The electronic sports (esports) industry is hitting a serious growth spurt over the last few years, thanks in part to the emergence of a surge of esports league, and the incessant participation of numerous professional gamers and larger audiences. Nevertheless, the bourgeoning growth of competitive gaming is first and foremost fueled by games pioneered by top gaming companies from a multibillion-dollar media and entertainment industry. From first-person shooter games to multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA), the options are endless for the games that professional esports gamers compete on. However, these top 10 esports games are those which triggered the hype around the esports arena while some of them marked its foundation.
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Top 10 Esports Games in The World 2018
Dota 2 is one of the most popular competitive games and is much touted as the pioneer of esports industry, the one that proved esports games could go mainstream, be a career for people and become its own industry. ?Dota 2 is a multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) game, launched fully by one of the top esports companies; Valve in 2013 and since then, the game has gone on to conduct biggest esports events with highest esports tournament prize pool in the world. The International 2018: Dota 2 Championship esports tournament that was organized in Vancouver, Canada offered the highest prize pool of US$ 25.53 million.
Fortnite: The Battle Royale
Epic Games’ Fortnite has taken the world of esports by storm with the growing popularity of the game, peaking viewership and its Twitch platform dominating the game streaming platform worldwide. Epic Games, a leading esports company launched Fortnite after recognizing the explosion of the battle royale genre. The company recently announced that it is going to offer US$100 million in Fortnite esports prize pools this year alone. Although several critics are questioning the significance of a battle royal game in esports, Epic Games is making the Fortnite competitive and has had a positive response so far.
League of Legends
League of Legends (LoL) is a leading MOBA game that was introduced by Riot Games to games in 2009 which became one of the most popular games in the esports industry. While the game had an estimated 70 million monthly active users in 2013, LoL now boasts more than 100 million active users.? The League of Legends World Championship tournaments that are organized by the company every year is touted as the most watched esports events. 2018 League of Legends World Championship reached a peak of more than 200 million concurrent viewers surpassing last year’s tournament viewership.
Heroes of the Storm
Heroes of the Storm is another MOBA game developed by another popular esports brands; Blizzard Entertainment that has been grabbing the immense attention of the gamers and audience worldwide. The game features characters from games previously introduced by Blizzard including Diablo, StarCraft, WarCraft, and IP Overwatch. Launched fully in 2016, Heroes of the Storm was originally named as ‘Blizzard Dota’ which was later renamed as ‘Blizzard All-Stars’ before finalizing the present name. Although the title is comparatively new in the esports landscape, it’s rapidly becoming one of the most rewarding games for esports team
Call of Duty
Owned by Activision and operated by Major League Gaming, Call of Duty is one of the established esports games that entered the esports arena with Call of Duty: Black Ops III in 2016. The Call of Duty XP Championship 2016 was launched with a pool prize of US$2 million. Today, the Call of Duty esports Championship is organized in 2018 with a total prize money of US$4.2 million and is played on Call of Duty: World War II for PlayStation 4.? Call of Duty has always had immense potential as an esports and the future looks brighter for the game in the esports industry.
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Counter-Strike: Global Offensive
Counter-Strike is a popular series of multiplayer first-person shooter video games by Valve Corporation that was introduced in 1999. Counter-Strike Global Offensive (CSGO) was released in 2012 and since then has become one of the most popular esports games that continue to grow with the participation of 850k CSGO gamers. CSGO players compete in a number of single and multiple game tournaments, for instance, Intel Extreme Masters, ESL One, and DreamHack. The popularity of Counter-Strike Global Offensive is attributable to its core nature and community-led developments.
Overwatch is a leading first-person shooter by Blizzard, released in 2016 specifically for esports. The game features six gamers competing to protect selected zones from enemy capture. Blizzard has plenty of history in the e-sports industry, with StarCraft and other pioneering titles in the landscape. However, the leading esports game developer looked to something really different with Overwatch. Although this new game is the youngest player in the esports industry, Overwatch already has a vast number of professional leagues, players, and teams.
Rocket League has been growing immensely as both games and esports. The competitive Rocket League esports challenges teams for fast, aerial, acrobatic football battles in the sequence of five-minute games. Psyonix is striving to boost this growing car football game as an esport game by investing millions on development. Since its release in 2015, the company has added new in-game functionalities, expanded to new regions, added new tournaments and has signed a deal with Dreamhack, Gfinity, ESL, NBC, and many more. Rocket League Championship Series (RLCS) is one of the most watched esports tournaments worldwide.
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StarCraft II was launched in 2010 after almost a decade of the success of StarCraft that developed an unparalleled following in South Korea. Starcraft II had a perfect reception when it was launched in 2010 and it quickly became the successful esports, representing as a prime feature of many leagues with largest prize pools in professional gaming. Although the game faced multiple challenges on its way through to become one of the top esports games, StarCraft II seems to be comfortably on the rise with viewership numbers growing enormously. Today, the competition is centered around the World Championship Series Circuit worldwide and the Global StarCraft II League in Korea.
FIFA has been one of the biggest esports games in the world for years and its competitive gaming has experienced immense growth in both participation and viewership over the last few years. While FIFA competition began back in 2004 as a medium for virtual football fans to compete, its only in 2013 that the popularity of FIFA esports event soared and saw the participation of millions of players. In the recent FIFA eWorld cup series, more than 20 million players around the world competed to qualify for the FIFA live event.
What’s Trending in the Global Esports Industry?
While the world of esports have witnessed the rising interest of men around the world on esports tournaments, the industry has observed the lack of active participation from females on online gaming. Considering this fact, several top esports companies have developed and designed games which are exciting and interesting for female gamers and these games present the female character as equally important and stronger as the male characters. In addition, there have been emergence of female championships over the last few years which is expected to boost the popularity of esports more than before. Apart from this, the increasing investments on esports from generalist sponsors like the American Express and Coca-Cola is trending in the global esports market.
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