Nothing has captured the planet’s imagination in the last decade quite like eSports. Back in the day, popular YouTubers and streamers such as KSI and his Sidemen used to be a form of entertainment. Their antics playing video games such as FIFA blended the perfect mix of comedy and competitiveness.
But while KSI was making us roll around with laughter at his trials and tribulations on the world’s most popular football simulation game, other gamers were taking things much more seriously. Back in 2010, the FIFA Interactive World Cup – which coincided with the real-life World Cup taking place in South Africa that summer – took the gaming world by storm. Despite the competition taking place since 2004, it was the tournament six years on that really brought the FIFA Interactive World Cup to the fore.
A whopping 775,000 gamers entered the tournament that year before the competitors were whittled down to a final 16. They battled it out for glory – and a cool $25,000 prize fund – and in the end, Serbia’s talented Nenad Stojkovic outlasted the opposition to pick up the trophy and the bragging rights. EA Sports brought competitive gaming to the world, but a whole host of other popular video games were waiting in the wings to jump on the bandwagon.
eSports, competitive video gaming, has become increasingly popular in recent years. It has become a global phenomenon, with hundreds of millions of viewers tuning in to watch professional players battle it out in the biggest tournaments. Not only can fans watch the action unfold but also bet on the action with online bookmaker Thunderpick, where you can try csgo bitcoin betting today.
With that said, we will look at some of the most popular eSports in the world today and highlights some of the best players in each game.
League of Legends
League of Legends is one of the oldest and most popular eSports in the world today, with more than 100 million players logging in monthly. The game is a 5-on-5 strategic battle arena that requires both individual skill and team coordination. One of the top League of Legends players is Faker from SK Telecom T1, who is widely considered to be the best player in the world.
Dota 2 is the second most popular eSports in the world with millions of players around the globe. It’s a 5-on-5 real-time strategy game that requires a combination of strategy and skill. The best Dota 2 player is Johan “N0tail” Sundstein from OG, who has won three back-to-back International Championships.
The International is the biggest tournament of the year for Dota 2 and boasts a prize pool of over $25 million in 2018. The tournament organizers, Valve, also contributed $1.6 million to the prize pool, making it the largest single pool of prize money in eSports history. The winning team takes home the lion’s share of the prize money and in 2018, the winning team, OG, took home a whopping $11.2 million.
The multiplayer online battle arena game Overwatch is also extremely popular in the world of eSports. Players compete against each other in 6-on-6 battles, using a combination of strategy and teamwork to complete objectives. The best Overwatch player is Lex “Zeff” Seed, who has won multiple tournaments with his team, South Korea’s Seoul Dynasty.
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive
Finally, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive is another hugely popular eSports title. It’s a team-based tactical first-person shooter that places two teams against each other to complete objectives. The best CS:GO player is Nikola “NiKo” Kovac, who is one of the most consistent and successful players in the world.
Many consider EA Sports’ FIFA franchise to be the pioneer of eSports. While it may have been surpassed by its more illustrious counterparts in recent years, FIFA’s FUT Champions and eWorld Cup remain immensely popular.
13 years ago, Nenad Stojkovic picked up $25,000 for lifting the FIFA eWorld Cup. The most recent competition however was won by Umut Gültekin last July, and the German bagged himself a prize of $250,000, some ten times what Nenad earned all those years ago. That should explain to you the huge boom we have seen in the world of eSports over the last decade.
eSports’ growing popularity
As the popularity of eSports grows, so too does the popularity of eSports betting. There are now numerous online betting sites that allow people to wager on games, tournaments, and professional players. eSports betting has become a major industry, with millions of dollars changing hands each year.
eSports continues to go from strength to strength and shows no signs of slowing down in the near future. Whether you’re a fan of League of Legends, Dota 2, Overwatch, or Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, there are a wealth of players to watch, tournaments to bet on and strategies to learn.