How to become an esports pro – Part 1: The most popular esports games
There are several different successful esports titles across several different genres each with their own unique fan-bases and leagues to compete in. Pinpointing which of the games are the most popular ones is difficult.
When considering a career in esports, you may be tempted to go for the most popular ones or one that features players you enjoy watching, but there are more important criteria to consider. Choose a game or genre you enjoy playing, even if it isn't one of the most popular ones at the moment.
That may in fact have benefits for you – the bigger an esport, the more competitors are vying for a spot on the same team. Esports like Overwatch that are more fluid and flexible, can often offer a better environment for new pros than older esports can.
Though not the biggest esport (that honor sadly belongs to League of Legends), the Overwatch esports league is one of the most active and popular with fans. Blizzard games have a history of becoming successful esports, and Overwatch is, of course, no exception here.
2. League of Legends
Whether it is by Twitch viewers, yearly revenue or just about any other scale, League of Legends is by far the most popular esport in the world. It’s no surprise then, that the MOBA was chosen as an exhibition game for the next Asian Games taking place later this year – the closest an esport has ever gotten to being part of the Olympics.
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive is one of the most popular First-Person-Shooter esports. Along with games like Call of Duty, FPS games tend to also be quite popular, and CSGO has long since been one of the top contenders in this bracket. Though often criticised for its unpleasant community and the lack of separate server for Russia and Eastern Europe, the tournaments and prize pools for this esport are some of the biggest out there.
Collectible card games without the need to actually hoard cards certainly have appeal, Hearthstone is proof of that. In the past four years, the game has exceeded 70 million registered players, and despite the lack of ‘action’ that is found in games like FPS and MOBAs, it has a big fanbase. This is in part because of its close relation to the World of Warcraft franchise of course, but the game is nevertheless a serious esports title.
5. Starcraft 2
Starcraft 2 is one of the oldest games that still has a thriving esports scene, and thriving it is. Despite being released several years ago, the game is all but a national sport in South Korea. The country is almost solely responsible for the continued success of the game. In fact, few non-Koreans ever achieve the level of mastery of this RTS as expert Korean players do.
6. Rocket League, Dota 2, PUBG…
There are of course several more games that have successful esports worlds. In fact, there are dozens more. Before considering a career in esports, it’s important to select a game to pursue a career in. If not a single game, you should at least decide on a genre, as you’ll be spending a lot of time playing whatever game you choose (though we definitely recommend Overwatch. It's great!).