The most popular esports games and their biggest tournaments

Albert Sheng • June 5, 2022 1:54 am

There are many esports titles, but some are just developer side projects while others set the pace for the rising world of esports. 

Dota 2

Dota 2 is a multiplayer online battle arena where two teams of five compete to attack the others’ home base. Players pick from over 100 heroes and grow power powerful by collecting gold, earning experience, and destroying enemy players. The ultimate goal is to destroy a special structure in the middle of the enemy base. Dota 2 is famous for having the biggest prize pools of any esports as well as the highest-paid top players.

The International

The International is regularly the most lucrative event in all of esports with more than $180 million given out since 2011.The 2021 version of the event, The International 10, boasted a prize pool of $40,018,195. The casual Dota 2 community funds the prize pool for The International by purchasing limited cosmetics for their in-game characters.

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, often shortened to CSGO, is a team-based tactical shooter. One team of five defends areas in a level while the opposing five attempt to plant a bomb. Teams win rounds by either defusing the bomb, exploding the bomb, or killing all players on the enemy team. The game’s simple premise and wide appeal make CSGO Vulkan one of the most active sportsbooks on the site. CSGO also has massive prize pools compared to most other esports.

The CSGO Majors

The Majors are CSGO’s biggest events in the calendar year. Majors usually happen twice a year and feature the best international competition playing for a massive prize pool. Each CSGO major is named after the city it takes place in. Developer Valve is also directly involved with the majors and even creates special in-game items to commemorate them. As of PGL Major Stockholm 2021, CSGO Majors usually have a prize pool of $2 million.

League of Legends

League of Legends is another multiplayer online battle arena similar to Dota 2. Although very similar, League of Legends has several unique mechanics including player-chosen abilities and unique player roles. League of Legends may have smaller prize pools than Dota 2, but it is much more popular among casual players.

League of Legends World Championship

The prize pool for the biggest LoL tournament increases every year. The biggest League of Legends tournament prize pool is currently the LoL 2018 World Championship at $6,450,000. More recent Worlds events have featured smaller prize pools but more money spread throughout the rest of the season.

Overwatch

Overwatch is a team-based shooter that shares similarities with the three other biggest esports games. Like LoL and Dota 2, players pick different characters with unique abilities and traits. As in CSGO, the game is a first-person shooter with a much faster pace. Instead of a bomb, teams must complete an objective that varies from map to map. The competitive Overwatch League circuit is operated by developer Activision-Blizzard.

The Overwatch League Playoffs

The Overwatch League functions as the professional competitive league for Overwatch. The OWL works very similar to a traditional sports league with location-based teams and seasonal play. Each season ends with playoffs, where teams compete for the biggest prize pool of the year. The biggest Overwatch prize pool so far is the Overwatch League Season 2 Playoffs at $3.5 million.

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