There are a number of video games which are played professionally in a competitive environment. Playing video games competitively is what is referred to as eSports. These eSports games can be categorized into a few main genres such as Fighting games, First Person Shooter or FPS, Multi Player Online Battle Arena or MOBA and Sports Games. Amongst these genres, the Multiplayer Online Battle Arena or MOBA games are based on strategy and typically feature 5×5 teams playing on a PC.
MOBA games have become increasing popular over the years and have a large following. Another popular genre are the First Person Shooter or FPS games which generally involve a shootout either between individuals or teams and are played from a first person perspective.
Some of the most popular eSports games are:
- Dota 2:
Is a game published by Valve Corporation and is extremely popular in its category of Multiplayer Online Battle Arena (MOBA). This game pits two 5×5 teams against each other.Each team controls a base which sends out small combat units called “creeps”. Three paths connect the bases along which Towers or structures are strategically located. Creeps move along the paths and attack players and towers controlled by the opposite team.
Each base has an “ancient” or a central building. The team which destroys the opposing team’s ancient building wins.
The popularity of this game has grown considerably over the last few years and in 2015, a total of 220 tournaments were played worldwide and the total prize money awarded was over $31 million based on esportsearnings.com.
- League of Legends: Is a game in which 2 teams of 5 players each compete to destroy their opponent’s nexus structure which is located in the team’s base.
Bases are connected via three paths or lanes through which the two teams fight. There are various contents and characters in the game. Some contents like Minions are used to attack and kill the other team’s base and players, while other content like Turrets are used as self defence from enemies.
Gold can be earned by killing contents like Minion and this gold can then be spent to earn new abilities and reach new levels. Another content is the jungles which are filled with monsters which can also be killed to earn gold.
League of Legends
This game is extremely popular in the eSports community and draws a large viewership worldwide. Peak time daily viewership reaches 7.5 million people. The World Championships for this game in 2014 was watched by 27 million people. The total prize money awarded in 2015 for this game was more than $7 million with 302 tournaments being played worldwide as per esportsearnings.com.
- Counter Strike: Global Offensive: The sequel to the immensely popular Counter Strike: Source. This game is a first person shooter game made by Valve Corporation. The game features 5×5 matchups in which one team plays the role of the terrorists and the other team plays the role of counter-terrorists.
There are 30 rounds in one match and then the teams switch roles at the half-way mark. The first team who wins 16 rounds wins the match.
The team playing terrorists has to place and detonate a bomb at one of two designated locations and the counter-terrorist team has to stop the bomb from being placed or, if the bomb has been placed, then has to diffuse the bomb within 35 seconds.
Victory can be achieved by killing all members of the opposite team. The best of three matchups are common in many tournaments. As per esportsearnings.com, the total prize money awarded for this game was in excess of $6 million with 701 tournaments taking place in 2015.
- Smite:A multiplayer online game which is played with a third person perspective unlike other multiplayer games like Dota 2 which are played with an isometric camera perspective. The game was developed by Hi-Rez studios and released in March 2014.
In Smite, characters are based on mythological entities from Egyptian, Hindu, Mayan and other cultures as well. In the game, two teams of 5 players each compete to destroy the Titan in the other team’s base.
The game is played on a map of three lanes and a jungle full of neutral monsters. Each of the five players in the team is assigned a special role. Characters earn abilities and features as the game progresses.
SMITE by Hi-Rez Studios
Gold is awarded on kills and assists and this gold can be spent to earn more features to enhance a character’s strength. As per esportsearnings.com, the total prize money awarded in 2015 was $3.8 million with 42 tournaments being played.
- StarCraft 2:This game was released in 1998 by Blizzard Entertainment and was one of the first eSports games to gain widespread acceptance as a strategy game.
The game features one by one matches but two by two games can also be played. This game consists of hubs, which contain minerals and gas deposits around which players construct a base with buildings.
The minerals and gas deposits are extracted by players and spent on forming army units and constructing more advanced buildings.
The goal is to destroy the other player’s base while preventing the opponent from doing the same to your side. According to esportsearnings.com, total prize money of more than $2.8 million was awarded in 2015 with 672 tournaments taking place worldwide.
Sequels to this game have also been released over the years. A sequel to this game was released in 2010, called Starcraft 2: Wings of Liberty. A sequel to Wings of Liberty, called Heart of the Swarm has also been released. A sequel to Heart of Swarms is awaited. None of these upgrades has differed considerably from the previous versions.
- Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare: A first person shooter game published by Activision.
This game belongs to the popular Call of Duty franchise. It is estimated that overall sales figures for games belonging to this franchise have crossed $10 billion. In this game, teams or individuals compete on a battlefield looking to achieve objectives like getting the most kills or capturing and holding flags for a predetermined time period.
The general premise of the game has remained the same through all the updated versions released. In Advanced Warfare, new features like EXO movements and allowing players to choose different types of weapons have been added.
Call of Duty
According to esportsearnings.com, total prize money of more than $2.4 million was awarded in 2015 with 361 tournaments taking place.
- Heroes of the Storm: This is a multiplayer online battle arena game developed by Blizzard Entertainment. This is one of the newest games to hit the eSports market after being released in the summer of 2015. The game is a conglomeration of characters from popular games offered by the likes of Warcraft and StarCraft.
In this game 5×5 matchups take place with players being provided with 6 free heroes which change weekly. Players can permanently select a hero by making a payment.
The purpose of the game is to kill the other side’s heroes as well as killing neutral units controlled by the computer, to gain points called experience points. Reaching a certain threshold of points, gives you a specific level of experience and thereby allows a hero to gain more powers.
Heroes of the Storm
Many tournaments feature this game and one of the most popular is the Heroes of the Storm World Championships. This is also one of the biggest tournaments with a prize pool of $1.2 million. According to esportsearnings.com, total prize money of more than $2.4 million was awarded in 2015 with 264 tournaments taking place.
- Hearthstone:Has turned out to be one of the fastest growing eSports games.
It is a collectible card game in which players initially start with a deck of 30 cards along with a selected hero who has a unique power.
The goal is to reduce the opponent’s health to zero. Players can cast spell and summon minions to attack their opponent.
They can also use micro transactions to trade up cards and improve their deck.
This game is offered on a free to play platform and is easy to learn for beginners. According to esportsearnings.com, total prize money of more than $2.3 million was awarded in 2015 with 237 tournaments taking place.