Competition has always been a major factor to playing videogames. Trying to finish the race first on Mario Kart Double Dash, or beating your friend on Street Fighter 2, we all have gone through that. A greater accessibility to videogames has highly favorised the rise of eSports and gaming competitions. Becoming a profesionnal player isn’t easy, but you definitely have all the means to do so: affordable games, a large audience, and game influencers you can inspire yourself of through Twitch.
We came up with a ranking of top 10 eSport videogames according to three criteria: popularity, learning curve, and level of competition. Check out our selection!
1- Dota 2
It was impossible not to start this ranking with Dota 2. The most played game on Steam has been around since 2013 and has become one of the references of eSport games. Dota 2 is a free Five vs Five battle arena game, with a high selection of characters (more than 100 playable heroes) with a large number of weapons and items. Each character has its own specifity, and you will feel like every decision you make has a strong impact on the gameplay. Learning how to improve your character and your squad in Dota 2 isn’t difficult; what is difficult is to master all the tactical aspects of the game.
Available for free on dota2.com.
2- League of Legends (LoL)
A five against five battle arena mode, just like Dota 2, League of Legends has grown significantly in the past years to become one of the most popular and wealthiest eSport game of the planet. The game includes a lot of characteristics that differentiates it from other battle arena games, such as tower defense and real-time strategy. Above all, the team composition and combination of characters is the most important aspect of the game.
In terms of figures, the game audience just keep growing as 60 million people watched the 2017 world championships. And it is not expected to be any lower next year. Game is available on leagueoflegends.com.
3- Counter Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO)
Are you more into FPS and killing good (or bad?) guys? Then CS:GO is made for you. Probably less complex than League of Legends or Dota 2, the iconic title from Valve is about your shooting skills and a good team coordination. Plant a bomb to conquer the territory or rescue hostages captured by terrorists, the objectives are many. Counter Strike Global Offensive is the most popular shooter in the game right now, and its events regularly gather more than a million viewers.
The game is available on Steam.
4- StarCraft II
Starcraft recently celebrated its 20th birthday. One of Blizzard most popular game, Starcraft II, has been for long at the top of Twitch charts. Its ultimate releases, Heart of the Swarm and Legacy of the Void, have brought a lot of new features and players to the war-strategy game. 2017 WCS held a 700.000$ prize, and even though some say the popularity of the game might be a bit lower than in the past, Starcraft 2 is still one of the most appreciated strategy game in the industry.
The game is available on Starcraft official website.
If you’re a fan of board games, this game is made for you. Another Blizzard game that includes professional competitions, Hearthstone is an accessible but yet complex fantasy card game. The rules look quite easy: use your minions and spells to deal damages to your opponent and defeat him. The difficult part is about the card combinations: there are so many different possibilities and points to consider that you will have to think a lot in order to organize your deck.
Second shooter to make the list, Overwatch definitely differs a lot (yes, really a lot) from CS:GO. This fps with cartoon designs offers interesting game mechanics thanks to a wide range of classes and weapons. Don’t be let the friendly faces of your enemies distract you from the fact they can kill you in an instant.
Blizzard organizes its own overwatch professional league, gathering the 12 best teams from all over the world. Check it out on overwatch official website.
7- Rocket League
The audacious mix between racing and football. Rocket League has been around since 2015 and is still very high in the steam charts. The objective of the game is simple, win the football game pushing the ball into the net of your opponent. Yet, the game mechanics are insane, try not to shout when you’ll see a car doing some backflip, driving on the wall and scoring a last second goal.
You can save 40% buying the game on Steam now.
8- Clash Royale
27 million. No, this is not the cash prize of the clash royale world cup, but the amount of people that participated to the competition. The number can look insane, but can be understood by the accessibility of the game and its very high popularity. Clash royale is a multiplayer online battle arena that gather different game elements such as collectible card games and tower defense.
9- Street Fighter V
The legendary fighting game surely is the most accessible of the list. A wide range of characters is available and the complexity of the game resides in the techniques to master. This classic still surprises us so many years after its first edition and has found its place in competitive gaming. TV channels such as Disney XD or ESPN 2 have acquired the rights to broadcast the Street Fighter V championships.
The game is available on console and PC, check it out on Street Fighter website.
10- Quake Champions
The game is still on early access on Steam but has shown signficant promises. Quake champions is the living legacy of Quake III arena, who’s been a top hit in the competitive gaming world. The developers highly inspired themselves from the original Quake game mechanics. A lot of expectations for the game!