eSports gaming is an increasingly popular form of online competitive gaming. Top eSports games cover several different genres and the online tournaments which take place can attract millions of viewers and players. Tournaments also generate millions of dollars and the industry continues to grow daily. The key genres are: fighting, first-person shooters (FPS), real-time strategy (RTS) and multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA). The abbreviations are important to remember for those new to eSport because you’ll see them a lot.
Competitive gaming has been around almost along as gaming itself, organised tournaments for arcade games began in the 1980’s and thousands of people gathered to play much-loved arcade games from Atari at tournaments, like the popular Space Invaders Championship Tournament. However, it wasn’t until the 1990’s and the rise of PC gaming that eSport gaming as we know it came to be. Games like “Quake” and “StarCraft: Brood War” were widely considered to be the most popular. Competitive tournaments for prize money were held and these games paved the way for those exicting today, the phenomenon that we have now and some of the best eSports games on the market.
Twitch, now a subsidiary of Amazon, is the main online streaming service for eSport competitions, followed by YouTube Gaming. Both sites have millions of daily users and gamers can stream their day to day video game activity as well as a league, event, and competitive gaming. Players on these streaming services can generate huge incomes through advertising on their channel and donations from fans.
This page gives a brief overview of some of the most popular eSports games of 2018 and the new trend that is taking the world by storm – mobile eSports games. There’s also information on the top eSport events around the world and how to bet on them.
The Most Popular Esport Games of 2018
Dota 2 was released in 2013 and developed by Valve Cooperation as a stand-alone sequel to Defence of the Ancients, the game is the most popular eSport game of all time. It is a multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) game with real-time strategy elements. Two teams of five players compete and the main premise of the game is to destroy a structure that has been created by the opposing team. In 2017 alone over 500 million hours of Dota 2 were viewed on Twitch and Youtube Gaming. Dota 2 is a PC game and can be downloaded for free online.
Overwatch is a multiplayer first-person shooter video game (FPS) developed by Blizzard Entertainment. Released in 2016 the game has quickly gained popularity in the world of eSports. Overwatch is set sixty years into the future and two competing teams of six players must defend certain control points on a map. Players can choose from over 21 characters, known as “heroes” and each hero has its own skills and key strengths. So far this year over 30.9 million hours of Overwatch has been viewed and over 2 million dollars generated. Overwatch is available to buy on X-box One, Windows and PlayStation 4.
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive
Part of the Counter-Strike series the game is developed by Hidden Path Entertainment and Valve Corporation. The latest title in the series was released in 2014 and is another multiplayer FPS. The game’s basis is two teams fighting against each other, the Terrorists and the Counter-Terrorists. The Terrorists must either defend hostages they have taken or plant bombs, and the Counter-Terrorists must do their best to stop this activity. There is several game playing modes and CS:GO is one of the most popular video games in eSports. More than 15.6 million hours of eSport league competitions have taken place this year already. CS:GO is available to buy on Windows, OS X, X-box One and PlayStation 3.
League of Legends
No best of list can go without mentioning League of Legends, developed by Riot Games. League of Legends or LoL is a MOBA game developed in 2009 and growing in popularity daily. Viewed as one of the best and most popular eSport video games of all time the team-based games main aim is to destroy another team’s “nexus” which is a structure that lies at the heart of a base they have created. The game involves complex strategies and each player must choose their champion (player), who initially will start off weak but will grow by ‘leveling up’ when enemies die. To date, LoL has over 100 million active players each month. LoL is free to download on PC and Mac and certain features and virtual goods can be purchased within the game.
Mobile eSports Games
Before eSport games weren’t available on mobile and were usually just for PC and games consoles. Now, with the rise of mobile phone use year on year there is an increase in the release of mobile eSport games. Clash of Kings, just one of the many popular mobile games is a multiplayer RTS that involves players building empires and controlling 7 fantasy kingdoms while fighting other players. Clash of Kings has been one of the highest grossing apps ever on the App Store and Google Play since its release. Tournaments are starting to happen on mobile too. This rise in mobile game activity might see an interesting shift in people’s game playing over the next few years.
Online eSport league tournaments are the main earner for big players in eSport. The growth in the industry has also created a huge growth in live events happening at stadiums. Year on year investment from the major game companies, like Valve, has helped increase prize money and production values of game events.
The International is a live eSport event hosted by Valve and held each year for Dota 2 players. Last year, 2017, the tournament prize fund was a massive 24 million dollars. This year the event will be held at the Rogers Arena, Vancouver, with a capacity of 18,630 the crowd top games can draw is huge.
The League of Legends World Finals is another huge draw for fans. The live finals are a chance for teams to compete at a venue and be crowned ultimate champion. Last year’s final was held in Beijing national stadium and the prize fund was over 2 million dollars. More than 60 million unique viewers streamed the finals.
How to Bet on eSport Games?
Betting on eSports is relatively simple and follows the same format as betting on any other sport. Most esport betting sites will have odds for tournaments. Then it’s simply a matter of picking the team you want to win or picking the best odds and hoping your team comes out on top!
So, if you’re new to the world of eSport then this basic guide will give you an idea of how it all started and where it’s going in 2018. Keep an eye on our page over the next few months for more useful guides and tips and tricks.