The past year turned out to be yet another unprecedented age for the eSports industry with more frequent events as well as an increasingly higher viewer count from all over the world. Not only the existing popular titles, but newer titles with great potential contributed to this growth as well. Whether you are just a casual fan or a dedicated gamer looking for a game to call home, read on to discover a few of the best eSports titles in today’s world and what suits your talents best to ease the competition!
If you are a fan of first-person shooters, then Valorant no doubt takes the crown among all its competitors. Earning itself the title of the eSports Game of the Year in 2022, this tactical shooter reached a shocking height in the eSports world within barely 2 years since its release in June, 2020.
Developed and published by Riot Games, Valorant quickly gained fame due to its unique mix of fantasy and fps elements, showing much similarity to the popular titles CS:GO and Overwatch upon first impression.
Presenting an ‘Agent’ pool to select from with each having their own unique abilities much like in Overwatch, Valorant is known for demanding precision shooting and tactical play from its players in a 5v5 battle format.
Still don’t see why Valorant was good enough to be declared the eSports game of the year in 2022? Maybe this will answer your doubts: Riot Games can be said to have made a successful move when they decided to embody their intention of making tactical shooters and eSports more accessible for new players, significantly increasing their prospective player count compared to other high-end eSports titles.
Moreover, the Valorant Champions Tour (VCT) becoming one of the largest eSports events in the world was also undoubtedly of great help, the Valorant Champions 2022 itself amassing over one million peak views and over five hundred million views on average.
If you are an avid fps player and love cooperating with your team in action-packed shootouts mixed with fantasy elements, Valorant might turn out to be your long term home regardless of you being a casual or hardcore gamer. It also makes Valorant gameplay all the more interesting to watch as a fan!
League of Legends
Being one of the longest standing games in contemporary eSports, League of Legends doesn’t seem to be seeing any decline at all despite its age and is still home to an enthusiastic player base and fans from all over the world.
Embodying a MOBA(Multiplayer Online Battle Arena) style gameplay format where two teams of 5 play for their objectives in an expansive map, League of Legends offers its players the classic MOBA experience where teamwork and strategy bear the fruit of victory. Despite this, League manages to set itself apart from other MOBAS by placing slightly greater emphasis on individual mechanical skills.
What makes League stand out from its eSports competitors are the consistent adjustments to the game made by the developers including hundreds of gorgeous character designs which are fun to play with and their award-winning eSports events that garner the attention of the entire world.
The best attestment to the popularity of League events is the game’s record breaking achievement of recording the highest number of concurrent viewers in all of eSports history of over five million at the League of Legends World Championship 2022.
Another interesting news in recent times is that of Riot Games ending their 12-year partnership with Garena in Southeast Asia. Since November 18th 2022, players have been able to transition their accounts from Garena to Riot in anticipation for the change in January 2023. So if you were a Garena League player, now you can play in Riot’s own native platform and have the same experience as everyone in the world!
Home to one of the world’s largest eSports fandoms, League of Legends presents an easier learning curve in its initial stages, making it a perfect fit to both entry and veteran MOBA players alike.
An age-old classic in the FPS genre of games, Counter Strike rose to fame in the global eSports scene in 2012 with the 4th installation of the series by Valve, Counter Strike: Global Offensive. The world was quick to realize the potential of this game and barely a year after release, tournaments featuring this eSports title began to be a common sight throughout the world.
The game features two teams of 5 players facing off against each other in a best-of-30 match with one team acting as the ‘Counter-terrorists’ whose objective is to defuse the bomb planted by the opposing team of ‘Terrorists’. Typically, both teams will have to switch their roles multiple times during an extended match, often allowing interesting displays of strategy.
As an FPS eSports title, CS:GO prioritizes precision shooting and map awareness. Moreover, the ‘Buy Menu’ which is accessible between rounds in a match too provides players with unique variables, often becoming one of the most decisive factors in the game.
In regards to the eSports world, the ESL Pro League stands out as the premier professional league in the world, earning itself a place among the top professional eSports leagues in the world concurrently. Of course, what drives CS:GO forward is not just this, but also the ‘Majors’ hosted by Valve every year with a minimum prize pool of $1,000,000, calling upon players from all over the world through multiple qualification events.
Initially marked with a price of $14.99, CS:GO was made a free-to-play game in 2018, boosting the game’s already dominating presence in the eSports world. As such, now would be the best time for any new players to join in the fun and be a part of one of the most popular and longest standing eSports titles of all time.
No discussion about competitive eSports can exist without the mention of DOTA 2. Being yet another eSports title that has existed for almost a Decade, Valve takes the classic MOBA formula to the next level and adds in much more complexity and depth to their game, making it stand out as a unique existence among all its competitors.
Similar to any other MOBA, DOTA 2 also follows a standard 5v5 format and is home to a large pool of heroes each with unique abilities. The map has 3 large lanes and both teams play for the goal of destroying the opposing team’s base (‘Ancient’ according to game terminology). However, this is where the similarities shared between a normal MOBA and DOTA 2 comes to an end.
Unlike its peers, DOTA 2 boasts a much larger map and many other unique additions that make the gameplay much more intriguing. The player is expected to be aware of all the variables in the game and strategize accordingly if he has to have any hope of victory. This leaves DOTA 2 with a much more difficult learning curve as opposed to most eSports titles in existence.
Still in doubt why DOTA 2 is among the best in eSports? The answer can easily be found in the fact that this game holds the record for the largest cumulative prize pool in eSports history of over forty million U. S. Dollars at The International 2021’. The game retained its crown in 2022 as well, topping the leaderboards once again with the highest overall prize pool.
The game is expected to reign for a long time to come in the future with regular updates from Valve Corporation to optimize the game as best as possible. Think you are up to it? A complex game filled with intuitive strategies and uncertainties; if that is your cup of tea, perhaps you might enjoy your time in DOTA 2 with friends.
Fortnite is a game that redefined the battle royale genre back when it was released in 2017. While retaining the typical gunfights, the ingenious developers added in a fresh twist to the game by introducing an interesting building mechanism.
In terms of gameplay mechanics, Fortnite requires its players to not only have precision aim, but also fast enough wit and reflexes to make optimum use of the building mechanism. Landing into a battlefield of up to a 100 individuals, players are immediately thrust into a race to collect weapons and resources to support themselves in this fast-paced game of survival.
Due to the uniqueness of the game, a single skilled player can have a much larger impact in the game in comparison to other Battle Royale titles, emphasizing the steep learning curve present that separates newbies from the veterans.
While Fortnite is mostly dominated by young eSports enthusiasts in comparison to other eSports titles, it records a surprisingly high prize pool every year with 2022 itself boasting a cumulative prize pool of over sixteen million U. S. Dollars. The last Fortnite World Cup was held in 2019 with the finals earning players over thirty million U. S. Dollars spanning both Solo and Duo modes, illustrating the popularity of the game in the world of eSports.
Considering all the features of Fortnite, the game is best played in either teams of two or solo if you are more geared towards eSports. Ideal for gamers who love fast-paced games where survival of the fittest is the norm, Fortnite will never disappoint its players who stick with it long-term.