Over the last two decades, eSports has grown to take its place as a notable sport with serious players against traditional well-established sports. It is no longer just a hobby which friends indulge in over the weekend, after a day at the office or during summer when home from school, eSport has become a whole industry on its own with branding, investment, publications, tournaments, annual growth and returns which are steadily growing each year.
With the rising growth of the number of Millennials in the world, the fanbases of eSport is also growing. This is the true driving force behind the rising popularity and growth of eSport. The viewership of some eSport tournaments reach record highs of over 40million people sometimes and this will rise in coming years. Will eSport take over from conventional sports? Your guess is as good as mine, but we can safely say that, as long as more millennials continue to emerge, more tournaments are run, eSport will continue to thrive in the coming decades and eSport odds currently look like they are favourable.
So, there are some games that take the top sport in eSport with tournaments that have a very large viewership. Let’s start from the top.
Tagged as the best eSport game at the moment and the best eSport games of 2019, Dota 2 tournament in 2018 – The International, had a viewership of 44 million and the prize pool stood at $25,532,177. The prize pool is always increasing for this game and has led to further drive Dota 2 to the top of the eSport video game pile. Its popularity around the world with a growing fanbase further helps keep it around on at the top. The winner of the 2018 tournament- The International, took home a whopping $11million, which happens to be one of the biggest single wins in the history of eSports. Other winners were also awarded from the prize pool.
Also, as popular as Dota 2, Counter Strike: Global Offensive since released into the video game world stayed at the top of the eSport industry as the number one game. CS:GO is played at the individual level with individual skill but there are still team games and in-game economy monitoring which are equally important and add to its fanbase appeal. One of the best experiences for gamers of CS:GO is the streaming. This can be done via various streaming services by players like YouTube, Twitch.tv, and players can charge a fee from you to watch them play. When it comes to tournaments, it gets professional. This is where skilled players show off their skills at the game and compete for bragging rights. Another crucial aspect to CS:GO is the betting. You can bet on the game or on skins. Although not completely legit, it still goes on and thrives. The CS:GO Biggest Tournament of 2018 titled FACEIT Major London has a prize pool of $1,000,000.
Set in an action packed environment that rivals any other, Overwatch is a combination of MOBA and FPS games in eSport. FPS brings us a wide variety of heroes to choose from, small highly-detailed maps that come with different objectives to achieve and the wide variety of heroes is where MOBA comes in. Created by Blizzard Entertainment, Overwatch has been a massive success in the eSport industry and still growing. The formation of the Overwatch League further adds to the growth of the game plus the addition of franchising which had a very successful opening season. Although not as popular as Dota 2 or CS:GO, Overwatch still stays as one of the top 5 with a prize pool at its Biggest 2018 tournament called Overwatch League Inaugural Season stood at $3,500,000.
League of Legends
Credited as the game that pushed eSport into mainstream. Their world championship game can be said to be where eSport fans came to the realisation that eSport tournaments were the future of gaming. League of legends wasn’t always played at a professional level but the ushered in the way for video games to be played professionally. This was the push the eSport industry needed to rise to the plateau on which it stands today. This is why this game takes a place here. Although, in recent times the game has been losing players to the other top three, League of Legends still stands tall in video games with riot games still gaining popularity. The biggest tournament of League of Legends in 2018 was titled- League of Legends World Championship but the prize pool was not mentioned.
With an impressive 20 million newly registered players in 2018, Rainbow 6 is on its way to legend status in the eSport industry. This number competes with the other top games in the industry. Games like Overwatch have 30 million registered players so this is indeed a feat for Rainbow 6 Siege development and content team to be proud of. This wasn’t always the case with this game. There were numerous issues with the launch of the game like server problems which ruined the playing time for most gamers even going so far as crippling the game. All these issues where eventually fixed, and the popularity of Rainbow 6 soared. Going head-to-head with other games like CS:GO, Battlefield, CoD, Rainbow 6 annual instalments are at the top of their game. The biggest Rainbow 6 tournament of 2018 titled Six Major Paris had a prize pool of $350,000. There you have it guys. These five games dominate the eSports industry and don’t look like they will relinquish their spots anytime soon. With fanbase of players growing steadily every year, eSport has come to give mainstream sports a run for its money. Taking a huge slice of the pile towards its industry, millennials flock towards eSports like moths to flame and they do not seem to be slowing down. 2019 has seen the rise in these games and they continue to grow every day.