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5 Most Competitive Esports Games

Esports, or electronic sports, is a fast-growing industry centered around competitive, organized video-gaming. The games are played on a wide variety of consoles, and gamers can win large pools of money and even get sponsorships from global brands for winning tournaments. According to a study conducted by Newzoo, the industry is expected to exceed $1 Billion in 2019. They also estimated Esports to have over 450 million viewers through various outlets. If you want to practice and test your skills an esports bar is one of the best ways!

Here are the top 5 most competitive games in Esports:

1.   DOTA 2

DOTA 2 is one of the most popular games and is the largest, by far, in terms of tournaments and prize money. It is a multiplayer online battle arena game that is played in matches between 2-5 players. Each team has its own base on a map, and the game is won by being the first to destroy the Ancient, a large structure located in the opposing team’s base.

They have awarded the most all-time money to date, coming in at over $179M. This prize money was awarded in over 1,100 tournaments, in which almost 3,000 gamers participated. In fact, in 2018 the DOTA 2 International in Vancouver alone had a prize pool of $25.5M. Even for smaller events, prize pools can reach over $1 million through crowdfunding.

As of April 2019, the game maintained almost 1 million concurrent players and, according to Statista, has over 11 million monthly active users. DOTA 2 also maintains an impressive level of viewership – close to 15 million people tuned in to watch the 2018 International tournament.

2.   Counter-Strike: Global Offensive

The next biggest game in Esports is Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, or CS:GO, which was names Esports game of the Year in 2016. This is a multiplayer first-person shooter game, where players compete in a series of rounds that are won by either eliminating the opposing team or completing a mission.

To date, there have been over 4,000 CS:GO tournaments in which over 11,500 gamers competed for $75 million of prize money. The Katowice Major that took place in February 2019 was held in Katowice, Poland, and 24 teams competed for the grand prize of $1 million. Other tournaments include the Intel Extreme Masters, ESL One, and DreamHack.

A Statista report showed that the game peaked at 764,000 concurrent players in 2018, and in the past year the game has been viewed a cumulative 392 million hours on the streaming service Twitch. The Katowice Major tournament had over 1 million viewers tune in from all over the world.

3.   Fortnite

Next on the list is Fortnite, a battle royale game that is known for being one of the first to be free to play. It mixes elements of survival and exploration gameplay with a last-man-standing twist and is normally played with a large number of online players. Games can be played individually where every man is out for himself, or squads can compete in a team format.

Although a relatively new game compared to other Esports giants, Fortnite’s popularity has skyrocketed thanks to online streaming and support from major celebrities and professional athletes. Almost $30 million has been awarded in Fortnite tournaments, but what is impressive is that this was only over 320 events. One of the largest tournaments was the Fortnite Fall Skirmish Series held in October 2018, where gamers competed for a prize pool worth $4 million. Fortnite plans to push this number even higher, and the company has already announced that they plan to offer $100 million in prize pools in 2019 alone.  

Fortnite has also crushed records as far as players and views are concerned. As of March 2019, the game had over 250 million players around the world. According to Twitch statistics, the game holds the number one spot for both average and peak viewers. Fortnite also uses unique events to draw viewers, including a live-streamed concert by Marshmello that had almost 11 million people tuning in.

4.   League of Legends

League of Legends is another one of the most competitive games in Esports. Called LoL for short, it is a multiplayer online battle arena game where players battle against others to destroy the opposing team’s Nexus, a structure found at the heart of their base. This game is unique in that each match is discrete, and all players start off weak but accumulate items and experience over the course of the game.

They have awarded almost $68 million in prize money in over 2,200 tournaments. They have a widespread presence in North America and Europe, with a League Championship Series held in Los Angeles and Berlin. These tournaments host 10 professional teams and culminate in a World Championship that had a total prize pool of over $6M in 2018.

The game also has an impressive number of monthly players, reaching close to 100 million gamers. The 2018 League of Legends Mid-Season Invitational had a peak concurrent viewership of almost 20 million people, and the finals had an average of 11 million views.

5.   Overwatch

Overwatch has earned a spot on the top list as well. It is a first-person shooter game that was created specifically for Esports and features 6 players competing to protect zones from enemy capture.

It is one of the youngest games in the industry as it was only released in 2016, but even so has an impressive number of professional leagues, players, and teams. They have held 655 tournaments and awarded over $15 million in prize money, with almost $4M coming from multiple tournaments within the Overwatch League.

Statista estimates that there are over 40 million users worldwide, and the number continues to grow each day.

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