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10 Most Popular Esports Games (2022)

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What are Esports Games?

Esports games are competitive video games played by professional players for entertainment purposes.

Esports is a shortened version of “electronic sports,” encompassing all competitive gaming.

A considerable number of esports games exist, but only a few of them stand out as being truly popular.

You might be surprised to learn how many different esports games are out there. Because video game development has become so widespread, many game developers have created their genres of games across various platforms.

If they catch on with the public, these genres can become quite popular and even develop fan bases that lead to tournaments and events.

If you’re just starting in this exciting field, here’s what you should know about esports games:

1. Overwatch

Overwatch
Source: PlayStation Store

A team based-competitive first-person shooter published by Blizzard Entertainment, Overwatch features over 30 playable characters from around the world, each with a unique ability and skill set.

The game has over 40 million players, making it one of the most popular games in the world.

As an Esport, it took off relatively late but is now home to two significant leagues owned and operated by Activision Blizzard as part of their Call of Duty franchise. This is one of the most popular eSports games.

2. PUBG

10 Most Popular Esports Games (2022)

The game that started a battle royale revolution, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds became an indie darling as soon as it was released in 2017.

Since then, its player count has dropped considerably, but it remains a popular choice for casual and professional players. This is one of the most popular eSports games.

Platform: PC and Mobile

Game modes: Solo, Duo, Squad

Developer: Bluehole Studios and PUBG Corporation

Publisher: Microsoft Studios

Release date: December 20, 2017 (PC) and March 19, 2018 (mobile)

Player count: 60 players per game (100 on mobile)

3. Fortnite

10 Most Popular Esports Games (2022)
Source: Epic Games Store

Fortnite is a video game that can be played across many platforms, including Xbox One and PlayStation 4.

The last person or team standing wins the game. It combines strategic planning and other skills with creative building abilities (players collect materials to build things).

Fortnite offers a battle royale mode in which 100 players fight out on an island with limited resources; the winner is the last player or team standing. The game also offers less competitive modes.

Epic Games first released Fortnite in July 2017; it became available to everyone in September 2017.

The free-to-play game has become incredibly popular among professional gamers and casual gamers alike: as of April 2018, more than 125 million people have played it worldwide.

It has generated at least $1 billion for its developer, Epic Games, according to VentureBeat’s Jeff Grubb (via Polygon). Fortnite is one of the most popular eSports games.

4. League of Legends

10 Most Popular Esports Games (2022)
Source: Epic Games

A team-based strategy game that requires a lot of teamwork and coordination, League of Legends, is one of the most popular games in the world, with over 100 million players logging into it every month.

That’s more than Fortnite, Minecraft, or Grand Theft Auto V. Developed by Riot Games, which was established in 2006 by two entrepreneurs who were inspired by the 2002 computer game WarCraft III: The Frozen Throne, League of Legends was launched in 2009, and has since snowballed in popularity.

The premise is simple: Two teams (blue and red) must destroy each other’s bases to win. Each player gets to choose their character (known as a “champion”), each with its strengths and weaknesses.

There are five roles that players can take on—top lane, jungle, mid lane, attack damage carry (ADC), and support—and matches last between 20 and 60 minutes. This game is one of the most popular eSports games.

5. Dota 2

10 Most Popular Esports Games (2022)
Source: The Esports Observer

Dota 2 is a multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) game, much like its predecessor. However, Dota 2 is not merely the sequel to Defense of the Ancients—it’s also one of the most-played games on Steam, with over one million concurrent players.

Dota 2 has also risen in popularity and gained a substantial amount of money in its esports scene; it regularly attracts players from around the world and has an annual international tournament, The International, where winning teams have claimed prize pools of over $20 million. Dota 2 is one of the most popular eSports games.

6. CS: GO

Counter-Strike - Global Offensive (CS- GO)

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS: GO) is a first-person shooter that first came out in 2012.

It’s multiplayer (meaning other people are playing against you), and the game’s goal is to eliminate your enemies with guns, knives, and grenades or by planting or defusing bombs.

The strategy comes into play when you’re figuring out how to best work together with your team members to defeat the opposing team. Consider all kinds of factors, like where you place your bombs.

Where do you position yourself? Which weapon should I use? Should I revive them if a teammate dies but isn’t entirely dead? These are just a few of the many decisions that need to be made in each round. CS: GO benefits from being an active and competitive Esport; because this game is so popular, there are tournaments where competitors can win money.

Some of these tournaments have prizes as high as $1 million! This is one of the most popular eSports games.

7. Rocket League

Rocket League
Source: Rocket League

Rocket League is a vehicular soccer video game developed and published by Psyonix.

The game was first released for Microsoft Windows and PlayStation 4 in July 2015, with ports for Xbox One, macOS, Linux, and Nintendo Switch later released.

In June 2016, 505 Games began distributing a physical retail version for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, with Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment taking over those duties by the end of 2017.

Designed as a follow-up to Psyonix’s Supersonic Acrobatic Rocket-Powered Battle-Cars, Rocket League has up to eight players assigned to each of the two teams, using rocket-powered vehicles to push a ball into their opponent’s goal and score points throughout a match.

The game includes single-player and multiplayer modes that can be played locally and online, including cross-platform play between all versions.

Later updates for the game enabled the ability to modify core rules and added new game modes, including ones based on ice hockey and basketball.

Rocket League has been praised, winning several industry awards such as Best Independent Game and Best Sports Game in 2015, Best Multiplayer Game at The Game Awards in 2016, and five Guinness World Records in 2017, among other accolades.

Over ten million copies had been sold by the beginning of 2018, with nearly 50 million players worldwide. This is one of the most popular eSports games.

8. StarCraft II

StarCraft II
Source: Blizzard News

Founded in 1998, Blizzard Entertainment’s StarCraft II is a sci-fi real-time strategy game that centers around a battle between two factions: the Terrans, human exiles from Earth, and the Zerg, an insectoid race.

The game is played on a map with three races, each of which has unique strengths and weaknesses. It was Blizzard’s best-selling game until World of Warcraft in 2008 eclipsed it.

9. Street Fighter V

Street Fighter V
Source: Steam

Street Fighter V, launched in 2016, is a fighting game developed by Capcom.

The franchise is one of the best-selling and most popular in the world, and its games are highly regarded for their technical gameplay and detailed animations.

Street Fighter V is a 2D one-on-one fighting game with several modes of play: Story Mode, online multiplayer matches against other players from around the world, training mode where you can practice specific moves against an opponent that doesn’t fight back, and character profiles so you can study up on all the characters if you’re new to the game. This Street Fighter V game is one of the most popular eSports games.

10. Hearthstone

Hearthstone
Source: Steam

Hearthstone is a collectible card game created by Blizzard Entertainment. In Hearthstone, you can battle against people online using a deck of 30 cards.

There are four types of cards: minions, spells, weapons, and hero cards. Hero cards represent your hero and have the hero’s unique ability attached to them.

Minions are creatures you can play on your turn to try and defeat your opponent’s hero.

Spells are instant actions that may benefit you or harm your opponent in various ways and may be played on any turn as long as you have the Mana Crystal cost available.

Weapons are equipped onto your Hero to give them attack power which they can use to attack other minions or even the opposing Hero themselves.

The game can be downloaded on Android, iOS devices (iPhone/iPad), PC, or Mac through the Blizzard Battle Net software or app.

Usen Ebong is a professional writer with over eight years of experience. He has created various content across multiple niches, including business, nutrition, academic, games research, and movies.