The esports scene is thriving. While the world was slowed down by the COVID-19 pandemic, esports has shown resilience and continued to break records in viewership, number of tournaments and prize pools.
Looking at the current data, it’s safe to say that esports will continue growing for the rest of the year. esports is very diverse and has something for everyone.
Massive online multiplayer arenas like Dota 2 and League of Legends are the veterans of the scene, but we can also see some newcomers trying to get a piece of the cake.
If you like first-person shooters, games like Counter-Strike Global Offensive, Call of Duty, or Fortnite don’t disappoint when it comes to esports.
There are many other genres of esports, but MOBA and FPS games are currently dominating the scene.
We can see that statement is correct by checking out http://gg.bet/en/betting, one of the biggest esports betting sites on the internet. Out of the ten esports games offered, seven of them are either FPS or MOBAs.
To make this list, we used data from both 2019 and 2020 until June. Let’s see the top 5 esports games based on viewership and prize payouts.
Hearthstone was released in 2014 and is a free to play card game. Blizzard developed it and it takes the position five on our list. Competitive Hearthstone began immediately and had a total prize pool of $250,000 in the first year. That number has risen significantly in 2020. When it comes to viewership, there are quite a few full-time streamers of the game, and they usually stream themselves play tournaments when they are allowed.
Prize Pool 2020 So Far: $4,000,000
Average Viewers 2019: 70k-100k
Most Viewers: 328k (World Championship 2016)
4. Dota 2
Dota 2 is the first MOBA on this list and takes the position 4. It was released in 2013, and it was created based on the Warcraft 3 mod – Dota 1.
Dota 2 is one of the esports games with the most passionate community, and that community has been a part of the largest prize pool in Esports history, which is $34,000,000 in 2019. By purchasing the Battle Pass and levels for it, players were actively adding money to the prize pool. Overall, Dota 2 lacks tournaments, and most focus is on minors and majors organized by Valve itself. If it had more tournaments, Dota 2 would be easily in Top 2 of this list.
Total Prize Pool 2019: 47,000,000
Average Viewers 2019: 550k-700k
Viewers: 1,100,000 (TI9 Grand Finals)
Fortnite was released in 2017 and started dominating the scene straight away. Epic Games created a hit game that attracted a vast audience. Year after year, the tournament prize money has increased, and so did the viewership of the game. In 2019 it was confirmed that Fortnite gave out $65,000,000 in total prize money, and we can expect 2020 to be the same or even better. Fortnite still doesn’t have the elite level of competition and organization that the Top 2 games have, but they have been in the scene for a longer time.
Prize Pool 2020 So far: $7,500,000
Average Viewers in 2019: 140k-210k
Peak Viewers: 2.3 million (Fortnite World Cup 2019)
2. Counter-Strike Global Offensive
Counter-Strike Global Offensive or in short CS: GO is an FPS shooter developed and released by Valve. The game that started as a Half-Life mod back in 1999 and was simply named Counter-Strike has been a favorite game for most people. Even 21 years after the first version of the game, it’s still dominating the charts and crushing records in the industry.
Projected Prize Pool 2020: $20,000,000
Average Viewers 2019: 200K
Most Viewers: 1.2 Million (IEM Katowice 2019)
1. League of Legends
League of Legends, or in short LoL is a MOBA created by RIOT Games in 2009. Similar to Dota 2, but with a lot more active players and tournaments, this game top our list based on the extreme popularity and fantastic prize pools.
LoL holds the record for the most played game on the PC, with over 100,000,000 active players in 2020. League is always first on all streaming platforms and has been for the past decade.
Prize Pool 2020 So Far: $9,000,000 Average Viewers 2019: 170k-250k
Most Viewers: 3.9 million (LoL Worlds 2019)