Less than a decade ago, no one believed competitive gaming could rise to the level of traditional sporting events. But that train of thought has quickly become old hat. For instance, in 2017, the Intel Extreme Masters Katowice tournament was the largest event in esports history, with 173,000 arena attendees and a whopping 46 million unique online viewers across the globe. The prize money offered in esports is also out of this world. For example, the 2019 Fortnite tournament’s total prize pool was a whopping $100 million.
There is no longer any doubt that eSports can compete with traditional sports. But what are the most popular esports genres today?
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Real-Time Strategy Games
The RTS genre is one of the key foundations in eSports. For instance, Starcraft 2 helped to make competitive gamers into the popular celebrities they are today. And in South Korea, Starcraft pretty much became a national sport. RTS games are not too dissimilar to chess, because the game revolves around strategic gameplay. In RTS games, you control a force of troops with the aim of eliminating your opponent’s side. Other RTS games can require the entire decimation of enemy forces, which can alter the game’s dynamic completely.
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First Person Shooter Games
FPS games have been an integral part of eSports from the start, and they have been largely responsible for the rise of competitions in the gaming world. Notable FPS eSports include franchises like Halo, Call of Duty and Counter-Strike. FPS genre games are simple in their set up: players aim the weapon, shoot the weapon, reload the weapon and repeat until the enemy is dead. Perhaps this genre is so popular because the games are basic enough for anyone to play but complex enough to involve a myriad of challenges throughout the games.
Boxing and other fighting sports have been popular in the world of traditional sports since ancient times, and in the world of gaming, fighting games have also always been massively popular. So, it should come as no surprise to learn that fighting is one of the most popular present-day esports around. Since franchises like Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat, fighting games have been a staple of the esports community. The concept of fighting games is simple: you perform attacks against your opponent until one of the player’s life bars diminishes or time runs out. Esports fighting games can be just as thrilling as real-life mixed martial arts events. In fact, they can sometimes be even more engaging.
Mass Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games
Without the internet, competitive eSports would not exist. That includes one of the fastest-growing esports genres: Mass Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games. MMORPGs include famous titles like Final Fantasy 14, Warcraft, and Everquest. Millions of fans now play and watch MMORPGs. For many fans, the games go beyond simple entertainment. MMORPGs are a way of life for many gamers. The fanbase of this genre is dedicated to both the range of games and their popular characters. To give you an idea of just how popular the MMORPG genre is, the World of Warcraft Arena World Championship has a prize pool of $280,000 for its 3v3 divisions.
Multiplayer Online Battle Arena Games
The king of esports genres is undoubtedly Multiplayer Online Battle Arena games. The MOBA genre has recently taken the esports world by storm, and it continues to boast some of the biggest cash prize pools available. For example, The International 2017 tournament paid out more than $10 million to the winning team of Defense of the Ancients 2. Other popular MOBA games include League of Legends, Heroes of the Storm, and Smite. MOBA games typically consist of five players. Each player selects his or her specific hero. The aim of the game is to get to the opposing team’s base and destroy their main building. There is a lot going on in MOBA games, so viewers never become bored of watching teams compete, especially when there is such handsome prize money up for grabs.