Top 5 Games in the World of eSports
When the pandemic broke out, live sporting action was affected badly and major sporting leagues had to quickly intervene.
16:04 07 June 2021
Some high profile tournaments were postponed, much to the dismay of die-hard sports enthusiasts. But thankfully, esports came to the rescue of these fans, who were at a loose end in the absence of competitive sports.
For something that is played over the internet and not inside a studio or on a pitch, pandemic was never a problem. Sure, esports did suffer from its own share of postponements and cancellations, but it was no stumbling block to the tremendous run it had leading up to the pandemic. Regardless of the pandemic, esports rose like a dark horse and several top publishers pulled no stops in making sure that their titles continued to garner attention and consolidated their positions as leaders.
Esports has been growing amazingly fast since it became mainstream. But for the games featured below, the growth after the pandemic has been nothing short of remarkable. Let’s take a look at them in this story.
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) made its debut almost a decade ago, with a strong legacy of multiplayer First Person Shooting (FPS) titles to back it up. Roll forward to this year and this game has really stuck to its guns (no pun intended) and managed to stay on top of all other titles in the tactical Competitive Shooter (CS) scene. Well-established gameplay and a growing community of active gamers are probably two reasons why this game has been able to hold its own against all its rivals, some of which even boasted of sophisticated features. The talk is that some new gen gamers find it a bit lacking in visual effects among other areas compared to other eSports titles. That being said, its pedigree is still unrivalled thanks to its cult-like following among loyal CS fans who’ve always appreciated its pure, no-frills gameplay and a never-ending supply of nail-biting games. Popular Esports majors like the ESL Pro League sees the finest CS:GO talent from all over the world battle it out to demonstrate their FPS superiority. All the action from this eSports league- live, replays and highlights- are available to stream on Twitch and other streaming platforms.
If Competitive Shooting titles aren't your cup of tea and you’re looking for something different, League of Legends (LOL), developed by Riot Games, might be a good fit to you. A unique gameplay that blends together crucial elements like tower defence, role playing and real-time battle strategy made LOL the default choice of the Multiplayer Online Battle Arena (MOBA) gaming aficionados, with popular titles like DOTA 2 and Heroes of the Storm coming up a distant second and third. In its rise through the ranks of the esports kingdom, LOL has managed to create its own massive fan base which keeps swelling year after year. Millions of viewers flock to the marquee event, The League of Legends Worlds Championship, the recent edition of which sent viewership records tumbling with almost 50 million concurrent viewers tuning in to catch a glimpse of the high voltage battle that some of the best LOL teams engaged in.
DOTA (Defense of the Ancients) 2 has a large, loyal player base, quite fitting of the most popular esports game title ever. The biggest leagues staged online saw some of the finest talent battle it out for a share of a $30 million prize pot. Surprisingly, for an esports game with such a huge prize pool, DOTA 2 is built on the core concept that two competing teams must push their opponent back to their spawn point and annihilate their home base. The task, as an individual, is to achieve victory for your team: pick the right hero to do battle and use his attributes, skill set and playing style to your advantage. Players who compete professionally in these leagues are skilled at developing new strategies, demonstrate great understanding of the core mechanics and have a handle on using spells, when to go on an offensive action etc. The competition becomes more fierce as we move towards the business end of these cash-rich leagues, any goof-ups in the run of play might prove to be too costly for the participating teams as there’s a lot of money on the line. Check out PlayersHive today to see which Dota 2 leagues are in full force now and to follow players that are making waves there.
Bored of seeing gritty, dark and gruesome mercenaries wield guns? It was high time some game developer shook things up a little. Luckily for people like you, Valve redefined FPS games by launching Team Fortress 2, which clearly reinvigorated the multiplayers shooter space by instilling a bit of cartoony fun into characters. But Blizzard went one step further and came up with Overwatch, a fast-paced FPS game with colorful yet complex cartoon-ish characters, thematically rich visuals, and a gripping backstory. Known for its multiple game modes, adrenaline-pumping gameplay and MOBA-like twists, Overwatch has carved a niche of its own and steered well clear of its rivals. Credit to the developer for taking the game to the competitive esports space in a grand fashion, the Overwatch leagues now rank right up there with the bigwigs in this space, with some insiders billing The Overwatch World Cup as the ultimate prize in the esports space.
Hearthstone had a crazy start with its launch sending the whole digital Collectible Card Game (CCG) scene to a frenzy. It was a monolith for a few years before titles from rival publishers started hitting the scene trying to imitate its success. But nothing could match the impact created by Hearthstone. For instance, the likes of Elder Scrolls: Legends may have brought plenty of mechanical innovations to the table but still fell short of Hearthstone on many counts. If there was a digital CCG game that scored well on vital areas like design, production value, and game play, it was Hearthstone. No other game could come close to denting its reputation to this day. Blizzard, the publisher, did really well in following through with the success of Hearthstone by quickly creating a competitive esports scene around it. The pro circuit is still going strong, with insane cash pots on offer. No wonder this CCG game is giving its FPS and MOBA counterparts in the esports scene a run for the money.
From car racing to football, and from competitive shooting to basketball, there is really something for everyone. And the best part is it is all available for free and accessible easily. The sudden surge in popularity and viewership of Esports tournaments across all these sporting disciplines goes to show that the virtual gaming leagues are putting out quality content that is simply too good to pass up for the average sport enthusiast.
With some big names and top professionals from different disciplines of sports getting down to play in cash-rich leagues, things are looking up for esports as an industry. It would be fair to say that hordes of new spectators will be joining in on the bandwagon. Where else do they get a glimpse of their favourite players in action? Where do they get to see how their favourite players duke it out with each other, off the pitch, off the racing tracks and off the studio?