Did you know that 250 million people are expected to watch esports games globally? Over the past ten years, gaming and the eSports industry have advanced significantly.
So what are the most popular esports games? The popularity of eSports games has skyrocketed from being a hobby to being included as an athletic event in the Asian Games.
These occasions draw tens of thousands of spectators and watchers and are always entertaining. With more competitions being organized globally during the 2010s, the number of participants competing in eSports events is rising quickly.
New video games are released yearly, contributing to esports’ spectacular rise. However, certain games predominate and are more well-liked than others.
Giant esports games can imply different things to different individuals, depending on who uses the term. While certain games are more well-liked worldwide, others are more popular locally.
Some have many participants, while others have larger tournaments with significant cash payouts. For many people, gaming is no longer merely a pastime.
Instead, professional gamers are making their way into eSports, where they compete against one another for often large sums of money.
But the variety of games and genres available is just as impressive as the success of the notable eSport titles. This article lists the most popular esports games you would want to play.
1. Defense of the Ancients (DotA) 2
One of the most popular esports games, the popular online multiplayer combat arena game Dota 2, was created by Valve Corporation.
Defense of the Ancients: All-Stars has a sequel. In Europe and North America, it is most well-liked.
DotA 2 is one of the most popular MOBA games, attracting millions of players daily from across the globe. The game draws about 11 million different players each month.
According to the game’s official website, over 8.7 million people had played it as an eSport as of August 2021. DotA 2 is a game where two teams of five players compete against one another, with each team controlling and defending a unique base on the map.
Each of the ten players separately controls a strong figure known as a “hero.” There are 122 heroes, each with a distinct set of skills and playing methods.
A structure inside the opposing team’s base, dubbed “Ancient,” must be destroyed for one team to win.
DotA 2 is very popular in the eSports industry, and teams worldwide compete in several professional leagues and competitions.
The DOTA Pro Circuit, a series of competitions that give qualifying points for obtaining direct access to The International, the game’s most crucial yearly tournament, is run by the game’s creator.
2. Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS: GO)
The multiplayer combat arena game CS: GO pits the Terrorists and Counter-Terrorists teams against one another in several objective-based game types. CS: GO is also one of the popular esports games you must play this summer.
One of the most widely-liked games in eSports is CS: GO, which has leagues and competitions run by independent groups and Valve-sponsored competitions called the Major Championships.
The Majors offer some of the biggest prize pools and are regarded as the most prestigious competitions in the Counter-Strike circuit.
3. League of Legends
Two teams play against one another in the real-time strategy game “League of Legends” on a typical MOBA map.
Five players from a pool of over 150 customizable characters (champions) make up each side, and they each play one of the five available positions: toplane, midlane (carry), ADC (attack damage carry), support, and jungler.
Each champion has four unique talents that call for various strategies. Each role’s players battle against other functions on the opposing side in their respective playing positions.
The objective is to outmaneuver the opponent team by eliminating goals collectively, entering their base, and destroying their nexus.
The game has been referred to as one of the most popular eSports games by the New York Times and the Harvard Business Review.
Riot Games runs 12 regional leagues across the globe as of April 2021, four of which—China, Europe, South Korea, and North America—have established franchise systems.
There were 44 and 45 peak million concurrent viewers for the League of Legends World Championship finals in 2019 and 2020, respectively.
The sports network ESPN aired the North American league playoff on cable television, and the corporation also sells streaming rights to the event.
Epic Games created the well-known multiplayer online game Fortnite, one of the most popular esports games. Despite having three distinct game types, it only qualifies as one game. The specifics of each game mode are as follows:
Save the World: Up to four players save other survivors and themselves by battling zombie-like monsters. Battle Royale: Up to 100 people compete in the player-versus-player game called Battle Royale to be the last one standing. Teams can play it as well.
Creative: The ” Creative ” sandbox mode gives players complete creative freedom over the game universe. The initial excitement surrounding the Battle Royale shooter’s “Fortnite” debut has not subsided.
The eSports game’s basic mechanics are as follows: On a large map, 100 players compete against one another; whoever is left standing wins.
Fortnite, in contrast to previous Battle Royale games, places a unique emphasis on gathering resources and constructing infrastructure. These might offer shelter or a tactical edge in a battle with other players.
5. Player Unknown Battlegrounds (PUBG)
UBG Corporation created this game, which is a variation of battle royale. It is unnecessary to introduce Player Unknown Battlegrounds because it is regarded as one of the greatest battle royale games and one of the first of its type to advocate for the style of gameplay. Not only that, but it is also one of the most popular esports games ever released.
The complete version of PUBG was launched in December 2017 after being made available for Microsoft Windows via Steam’s Early Access test program in March 2017.
On Steam’s Early Access, a marketplace section where game developers sell in-development versions of games at a discount, the game’s developer, Bluehole, sold 2 million copies in just five weeks.
This allowed players to purchase the game before it was finished and support further development. In addition to a port for the PlayStation 4, PUBG Mobile, a free-to-play mobile game for Android and iOS, was published in 2018.
One of the most popular, highest-grossing, and best-selling video games ever is PUBG. Compared to the more popular PUBG Mobile, which had more than 1 billion downloads as of March 2021 and made over US$7.2 billion on mobile devices as of December 2021, the original PUBG game had sold over 75 million copies across PC and gaming consoles as of 2022.
6. Mobile Legends: Bang Bang (MLBB)
As the popularity of mobile gaming rises, so does developer rivalry, which leads to the creation of better, more intense games. This breakthrough in mobile gaming gave rise to MLBB, one of the most popular esports games ever created.
Moontoon’s Mobile Legends: Bang Bang is a MOBA game launched in 2016. In its brief history, MLBB has emerged as one of the mobile gaming industry’s early adopters of large-scale eSports and is now in direct competition with PC and console gaming in terms of international competition.
Although MLBB is well-liked worldwide, it is particularly well-liked in South-East Asia, where the most significant MLBB events are held.
First-person shooter (FPS) Valorant is a relatively recent free-to-play title created and released by Riot Games for Microsoft Windows.
Initially previewed in October 2019 under the codename Project A, the game started a closed beta with restricted access on April 7, 2020, then officially released on June 2, 2020.
A team-based FPS with a near-future setting is called Valorant. Players can select any of the 18 characters or agents accessible in the main game, but teams of five players are allocated to either attack or defend.
These agents have special skills, each of which needs charges and a particular ultimate skill, which also needs controls through kills, deaths, orbs, or performing tasks.
8. EA Sports FIFA
EA Sports FIFA is also considered one of the most popular esports games with a daw-dropping fan base. As a consequence of EA Sports’ ongoing efforts to carve out a position for itself in the rapidly expanding eSports scene, the FIFA franchise continues to increase in popularity.
The FIFA 21 Challenge broke all attendance records to become the most viewed eSports competition that EA Sports has ever held.
Professional football players from around Europe and skilled gamers competed in the one-day competition for a share of the US$20,000 charity prize fund. The occasion also represented a promotional competition for the FIFA 21 worldwide brand.
The FIFA Challenge attracted an average minute audience (AMA) of 254,057, doubling the previous EA Sports viewership record set by the FIFA Global Series FUT Champions Cup: Barcelona.
EA Sports naturally boasted about these viewership figures (92,678 AMA). Later, the organization also unveiled the official schedule for the Global Series’ FIFA 22 eWorld Cup and other qualification competitions.
Football would not exist without the strength of teamwork, according to Sam Turkbas, FIFA Competitive Gaming Commissioner.
With the help of eSports entertainment, we hope to connect football enthusiasts from around the world to their favorite game. Future football fandom’s growth will be accelerated by team-based FIFA competitive gaming.
9. Apex Legends
Developer Respawn finally received the recognition it deserved after producing two fantastic but underappreciated Titanfall games with the help of the wildly popular battle royale shooter Apex Legends.
In Apex Legends, which takes place in the Titanfall world, you may command agile soldiers instead of bulky robots.
Fortunately, these vibrant individuals possess a wide range of unique skills. You can, for instance, use Mirage to cloak yourself and make holograms or Wraith to travel between dimensions.
Additionally, effective communication methods maintain team cohesion. Thanks to its ongoing competitions, Apex Legends has maintained incredible momentum and is still considered one of the most popular esports games.
10. King of Fighters XIV
SNK’s most recent installment in the venerable The King of Fighters series is one of the best competitive fighting games and one of the most popular esports games. It’s not the most attractive fighter in town and rarely tops Evo.
As exciting to watch as fighters with more incredible notoriety, KOFXIV’s rich combo system, team-based action, extensive 58-person roster, variety of special attacks, supers, and offensive, defensive, and mobility choices all work together to create this.
To be accurate, those same characteristics make KOFXIV a little challenging to master, but if you put in the effort, the results are tremendously fulfilling.
Even though KOFXIV isn’t a core Evo game, the SNK World Championship series nevertheless provides support for it.
Shooters don’t need to be grim, realistic, or depressing. Cartoony fun has its place even in PC games with lots of guns. Team Fortress 2 from Valve has held that position for over ten years, but Overwatch from Blizzard has replaced it.
It borrows all of Team Fortress 2’s features, like its animated maps, various team-based game types, and exciting characters with wildly divergent play styles, and adds a few MOBA-like twists.
Due to the game’s numerous characters and classes, Overwatch is a tremendously fun first-person shooter that is plenty of mechanical variation.
As you might anticipate, it has grown into a thriving esports industry. With several esports initiatives, including the Overwatch World Cup, Blizzard promotes the Overwatch competitive scene.
12. Arena of Valor
Arena of Valor was one of the earliest MOBA (multiplayer online battle arena) games published for smartphones.
With the increased use of smartphones, it has developed much more, especially in South-East Asian nations, and currently boasts some of the most significant tournament prize money.
The game has topped 28 million downloads in Thailand in less than a year and a half, and other major markets include Vietnam and Chinese Taipei, ranking it among the most popular esports games to be released on the eSports family.
For instance, mobile gaming accounts for 45% of the market in Thailand, and smartphones are significantly responsible for the country’s online gaming sector expanding by over 20% annually.
Arena of Valor, a global version of Tencent’s MOBA game Honor of Kings, brought in more over US$2 billion in revenue on the App Store and Google Play Store alone in 2021, increasing the game’s overall income to an astounding US$10 billion since its introduction in 2015.