Most Popular Esports Games

What are Esports?

Esports, short for electronic sports, is a specialized subset of gaming that centers around organized, competitive gameplay. It’s more than just playing games; it’s about mastery and competition.

Think of esports as the organized play of video games, where individuals or teams compete against each other, often in professional leagues or tournaments.

Esports has its governing bodies, its set of rules, and, critically, its educational platforms, like Gameplan, where individuals can learn the ins and outs of the industry. From game-specific strategies to team management and content creation, esports is a universe of opportunities that extends far beyond the confines of the screen.

Esports, as they are most commonly called, are in an international gray area. Their enormous popularity—some events routinely draw more than a million concurrent viewers— make esport athletes attractive options for lucrative corporate sponsorships, but the fluidity of esports over international boundaries and lack of defined rules make them incredibly complex.

Faker, Perkz, and Doinb are all professional players of the world’s most popular computer-based video game: League of Legends. League is one of many games that host competitions of increasing fanfare and popularity, part of the rapidly expanding genre of electronic sports.

2 656 938 peak viewers

League of Legends (LoL) is a team-based online multiplayer by Riot Games. It is one of the most successful video games of all time and has a strong presence in the esports industry.

LoL is a Free2Play MOBA, a Multiplayer Online Battle Arena game, and has around 8 Million concurrent players (2019).

Two teams play 5 v 5 on the map Summoner’s Rift, with the objective of destroying each other’s base-core, the Nexus. Each match starts with the selection of a character, a Champion.

There are over 150 different Champions. They differ in looks, abilities, attack type and playstyle. Bases are separated by three different lanes. The area between those lanes is called the Jungle.

In order to get to the enemy base, you have to destroy towers, that are placed on the all three lanes. Minions, that are periodically spawned from your nexus, help you with your objective and automatically attack towers on their way to the enemy base.

Inside the Jungle there are two main objectives that provide powerful buffs, after being slain by a team: The Baron Nashor and the elemental Drakes.

In order to win you have to gain experience and gold, by defeating enemy players and monsters. A game ends, when one of the Nexus explode.

1 865 928 peak viewers

Mobile Legends: Bang Bang (MLBB) is a mobile multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) game developed and published by Moonton, a subsidiary of ByteDance. The game was released in 2016 and grew in popularity, most prominently in Southeast Asia.

MLBB esports sees teams across Southeast Asia and other regions around the world competing for a seat at the World Championships.

At its core, the game pits 2 teams of 5 against each other in real time with at least 10-second matchmaking and 10-minute matches. Featuring traditional battle arena gameplay, players must fight over three lanes to take the enemy’s tower and defend their own.

Like classic MOBAs, there is no hero training to level up or pay to play angle-winners and losers are decided based on skill, ability, and strategy.

Following success, Moonton has tapped into the esports scene with the creation of several regional tournaments dubbed as Mobile Legends: Bang Bang Professional League (MPL) that serves as a qualifier for the Mobile Legends World Championships.

It was among the six games chosen for the first medal event of esports competition at the 2019 Southeast Asian Games held in the Philippines.

1 853 954 peak viewers

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS: GO) is the fourth game in the Counter-Strike franchise. Developed by Valve, this game is a tactical shooter. The most popular game mode is Competitive.

Two teams, Terrorists (T) and Counter-Terrorists (CT) fight each other in a series of matches on a variety of different maps. A team has to win a set number of rounds in order to win a match.

This is achieved by either successfully detonating a bomb by the Terrorists, or the Counter-Terrorists can defuse the Bomb. A round can also be won by killing all members of the opposing team without the bomb going off. If playing as CT you will also win a round if the time runs out without the bomb being placed.

To balance out a match, the sides get flipped after the halfway mark of the game. Pro play is played as “Best of 30”-rounds, where the sides are flipped after 15 rounds.

Teams will choose the maps that are played in a series. Besides the classic defuse game mode, there are other modes in CS: GO: Deathmatch, Hostage Rescue, Arms Race, Demolition, Wingman, Flying Scoutsman, and the Battle Royale Danger Zone.

1 687 848 peak viewers

Valorant is a character-based tactical shooter by Riot Games. You play in two teams, Attackers and Defenders, with 5 players on each side.

There is a minimum of 13 rounds with a change of sides after 12. A team can earn one point per round. The attacker-teams objective is to earn points by placing and detonating a bomb (spike) on a specific spot.

The defender-team get their points by defusing the bomb after it being placed. Points can also be earned by eliminating the enemy team without a bomb going up.

There is also a timer for the attacker-team, if they don’t manage to place the bomb in that timespan, the defenders get a point for the round. The first team to achieve 13 points is the winner. Valorant offers unique cast of characters to choose from.

They differ in class and abilities. Like the guns and equipment, the abilities have to be bought in a shop before each round, with gold being earned each round.

739 575 peak viewers

Fortnite is a Battle Royale video game published by Epic Games. The game follows the established BR concept with 100 players fighting for survival on a remote island.

The goal is to find gear to attack/defend yourself against other players with similar goals. In order to establish a good game flow, the playable area is continuously shrinking until there is no players or playable area left.

As an esport, Fortnite has garnered appeal with the younger audiences, and created some of the youngest millionaire gamers on the planet.

6 315 active teams playing

Professional Counter-Strike competition involves professional gamers competing in the first-person shooter game series Counter-Strike.

The original game, released in 1999, is a mod developed by Minh “Gooseman” Le and Jess Cliffe of the 1998 video game Half-Life, published by Valve.

Currently, the games that have been played competitively include Counter-Strike (CS also called CS 1.6), Counter-Strike: Condition Zero (CS:CZ), Counter-Strike: Source (CS:S), Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO), and Counter-Strike 2 (CS2). Major esports championships began in 2001 with the Cyberathlete Professional League Winter Championship, won by Ninjas in Pyjamas.

Since its first release, CSGO has paved the way for becoming the biggest shooter in esports.

The first CSGO Major Championship were held in Sweden and involved 20 teams competing for a prize pool worth $250,000. The Majors, which take place twice each year, have gone from strength to strength ever since.

The prize money on offer has swelled as a result, with the prize fund reaching a staggering $1,000,000 in the Major League Gaming tournament held in Columbus, Ohio in 2016.

The prizepool for Majors are now backed up by Valve and is always at $1 million, half of which goes to the winners. That high level of prize money has been maintained, so it’s no surprise that CS:GO tournaments continue to attract a high level of interest, as well as some of the best teams and players in the world.

4 017 active teams playing

Rocket League is a fantastical sport-based video game, developed by Psyonix (it’s “soccer with cars”).
It features a competitive game mode based on teamwork and outmaneuvering opponents. Players work with their team to advance the ball down the field, and score goals in their opponents’ net.

Extremely similar to the traditional sport of Soccer, teams made up of three players will work together to advance the ball down the field and score goals in their opponents’ net. Each team starts on opposite sides of the field (either Blue or Orange). The ball starts in the middle of the field. After a countdown, the timer begins, and players race to be the first to hit the ball with their car. Once the ball is in play, the 5-minute countdown starts, only stopping when a goal is scored.

Each team starts on opposite sides of the field (either Blue or Orange). The ball starts in the middle of the field. After a countdown, the timer begins, and players race to be the first to hit the ball with their car. Once the ball is in play, the 5-minute countdown starts, only stopping when a goal is scored.

A team wins the match by scoring more goals than their opponent within the 5-minute time limit. Tied games will be sent to Overtime, where the first team to score will be the winner of the game.

3 803 active teams playing

League of Legends esports is the professional competition of the multiplayer online battle arena video game League of Legends. It is developed and published by Riot Games and was first released in 2009.

Professional tournaments began in 2011 with the Season 1 World Championship at DreamHack in Jönköping, Sweden. The latest major tournament was the 2023 League of Legends World Championship.
League of Legends is one of the largest esports with various annual tournaments taking place worldwide.

In terms of esports professional gaming as of June 2016, League of Legends has had $29,203,916 USD in prize money, 4,083 Players, and 1,718 tournaments, compared to Dota 2’s US$64,397,286 of prize money, 1,495 players, and 613 tournaments.

3 067 active teams playing

Valorant is the newest FPS hero shooter published by Riot Games. Released in 2020, it has already matured as an esports title and regularly features events and competitions.

The game draws motivation from both Counter-Strike and Overwatch as a 5on5 tactical based shooter where two squads engage in round based plant/defuse scenarios.

The first team to win 13 rounds wins the match. While still considered a young esport, Valorant is already featured with betting sites and features similar markets with CS:GO.

With the competition underway for the 2024 season, here is the ultimate handbook for navigating the competitive VALORANT Champions Tour. This guide provides invaluable insights into the VALORANT Champions Tour, covering fundamental aspects such as its definition, schedule, participating teams, and operational framework.

The VALORANT Champions Tour (VCT) showcases the world’s top teams in a year-long, global circuit organized by Riot Games. This tour comprises three tiers of competition: Challengers, Masters, and Champions.

2 319 active teams playing

Dota 2 is a the successful online Mulitplayer by Valve. You play in two teams 5 v 5, the team that destroys the enemys core, the Ancient, first is the winner.

At the beginning of each match all players can choose from a variety of characters, called Heroes. There are over 110 Heroes in the game, each one with different abilities, mechanics and playstyles.

After the selection the Teams start on opposing sides in their respective base. The objective is to get to the enemy base and the destroy the Ancient.

There are 3 different Lanes that connect the bases. On the way to each base there are Towers and structures, that need to be destroyed in order to get to the Ancient. Creeps provide you with help, by spawning from your Ancient and running down the lanes to attack towers.

The area between the lanes is called Jungle, where a lot of Monsters are waiting. In order to win you have to gain experience and gold, by defeating enemy players and monsters.

  • Dota 2 – $315 769 612 prize pool
  • Counter-Strike – $140 049 844 prize pool
  • Fortnite – $117 999 332 prize pool
  • League of Legends – $103 139 166 prize pool
  • PUBG Mobile – $84 666 615 prize pool

Top-5 of top mobile esports games by prize pool:

  • PUBG Mobile – $84 666 615
  • Honor of Kings – $67 884 451
  • Free Fire – $20 268 937
  • Arena of Valor – $17 770 369
  • Mobile Legends: Bang Bang – $15 182 315

  1. League of Legends (PC / Console) – Prize Pool: $2 473 846 – Peak Viewers: 2 656 93814 Apr
  2. Mobile Legends: Bang Bang (Mobile) – Prize Pool: $1 064 201 – – Peak Viewers: 1 865 92830 Mar
  3. Counter-Strike (PC / Console) – Prize Pool: $5 494 844 – Peak Viewers: 1 853 95431 Mar
  4. Valorant (PC / Console) – Prize Pool: $1 449 861 – Peak Viewers: 1 687 84824 Mar
  5. Fortnite (PC / Console) – Prize Pool: $2 476 246 – Peak Viewers: 739 57525 Feb
  6. Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege (PC / Console) – Prize Pool: $4 475 020 – Peak Viewers: 521 37426 Feb
  7. Minecraft (PC / Console) – Prize Pool: $111 000 – Peak Viewers: 516 31525 Jan
  8. PUBG Mobile (Mobile) – Prize Pool: $1 236 034 – Peak Viewers: 513 68007 Apr
  9. Arena of Valor (Mobile) – Prize Pool: $681 658 – Peak Viewers: 455 20917 Mar
  10. Rocket League (PC / Console) – Prize Pool: $1 886 516 – Peak Viewers: 435 50331 Mar
NameTypePrize PoolPeak Viewers
1Counter-StrikePC / Console$5 494 8441 853 95431 Mar
2Dota 2PC / Console$4 636 973360 89414 Feb
3Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six SiegePC / Console$4 475 020521 37426 Feb
4FortnitePC / Console$2 476 246739 57525 Feb
5League of LegendsPC / Console$2 473 8462 656 93814 Apr
6Street FighterPC / Console$2 194 226311 61026 Feb
7Apex LegendsPC / Console$1 890 812253 21505 May
8Rocket LeaguePC / Console$1 886 516435 50331 Mar
9ValorantPC / Console$1 449 8611 687 84824 Mar
10PUBG MobileMobile$1 236 034513 68007 Apr

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