Competitive gaming has been one of the fastest growing industries in the world for years and more and more people are getting involved. But… if you’re unfamiliar with the concept but interested, which ones are the best to watch and possibly even play?
“E-sport” is a form of competition using competitive video games (typically in a team form) with prize pools, and the system is very similar to regular sports such as football. All players in these teams/organisations are usually professional gamers.
Competitive video gaming has been around since online gaming began but this is when the term “e-sport” wasn’t a thing and gaming wasn’t considered a profession. This was the case until the late 2000's when competitive video gaming sky rocketed in popularity. Today, in 2020, competitive video gaming (e-sports) is a massive part of the whole video-game industry and still growing with more people watching, mainstream media getting involved and game developers making more of these competitive types of games.
So, which are the best e-sports to watch and play?
*Please note legal age classifications for each game*
5. Rainbow Six Siege (18+)
Despite Rainbow Six Siege’s shaky start, the game based on Tom Clancy’s books has grown into a major e-sport averaging over 120,000 concurrent players as well as a viewership of up to 250,000 people watching the Six Major Paris final.
The game is a first-person-shooter aka an ‘FPS’ game. The main strategy of the game is a team of five against another team of five trying to defend or attack an objective; Bomb, Hostage or Secure Area. The players have a limited time to “attack” or “defend” the objective and the winner is the one who ends up with the most points. The attackers win points by either defusing one of the bombs, rescuing the hostage or secure area and holding it for 10 seconds consecutively.
4. Fortnite (12+)
If you’re into games then it’s more than likely that you’ve heard of Fortnite. Since its release in September 2017, it’s taken the world by storm. In 2018 it was declared the most popular game in the world. Since then it is recorded to have a player count of over 350 million. It also has a large competitive scene. Sixteen year old Kyle “Bugha” Giersdorf won the Fortnite World Cup in July 2019 and walked away with three million dollars in prize money.
The game is known for its large player base and charming graphic style. The most popular version of Fortnite is the Battle Royale mode. In this mode one hundred players battle across a large area which reduces over time. Players pick up weapons and resources allowing them to get an edge in combat and defeat other players. The winner is declared when only one player remains standing.
3. League of Legends (13+)
League of Legends is one of the biggest e-sports in the world with a player-base of over 115 million (as of early 2020). In 2019, the League of Legends world championships hit a whopping 100 million unique viewers making it the most viewed e-sports event of the year.
Unlike Fortnite and Rainbow Six, League of Legends is a Multiplayer online battle arena game (MOBA). League of Legends combines the Real-time Strategy and Role-Playing game concepts into one game. Two teams go head-to-head in a battle arena where they can choose different champions which have different abilities and play styles and each hero can be improved as the game goes on. The winning team is the first team to complete the objective depending on the game type.
2. Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (18+)
CS:GO is one the leading competitive first person shooter in the world today. The Counter-Strike franchise was released back in 1999 and 21 years later, it’s still loved and known as one of the best competitive first person shooters. During 2020 CS:GO player count peaked at an impressive 1,300,000 concurrent players. The eLeague 2018 Boston final was one the most exciting and hyped up matches of all time hitting a peak of over 1.8 million viewers.
Counter Strike follows a fairly simple concept, it’s a team based game of 5 players in each team, one being the Terrorists and the other being the Counter-Terrorists. The terrorists either have to eliminate the other team or plant and detonate a bomb on one of the designated bomb sites. The Counter-Terrorists have to either eliminate the other team while holding each bomb site, or defuse the planted bomb. You are given limited time so if the time runs out, the Counter-terrorists win.
1. Defence of the Ancients (DotA) 2
Known as one the most complex e-sports out there, DotA 2 is averaging at around 550,000 concurrent players and some of the largest prize pools of e-sports, racking up to a $30 million prize pool in 2019. DotA 2 is arguably one of the most popular and most rewarding e-sport to play and watch.
DotA 2 is an Action Real-time Strategy game. It is based off of two 5 player based teams; Radiant and Dire. Each player has their own hero which has their unique ability and characteristics which can be improved as the game goes on. The winning team has to complete the objective; destroy the ancient in the enemies’ stronghold.
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