Games aren’t just about wasting time in your bedroom anymore. The esports industry is big money.
Esports is now considered as the central pillar of competitive gaming. With tournaments bringing in huge crowds, growing numbers of competitors and massive pools of prize money, the multi-billion dollar esports industry is only set to get even bigger.
While numerous games have tried to break in the esports industry, only a certain number of titles have made their mark. Shooters, battle royales and fighting games are among the most popular genres in esports, but others have proved popular too. Here are some of the most popular esports games in 2020.
If we’re talking about the fastest rising esports games in 2020, then we simply have to mention Valorant. Riot Games’ new multiplayer shooter took the world by storm before it even released; its closed beta caused waves earlier this year. The game sees players face each other in 5 vs. 5 matches, with each player choosing their own hero.
Although a new game, Valorant esports has already started making waves, with many Valorant teams already set up and earning large amounts of money. It’s resulted in players flocking towards the game and streaming media. It seems like Riot’s prime purpose in creating Valorant was to make a game that would appeal to the competitive market – and so far, it seems to be paying off.
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive
Despite being eight years old, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, it is still considered one of the biggest brands in the competitive gaming and esports world. It’s regularly updated and strongly supported by its developer Valve, meaning it’s consistently kept up to date with the latest developments.
The Counter-Strike: Global Offensive Major Championship – known as the Majors – remains one of the biggest competitions in esports. Moreover, its in-game market for skins and weaponry also makes it one of the most lucrative competitive games out there.
There has been a lot notable gaming events for Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. One of the biggest was IEM Katowice Major in 2019, which received 1.2 million views. The competition’s prize was a whopping $1 million, and it’s given out a total of more than $91 million since 2013.
Esports has always been about competitive gaming, and Overwatch is one of the most popular competitive games out there. Developed by Blizzard Entertainment, it’s a first person shooter that sees players team up to defeat their opposing team. Since its release in 2016, it quickly garnered attention, becoming one of the most popular esports titles out there. In 2020, it remains just as popular as ever.
In Overwatch, players have to choose a unique hero to compete among other players. Each hero of the player has distinctive qualities like attack, carry, or heal teammates. Overwatch‘s esports scene offers some of the highest prize pools in the industry, with a whopping $3.5 million in 2018.
Call of Duty
The Call of Duty series has been a big name in competitive gaming for some years. 2020 has seen the launch of the Call of Duty League, propelling forward the game’s position in the esports industry. It’s comprised of 12 professional leagues from across North America and Europe, each competing in 5-v-5 matches of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare.
While it’s a step up for Call of Duty’s competitive offerings, it’s by no means a new feat for the franchise. The Call of Duty World Championship has been running since 2013, with each year using a different game from the franchise. Back in 2013, the prize pool was $1 million for the winners. However, in 2020, the prize pool for the Call of Duty League is a whopping $6 million.
League of Legends
Last but not least is League of Legends, a multiplayer online battle arena game. The game allows players to compete in teams of 5 players. Just like Overwatch, each player chooses his or her character, each with different qualities and abilities.
Despite originally releasing in 2009, League of Legends is more popular than ever, with new modes frequently being added ot the game. Its playerbase in 2020 is comprised of over 100 million active players. It also has a massive player base with over 100 million active players in 2020 – and just as many people tune in to regularly watch it.