Competitive video games, known professionally as Esports in the industry, are fast becoming the most popular and lucrative form of entertainment in the world. Benefiting from the rise of things such as online streaming on sites like Twitch.tv, Esports is now an industry worth over $1 billion and encompasses a huge array of titles and franchises.
Here are some of the biggest Esports titles in the world right now, how they’ve grown into the major titles that they are today, and what exactly they bring to the industry.
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive was released by Valve Corporation back in 2012 as the fourth major instalment in the series, and has since gone onto become arguably the biggest first person shooter in the world of Esports.
Rather than the ‘spray and pray’ techniques the likes of Call of Duty employ, CS:GO places much more emphasis on angles, rotations and strategy, giving it a much higher skill ceiling than those other games. Short, sharp bursts of action are the aim of the game here, and it can lead to some seriously adrenaline-pumping sequences.
CS:GO has arguably seen more investment in its professional scene than any other title, creating the most stacked calendar in terms of events and competitions, as well as keeping things fresh from a viewer’s perspective with the likes of ESL, BLAST, DreamHack, StarLadder and FACEIT all hosting their own tournaments around the world.
Another Valve Corporation title to make it onto this list, Defence of the Ancients 2 was released back July 2013 and is the sequel to (you guessed it) Defence of the Ancients. DOTA began life as a modded game mode for Blizzard’s Warcraft III, but has grown since then to become one of the biggest MOBA games in the world.
The game is renowned for its high skill ceiling in comparison to the likes of rival titles such as League of Legends or Heroes of the Storm, making it the perfect Esports title and one that has cultivated one of the most passionate followings in the whole community.
Dota 2 betting has become increasingly popular following the game’s growth as a high profile Esport, and the game even has the honour of saying it hosts the industry’s biggest event in The International. Four of The International events since 2015 make it into the top five biggest prize purses in the history of Esports, with the 2020 edition topping all other records before it with its prize pool of $35 million.
Fortnite was released by Epic Games back in July 2017 and has gone onto become the biggest mainstream game the world has ever seen. Riding the wave of the Battle Royale genre right as it was becoming the go-to title in the gaming world, Fortnite has completely changed the landscape for what a Esport title looks like these days.
From Hollywood superstars to world class footballers, Fortnite has changed the way in which video games are processed and viewed by fans around the world. They have helped raise the profile of streaming platforms such as Twitch and has been instrumental in bridging the gap between the real world and the virtual Esports one.
Fortnite began its foray into the Esports world with the announcement of the very first Fortnite World Cup back in the summer of 2019, which was held in New York and housed a $35 million prize purse split across the solo and double competitions.
Seventeen year old Bugha became a worldwide sensation by winning the solos event, netting a cool prize of $3 million and instantly being catapulted amongst the highest earners in the industry.