Just a few years ago, people would have laughed if you told them that you were a professional gamer. Now, being a competitive eSports gamer is one of the most profitable jobs on the planet. More and more people are practicing every day with the hope of being signed by a professional eSports team.
There are many games out there that have become hugely popular for the competitive online mode. In some cases, these competitive gaming tournaments even sell out massive in-person arenas and stadiums. The viewership for eSports can be compared to real-life sporting events, which is a testament to how much the industry has grown.
But which games are the most popular?
Which games draw in the biggest crowds?
This article will cover the top 5 most popular competitive online games, in terms of player base and tournament viewership.
Let’s jump right in!
- Apex Legends
Apex Legends has been around for quite some time now after releasing during the battle royal boom. This game took some of the most useful features from other shooters like Call of Duty and put them into a massive royal-based arena game.
Many people expected the game to die out after a while but here we are, with Apex Legends still dominating the online gaming sphere. The player base continues to grow with around 300 000 concurrent online players at any moment.
The prize money for Apex tournaments has also been increasing, and in many cases, it’s in line with other online games. For example, the many pokies Australia offers its online players also have huge prizes, and Apex tournaments are aiming to reward winners in much the same way. This means that if you’re thinking of going pro in this game, there could be some serious money to be made!
- Call of Duty: Warzone
Above we mentioned that Apex to some of the most important features from Call of Duty when developing their battle royal game. However, no matter how hard many game development companies may try to mimic the Call of Duty formula, no one can do it as well as the original.
Even before the release of their Warzone battle royal game mode, Call of Duty was one of the most popular competitive online games on the market. You could even make the argument that it was the most popular online game of its generation.
And the hype doesn’t seem to be slowing down any time soon!
Call of Duty capitalized on the battle royal boom and released possibly the most loved and played battle royal on the market – Warzone.
- Dota 2
Dota 2 is a competitive online game with a massive fan and player base. This might be surprising because Dota is such a difficult game to master. Once you do get the hang of it, however, it becomes very difficult to put down.
Alongside battle royal games, the MOBA genre is probably the most popular in the competitive online gaming genre. Dota was a pioneer of MOBA games. It has withstood the test of time, still being one of the most played games on the market.
Dota has a recurring monthly player base of over 400,000 people. That outperforms almost every single game on this list. The biggest prize won at a Dota tournament stands at a whopping $40 million.
The evolution and growth of Fortnite is something never before seen in the gaming industry. It started as a small game with a relatively moderate player base. It exploded into perhaps the biggest and most played game of its generation. Nobody could have predicted the immense growth of Fortnite.
The game took the world by storm when it came out in the late 2010s. It also popularized the battle royal game mode. Before Fortnite battle royal games weren’t really a thing. Once Fortnite became as popular as it did, almost every single game on the market tried to mimic it.
But what is a battle royal?
A battle royal game mode is basically where a large group of players gets dropped onto a massive map, and the last man standing wins the grand prize. Think Hunger Games but on your home console. This type of game mode is highly conducive to competitive gaming as it takes patience and skill to come out on top.
Fortnite has become one of the most watched, and played, competitive online games in the world right now, with a player base of over 550 million daily players. The biggest-ever Fortnite tournament had a grand prize of over $30 million.
Popular Fortnite streamers like Ninja and a few others have gone on to become famous celebrities worldwide, all in a matter of years. For all the negative press Fortnite may get, it has shown the power of the gaming industry.
- League of Legends
So, on this list we’ve had 3 battle royal entries, and now 2 MOBA-type game entries. As mentioned previously these are by far the game modes most conducive to competitive online gaming. But League of Legends is truly in a league of its own when it comes to popular online games.
League has been around for a long time and yet it just seems to become more and more popular with each year. Currently, there are over 152 million daily players, which is an impressive number for a game that came out nearly a decade ago.
It’s in the competitive sphere where League of Legends truly shines though. The biggest-ever League of Legends tournament had viewership numbers exceeding 50 million online watchers.
This easily rivals some of the biggest and most popular real-life sporting events that take place around the world.
League of Legends was a pioneer in the online competitive gaming industry. It fully deserves the respect it gets, taking the number one spot on this list.
So, it’s clear that the eSports industry is thriving more than ever before. Many people around the world see the potential of gaming as a career. Looking at the games and numbers mentioned above, it makes perfect sense.
Grab your controller and start practicing! You never know, you could be up next!