From playing games just for fun and entertainment to one of the biggest industries in the world, for decades, we have all witnessed the evolution of Esports. Esports has changed traditional gaming to a great extent. Now, almost every gamer is playing games to become a competitive one. The manufacturers are manufacturing more high-end gaming setups for heavy Esports-centric games. Today, most developers are developing games from Esports’ point of view. Moreover, in this global pandemic situation the viewership, revenue generation, and the number of participants increased enormously.
All these factors are contributing to make Esports an ever-growing industry.
In this article, we will be having a look at some of the most popular Esports games in 2021.
Let’s get started!
1. League of Legends (LoL)
In Esports, League of Legends has been a wonderful strategic game since its release, developed by Riot Games. The first official tournament of League of Legends was held back in 2009 (the year of its release). Since then, the number of participants and the viewership of League of Legends Esports is increasing at a constant rate every year.
In 2020, the League of Legends (LoL) World Championship achieved a peak viewership of 3.8 million which was a little short of the previous year’s viewership (3.9 million). However, the number of viewers still surpassed the 100 million mark in 2020. The trend is expected to continue to grow in the ongoing year.
You can see the schedules and matches of League of Legends Esports on the official website of LoLEsports.
2. Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS: GO)
Whenever we talk about shooter games in Esports, CS GO is the game that always comes on top of the list. An FPP shooter masterpiece developed and published by Valve Corporation and Hidden Path Entertainment in 2012, CS GO is a game that had the most number of viewers and players at a period.
It can be seen that there’s a significant increase in its concurrent players and viewership in the past few years. In 2019 and 2020, the peak viewership of CS GO has reached 1.2 million viewers and beat many records at that time. It was the only CS GO event to reach a peak above one million concurrent viewers in 2019. CS GO is most likely to carry on its growth in Esports in the coming years as well.
You can see the schedules and news of CS GO Esports on the official website of CS GO Esports.
3. DOTA 2
One of the most played and finest Esports games ever designed, DOTA 2 is a far more complex game than League of Legends, developed and published by Valve Corporation in 2013. Every year, the officials are organizing DOTA 2 tournaments with huge prize pools that attract a huge fan base. Awarded many times as the best game for Esports, DOTA 2 is a real gem in the competitive marketplace of Esports.
In the past couple of years, it can be seen that DOTA 2 has not the same number of viewers and watch hours as they were in 2016 (peak year of DOTA 2) but the game still stands out in the world of Esports with a huge audience and number of players all around the world.
4. Apex Legends
Apex Legends has recently stepped into the Esports. It has greatly evolved in the year 2020 where multiple tournaments took place and we have seen a great rise in its concurrent players and viewership. This remarkable battle royale game was developed and published by Respawn Entertainment in the year 2019.
In the year 2020, there is a rapid increase in its active players, streamers started to stream its gameplay and the competitive gamers started to build their skills in the game to compete in the official tournaments. In all this progress, Apex Legends has a strong chance to become a major Esports game in the upcoming years.
You can see the schedules and news of Apex Legends Esports on the official website of Apex Legends.
In the last year, Fortnite was named as the most played game in an annual year. The game is available to play on mobile as well as on PC. But, mostly the tournaments are based on the PC version. The game is so unique with very appealing animated graphics. Fortnite is also new if we compare it with games like DOTA 2 and League of Legends, released in 2017 developed and published by Epic Games. Every year, the best players of Fortnite all around the world compete against each other to win the global title in the biggest tournament of Fortnite known as Fortnite World Cup.
In May of 2020, Fortnite reached a peak of 350 million active players, according to a chart released by Statista. The number of players who are playing Fortnite is drastically increasing over time. Despite its newness, Fornite is becoming a big Esports game now.
You can see the schedules and news of Fortnite Esports on the official website of Epic Games.
6. PlayerUnknowns Battlegrounds
A battle royale masterpiece, available on PC and Mobile!
PUBG Mobile is an exceptional battle royale shooter game just like Fortnite but with realistic graphics. It was initially released in 2016, developed and published by PUBG Corporation.
The competitive atmosphere of the mobile version is much more popular and has a huge audience as compared to the PC version. Currently, PUBG MOBILE (Mobile version) comes out on the top in the list of popular competitive mobile games. The format of the PUBG MOBILE official tournaments is quite difficult to understand however the prize pool is getting BIGGER every year!
In the past couple of years, the scope of Esports in PUBG MOBILE has increased tremendously. The Tencent Games and PUBG Corporation have organized many tournaments with different formats and huge prize pools covering almost every region in the world so far. Considering its genre, PUBG is one of the biggest Esports games today.
You can register, see the schedules, and watch the matches of PUBG Mobile Esports on the official website of PUBG Mobile Esports.
A brand new full of action masterpiece, Valorant is a very unique game of its type. It was released in the previous year, developed and published by Riot Games.
Valorant has a strong foundation in its gameplay, and of course, that’s the most significant part for an FPS of this style to succeed. Valorant easily captures the competitive highs of a good, intense tournament to be held. The developers of the games said that the game is designed especially for Esports purpose. If we see newzoo reports on Valorant, we will get a clear idea of how Valorant is going to thrive in the world of Esports in the future.
You can see live standings and matches of Valorant Esports on the official website of Valorant Esports.
A remarkable and old series of Football games. I think FIFA does not require a formal introduction as all the football fans are already well aware of the game. Every year, the tournaments of FIFA are based on its most recent installment in the series (FIFA 21).
Just like in the past years, the officials of FIFA are organizing official tournaments for FIFA, which are currently in progress also. The formats of FIFA are continuously changing and are different from the previous year’s tournaments but the competition level is at its peak.
To engage more players and viewers, FIFA has added many additional features in the tournaments like adding FIFA professionals, content creators, and influencers in the tournaments to make it more fun and entertaining for players as well as for fans.
You can find a complete schedule of the tournaments here.
To learn more about the competitive gaming of FIFA, you can visit the official website of FIFA Esports.
The Trend of Esports in 2021
The COVID-19 lockdowns have boosted user engagement with video games and esports. People are spending considerably more time on gaming and watching games. So, because of the current situation around the globe, the number of competitive gamers and viewers has increased exponentially.
Players with excellent gaming skills are representing their regions or countries in International tournaments and also earning revenue from it. The Olympic Games are also taken into account as a potential method to legitimize esports.
Marketing Hub found that overall awareness of eSports between 2015 and 2019 doubled, and is on track to hit nearly 3 billion people by the end of 2021. And we all know that increased awareness brings increased consumption, investment, and sponsorship.
As competitive video games continue to integrate into popular culture, global investors, brands, media outlets, and consumers are all paying attention to it. Total esports viewership is expected to grow at a 9% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) between 2019 and 2023, up from 454 million in 2019 to 646 million in 2023, per Insider Intelligence estimates. That puts the esports audience on pace to nearly double over six years, as the 2017 audience stood at 335 million.