What’s got you stuck to your controllers? – Top 10 Esports of 2020

September 10, 2020

With the use of the internet increasing day by day, the new generation indulges in various platforms of their interest. One such platform is E-gaming. There are thousands of online games that allow players sitting in different parts of the world to participate and battle it out against each other or team up and take on an opponent. Gaming nowadays has seen a significant increase in participation, which can slightly be credited to the fact that people nowadays have nowhere to go because of the pandemic situation. There are some better and more played games than the others, let’s do a countdown of the top 10 2020 Esports games in the world:

The NBA 2K League were partners with the NBA for the first time in 2018. There is a staggering $900,000 prize pool for the playoffs, and the winning team takes home a massive $420,000. Viewership is one of the main reasons why 2k has been at the bottom of the ranking. Since the 2020 pandemic, ESPN has started showing 2K league games on their channel ESPN 2, which helped increase viewers’ number. The average number of viewers of the event was between 5k-10k, which is the least on this list.

The Rocket League is described by its developer, Psyonix, as “soccer, which is played with rocket-powered cars”. There are two teams in the game who compete against one another to try to score a point in each other’s goals, just like soccer, but each player has a small car that can fly and boost all around the map. Earlier, the original prize pool was $55,000 when the league first began and has now grown to $350,000 for the Championship Series Event. The average viewers of the league are around 25k-30k.

Rainbow Six Siege, designed by Tom Clancy, is a tactical first-person shooter developed by Ubisoft released in 2015. The game has emphasis mainly on the destruction and the cooperation of players. It is a 5v5 game, and the first team to win at least 5 rounds wins the game. For its major tournament, The Six Invitational 2020, the total prize money was a massive $3 million, and the winning team, Space Station Gaming, went home with a staggering $1 million. The average viewership of the game is around 40k-50k.

Overwatch, an exciting first-person shooter game released in 2016 by Blizzard Entertainment, had its league called – The Overwatch League (OWL). It started in 2018 and was the first eSports league to adopt the model of city-based sports teams and represent that particular region. The Overwatch League used to have the highest prize pool for its inaugural season in the eSports history with a $3.5 million total prize money in 2018. The prize pool then increased to $5 million in total for 2019 and remained the same again in 2020. After reaching its peak viewers, which was 1.1 million in 2018, its average viewers have taken a decline despite the game being very famous.

Call of Duty is a fast-first-person shooting game developed by Activision as a part of Blizzard. It is one of the most popular game franchises ever created, and everyone is likely to have some memories of playing Call of Duty at some point. It was first released in 2003 and from then is updated annually. The first Call of Duty World Championship, which was held in 2013, had total prize money of $1 million. In 2020, the prize pool for the Call of Duty league stands at $6 million. Viewership for the Call of Duty game is level with Overwatch. Call of Duty never reached the highs reached by that of Overwatch in the year 2018, but has a strong support of viewers who are loyal fans and watch every event around 50k.

Hearthstone is a free collectible card game developed by Blizzard and was first released in 2014. The Competitive version of Hearthstone began right after its release in 2014 and had a $250,000 total prize money in its first year. The average viewers of this game are in a fair amount that is around 70k-100k

Dota 2 is a Multiplayer online battle arena called MOBA game developed by Valve and was in 2013. It is based on the game from which the idea first originated, DotA, which was released in the year 2003. Valve later on also created a professional league called the Dota Pro Circuit, where teams had to compete to gain points to qualify for the international, which is Dota’s main tournament taking place annually. The total prize money for the international tournament was on the way up since its start in 2013 and had reached $34 million in total in 2019. This was the most enormous prize money in eSports history and is the main reason why Dota is considered one of the world’s best eSports games. With its average viewers being around 100k, it reached its peak at 398k viewers in the 2016 championship.

Fortnite had first come onto the scene in 2017 as a free battle royale consisting of cartoon graphics and quick games that was developed by Epic Games. The unique twist to Fortnite over other battle royale games is that players can collect materials to build structures in any situation. This also allows players to survive in open areas of the map and fight at any time. Competitive Fortnite began at the end of the summer in 2018, when Epic Games started a tournament series called Summer and Fall Skirmish. The tournaments’ total prize pool was quite impressive at $2.6 million, the most enormous amount for an opening tournament for any eSport. The average viewership is around 150k-200k and reached its peak once in 2019 at 2.3 million.

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CSGO) is a first-person shooter game that was developed by Valve and was released in 2012. It is a 5v5 game in which the attacking team, called the Terrorists, tries to plant a bomb on any one of the total two bombsites, and the defending team, got the Counter-Terrorists, has to try their best to stop them. The total prize money for the year 2019 was at $21.8 million, and is now the second-most played game on PC. So far, for the year 2020, ESL, CSGO, announced that annual viewership of Counter-Strike is on its way up from the numbers of Season 10 in 2019. As the oldest esports game, Counter-Strike’s average viewership is around 200k and hit its peak at 1 million in 2019.

At the top of the list, we have League of Legends (LoL), which Riot Games made in 2009. It is a type of multiplayer online battle arena or MOBA game, similar to that of Dota 2. League of Legends is also considered the most played game on PC, with having over 100 million active players only in 2020. The total pool money for this tournament is around 900,000 dollars. League of Legends also set the record for the number of viewers streaming the eSports event last year and has the highest average number of viewers of any eSport that is 170k-250k and hit its peak of a staggering 3.9 million viewers in 2019.

Written By
Shashwat Nishant

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