in 2014 and it consists of two players with 30 card decks and a hero with unique powers. The main aim of the game is to beat your opponent’s hero by using your mana crystals to leverage your abilities in the game.
When it was first rolled out, it was only limited to Asia and Europe but quickly increased to an international level because of its popularity. Come 2019, it topped the charts in terms of viewership with a peak of 279k views at the 2019 Hearthstone World Championship, but the average viewership for smaller Hearthstone tournaments ranges around 10 to 15k viewers. In 2020 however, there has only been one Hearthstone tournament because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Currently, the 2020 Prize Pool for Hearthstone global competitions stands at $4,000,000.
4. Dota 2
Dota 2 is a MOBA (Multiplayer Online Batter Arena) game created by Valve in 2013. What makes the game stand out is the fact that Valve created a professional league within the game known as Dota Pro Circuit. This is where two teams strive to get points to qualify for an international tournament which takes place every year. The International League grew so big that its prize pool hit a total of $34 million by 2019- the largest prize pools ever seen in the history of eSports.
Fortnite emerged in the eSports arena in 2017 as a battle royale you can play for free. It’s a cartoon graphics game created by Epic Games, and its most unique gameplay feature compared to other battle games is that players can get materials and build structures in any circumstance during gameplay. As the player, your aim is to survive by fighting in the open areas of the map at any time. The fast-paced action of the game rapidly led to its success, and by 2018, it instantly became one of the most widespread eSports game in the world in 2018.
In 2018, Epic Games organized a $2.6 million prize pool for a tournament called Summer and the Fall Skirmish. This was the largest prize pool for an opening tournament in the eSports world. Come 2019, Fortnite held a world cup qualifiers event and 40 million players took part in it – a record amount for a competitive video game event.
There no denying that Fortnite leads the way when it comes to the player count and prize pools. The game has already paid out $7 million in tournaments in 202 and many more tournaments are on the way.
2. Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CSGO)
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive is a first-person shooter game created by Valve. This shooter game has existed since 2000, making it one of the oldest eSports in the scene. Players go against each other in groups of five, trying to plant a bomb in each other’s camps.
During pro league tournaments, the game garners over 100k viewers each day, and the numbers can still go above one million for a key tournament. One of the main reasons why the game is so popular is the fact that Counter-Strike is all about your sheer intelligence and the most skillful players get generous rewards. In 2019, CSGO’s prize pool hit $21.8 million, with an average viewership of 200,000.
1. League of Legends (LoL)
Topping the list, there is League of Legends created by Riot Games in 2009. It is another Multiplayer Online Battle Arena (MOBA) game, that’s mechanically similar to Dota 2. It is the most played eSports game on PCs, registering over 100 million active players in 2020 and has broken the records of the most viewed eSports game multiple times. Currently, it’s average viewership hits highs of 250k viewers and garners over 3.9 million viewers. 2020’s prize pool, on the other hand, stands at $9 million.
eSports have proven to be one of the most interactive genres of video gaming entertainment today. Game developers make things even more exciting by been pushing the boundaries of technology to continue offering immersive gaming experiences for both players and viewers. If you are a newbie, try out any of these top 5 games, and without a doubt, you’ll become a die-hard fan from day one!