It seems every single year eSports become more popular. New games that take the world by storm can always appear and 2020 is expected to be even better for eSports as serious sponsors start to be interested, like Mercedes or Kia.
Outsiders surely know about very successful games like Fortnite, Call of Duty and World of Warcraft but when it comes to professional gamers that want to win money, other games are the best in the eSports world.
While we cannot know what will be very popular in 2020, if history taught us anything, it is that the eSports games that are very popular right now will also be popular in the near future. Those that were the most popular in 2019 are the following. (The list is not presented in any particular order)
Fortnite is a battle royale game that simply explored on the scene in a very short time frame. It brought in huge records, with figures like Tyler “Ninja” Blevinz, FaZe and the TSM Fortnite team becoming a mainstay in the industry.
What is particularly interesting is that this game is popular among people from all demographics and of all ages. Sure, it is mainly popular with young people but on the whole, there are over 250 million registered users right now. The free-to-play style attracted massive streamers and accessibility was always very high since the game is now available on almost all gaming systems.
In Fortnite, 100 players drop into a huge zone where they battle it out. The zone constantly shrinks and the goal is to remain the last man standing.
When referring strictly to the eSports side of things, the top players make a lot of money with Fortnite, especially when it comes to streaming.
Counter Strike: Global Offensive (CS: GO)
CS: GO is one of the oldest eSports powerhouses and there is no sign that it slows down. This FPS game perfectly combines skill with teamplay and has such a simple goal that is accessible to everyone. Countless FPS games were launched in the past 7 years but none is more popular than Counter Strike: Global Offensive.
The game is very popular due to its simplicity so it is approachable to a very large audience. 2 teams with 5 members face each other and every single one of the players can influence the outcome. There are no gimmicks and the entire game is based on tactics and skill.
Esports matches tend to keep viewers on the edge of their seats since they can be long and really competitive. Comebacks are always possible, even if the game seems over. This in itself makes watching CS: GO attractive.
League Of Legends (LOL)
League Of Legends is a MOBA game that offers millions of dollars in prices, with millions of fans from around the world. Statistics showed us that the 2017 World Championship had over 100 million fans watching all at one time, which is incredible.
The game is very similar to Dota 2 (presented below) and it follows the MOBA rules. However, the game is considered to be more complex when it comes to strategy, making it a great watch. Simply put, the knowledge needed to play the game is less than with Dota 2 but when it comes to top-level play, it is more complex.
This game came into international attention in 2011 and 2020 will, most likely, be its biggest year ever, with countless partnerships already signed by developer Riot Games.
The original Dota game started as a map in Warcraft and it literally evolved in a new genre. Dota 2 was the continuation of the initial map and became a worldwide phenomenon. The game is considered to be one of the best when it comes to tournament earnings due to the system used, in which players can actually donate to prize pools for the World Championship, thus creating immense prize pools. Due to this, some of the best paid eSports players in the world play Dota 2.
Dota 2 was released in 2013 and many see it as the best game ever launched. While this is definitely debatable, it is undeniable how important the game was for the eSports industry. It practically showed the fact that eSports can be a huge financial powerhouse and that people are more than willing to pay to watch professional gamers.
Overwatch is a fast-paced game that can be played on the PS4, Xbox and PC. It is relatively new in eSports but the player base is extremely dedicated. Sponsor interest led to the launch of the Overwatch eSports League, with teams in 3 continents. The matches in this circuit actually appeared alongside sports events on ESPN.
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The game is very fun to play and can be addictive. Its success was dictated by huge NFL team owners that saw the potential of the game and actually purchased franchises. Overwatch is here to stay and a lot of money is involved in the professional games.
PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG)
PUBG took full advantage of the popularity of battle royale games. It started as an Arma 2 mod and became a success, with huge prize pools for competitions. This was marked by the $3 million dollars prize pool for the 2018 circuit. Professional gamers that play Fortnite actually also usually play PUBG too and can be very successful at both games.
At first glance, PUBG competes with Fortnite. If you look carefully, you quickly notice that there are big differences between the game. This means that if you do not like one, you might like the other one.