eSport Games: Top tournaments and developments in the industry
05/16/2023 - Esports games have evolved from a niche entertainment to a global phenomenon in recent years. With a variety of genres ranging from first-person shooters to strategy games and much more, Esports events have enabled them to attract the attention of millions of viewers and players from all over the world.
They offer not only exciting entertainment, but also a platform for professional gamers to demonstrate their skills at the highest level and compete for considerable prize money.
With the constant release of new titles, the boundaries of Esports continue to expand and its audience grows. Popular Esports games such as Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, League of Legends, Dota 2, and Hearthstone dominate the tournament scene, attracting both experienced and new players. The increasing popularity of Esports has led to sponsors and investors recognizing the value of this growing industry, and major competitions are now even being broadcast in prestigious venues and on television.
The allure of Esports lies not only in the variety of games, but also in the opportunity for players to share their passion for gaming and build a community. Through online streams and social media, fans have the opportunity to connect directly with their favorite players and share in the thrill and excitement of the competitions. Esports are more than just games - they are a phenomenon that has changed the gaming landscape and continues to grow.
History of e-sports games
The origins of esports games date back to the mid-20th century. As early as the 1950s, the first classic games such as checkers, chess and tic-tac-toe were developed for computers, laying the foundation for computer-based showdowns. A well-known forerunner of e-sports games is "Tennis for Two", which was developed by the US American William Higinbotham in 1958.
Technological progress in the late 1990s made video games suitable for the masses and contributed to the popularization of e-sports games. Computer games became more complex and sophisticated during this period, which increased their appeal to players and viewers.
eSports evolved from a former niche phenomenon into a popular competitive sport that is now watched daily by an audience of millions via livestream or in sold-out stadiums. Among the biggest eSports games are League of Legends, DOTA 2 and Counter-Strike.
Some milestones in eSports history include:
- 1997 - The founding of the Cyberathlete Professional League (CPL).
- 2000 - The first world championship in the e-sports game Counter-Strike
- 2002 - The foundation of the Electronic Sports League (ESL)
- 2009 - The release of League of Legends, which is considered one of the most successful e-sports games
- 2013 - The first prize over 1 million US dollars in the DOTA 2 "The International" championship.
Popular e-sports games
In the world of e-sports games, there are some that enjoy particular popularity. The most popular and successful games in various categories are presented below.
League of Legends
League of Legends (LoL) is one of the most popular e-sports games and belongs to the Massively Online Battle Arena (MOBA) genre. It was developed by the Riot Games company and enjoys a large and dedicated community of players. World championships are held annually, where the best teams from different regions compete against each other and can win high prize money. The game offers strategic team play and tactical thinking, letting players grow and achieve a high level of skill.
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) is a well-known first-person shooter and successor to the classic Counter-Strike. The game, developed by Valve, is very popular in the e-sports scene and is characterized by its fast, tactical and highly competitive matches. There are numerous professional leagues and tournaments where teams compete against each other and fight for high prize money. Players must have good reaction and communication skills to be successful in CS:GO.
Dota 2 is another very popular MOBA game and was also developed by Valve. As in League of Legends, two teams compete against each other to destroy the opponent's base, using a strategic and coordinated approach. However, Dota 2 offers a higher complexity and difficulty level compared to other MOBA games. The main tournaments, especially "The International", record high prize money every year and attract a large audience.
Overwatch is a team-based first-person shooter developed by Blizzard Entertainment. In this game, two teams of six players each compete against each other in different game modes. The games are fast and action-packed matches in which team play and concentration are crucial. The Overwatch League (OWL) is the game's official professional league, in which the best teams in the world compete against each other for prize money and the title of world champion.
Call of Duty
Call of Duty is a very successful first-person shooter game series that has spawned various games over the years. In the e-sports scene, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare in particular has established itself as a popular game. In Call of Duty tournaments, the top teams compete against each other to win large prize money and the title of world champion. Quick reactions and good team play are essential for success in this genre.
E-Sport Tournaments and Events
The world of e-sports tournaments and events has seen tremendous development and expansion in recent years. In this section we will focus on three of the biggest and most famous e-sports tournaments: The International, the League of Legends World Championship and the Intel Extreme Masters.
The International is one of the biggest e-sports tournaments organized for the online multiplayer game Dota 2. Since 2011, this tournament has been sponsored by Valve, the company that developed Dota 2. It attracts the best teams from all over the world and is known for its record prize pool. The prize pool grows every year through crowdfunding from the community.
League of Legends World Championship
The League of Legends World Championship is another major e-sports tournament held annually by Riot Games for their game League of Legends (LoL). The World Championship has been held since 2011 and brings together the best LoL teams from different regions of the world. The World Championship finals attract millions of spectators and are one of the biggest e-sports events in the world.
Intel Extreme Masters
The Intel Extreme Masters (IEM) is an older and prestigious e-sports tournament series created by the Electronic Sports League (ESL) in 2007. The tournaments take place around the world and cover various e-sports titles, including Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS: GO), StarCraft II, and League of Legends. The IEM is known for its great organization and high quality of games, attracting a large number of spectators and participants every year.
Well-known e-sports organizations
In e-sports, there are numerous organizations that are known worldwide for their achievements and successes. Some of the most successful and renowned e-sports organizations are:
- OpTic Gaming
- FaZe Clan
- Team Liquid
- G2 Esports
OpTic Gaming is a well-known e-sports organization that has achieved great success, especially in games like Call of Duty and Halo. They triumphed in the Halo World Championship in 2022 and are one of the leading e-sports providers.
FaZe Clan is also one of the most well-known e-sports organizations and has been successful in games like Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Call of Duty and Fortnite. With a large amount of prize money and tournament victories, FaZe Clan is one of the best in the world.
Team Liquid is a multinationally represented e-sports organization with many professional teams in various games such as Dota 2, Hearthstone, StarCraft II and League of Legends. Liquid has won many major tournaments in its history and has built a loyal fan base.
Cloud9 has its roots in League of Legends and has become a successful organization in games like Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and Rocket League. Cloud9 has achieved success in many different games and always stands out for its outstanding team spirit.
G2 Esports is an organization headquartered in Berlin and focuses on games such as League of Legends, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and Valorant. G2 Esports has achieved many important victories over the years and is considered one of the top e-sports organizations in Europe.
All of these organizations exemplify how important e-sports have become and how successful they can be. They lead their teams to important tournament victories and represent e-sports at the highest level.
E-sports players and influencers
E-sports players and influencers play an important role in the growing e-sports industry. Gaming influencers have the potential to shape the future of eSports as more and more top players leave professional leagues to pursue full-time streaming and focus on content creation.
Some of the most well-known eSports influencers include VanossGaming, a member of the Banana Bus Squad and one of the Top 15 eSports Influencers 2023, and Jesse Vainikka, a Dota 2 player with earnings of $2.29 million from 10 tournaments in 2018. Both have significant followings on platforms such as Twitter and Instagram, highlighting their enormous reach and market influence.
Some of the most well-known eSports influencers are:
- Jesse Vainikka
- Lucas "Mendo" Håkansson
- Evan Fong
The influence of gaming influencers allows them to interact with their audience across multiple channels, leveraging their authenticity and credibility in the video game space. This allows them to form brand partnerships and even organize customized events and tournaments, ultimately influencing the success and growth of the eSports sector.
It is also interesting to see how educational institutions, such as the University of North Dakota, are offering eSports courses and degree programs to provide students with a solid background education and prepare them for a career in the eSports industry. This shows that eSports and gaming influencers not only play an important role on a personal level, but are also increasingly taking their place in the education system and the workforce.
Future of eSports games
In recent years, eSports games have gained popularity and the future of eSports looks promising. According to forecasts, the number of eSports viewers is expected to increase from around 489.5 million in 2021 to more than 640 million in 2025. Prize money in eSports tournaments is also growing steadily.
One example of an emerging eSports game is Trackmania. It is expected that this free-to-play game could attract a larger number of fans in the future, as it is easily accessible and requires less financial investment.
When looking at the online platforms for consuming eSports, it can be seen that YouTube Gaming is the most widely used platform and 85 percent of eSports fans have watched eSports here. Twitch and Facebook Gaming follow with 36 and 37 percent of viewers, respectively.
The development and establishment of new technologies, such as virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR), as well as 5G data transmission, could further enhance the experience of eSports competitions and attract a larger audience.
E-sports originated in the 1970s, and the industry is expected to continue to grow and adapt to technological advances. As with traditional sports, it is important to keep the interests of spectators, players, and organizations in mind when it comes to eSports, and to continually strive for innovation.
Source: Editorial office