We take a look at the most popular esports games.
A decade ago, it would have been unthinkable to say that traditional sports would be less popular than esports. Today, the statement doesn’t look as out of place as it did previously. The likes of soccer and cricket are still giants and will take a lot of usurping, particularly as they have a historic foundation on which to build. However, the esports industry is gradually catching up and carving out a lane for itself. Currently, it’s a billion-dollar industry with plenty of room for growth. Which titles have helped lead the charge? Here are the four most significant.
League of Legends
League of Legends, or LoL, is easily the most famous esports game of all-time. It was released in 2009, and the free-to-play model was unique in the 2000s. But this game alone has helped to forge a new section of the industry that has resulted in various other releases, most noticeably Fortnite. What makes LoL so successful is the fact that it leveraged the power of its audiences. Rather than relying on players, there is a market for viewers as they can watch and place bets online and be part of the action. This is great for both platforms, with Casimaru.com pointing out the casino market is fiercely competitive, and remote wagering establishments need esports to stand out from the crowd.
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive is a major rival of LoL, especially if you take views on Twitch into account. While League of Legends has the most total hours, newzoo.com reports that Counter-Strike’s share of esports is around the 35% mark. Compared to LoL, it’s 11% higher. Counter-Strike also has the mantle regarding the biggest winnings by competitors. More than $25 million was won in 2020 alone, beating the next closest – Dota 2 with $12 million – by a whopping $8 million. Video games are popular, and these figures showcase just how in-demand CS is right now.
Dota 2 is similar to League of Legends, so it shouldn’t be surprising that it makes it onto this list. However, it hasn’t copied LoL and added no extra value to gamers. Instead, it’s expanded on the number of characters and roles players can choose. For instance, there are 119 heroes, all of which bring something different to the table. According to ign.com, some are easy to control, and others are almost impossible. Yet, if you’re good enough to master the latter, the rewards are greater. This has resulted in 3,837 professional players of Dota 2, making it the 4th biggest on these terms.
Rocket League is different from the titles above because it combines high-octane action with traditional sports. As a result, more than 40 million people played the game first-hand in 2018. That is impressive. The numbers might have fallen since, yet they are large enough to compete with the likes of LoL and Dota 2. For example, in 2020, a total of 140,667 active players were recorded by the Steam charts alone. Rocket League is also part of major competitions such as ESL and Major League Gaming, making it even more well-known globally.
Do you agree with this list? Everyone is different, which is why it’s important to try out different offerings before deciding. One thing is for sure, though – esports are only going to keep on expanding.
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