The most popular esports games in 2022

By William Davis


May 23, 2022

Reading time: 3 min

Video games have truly become a pillar of modern entertainment, with the most successful titles enduring for well over a decade. Esports games take thing a step further, taking the simple activity and tuurning it into a highly competitive affair. The most popular esports of all have given out hundreds of millions in combined prize money with viewership number in the millions, When it comes to popularity, few games come even close to the big esport titles.

Gaming has become a sport all over the world, and there are investments in teams like never before. This also influenced casinos to add them to their sportsbooks. You maynot do point spread betting on traditional sports, but you can certainly bet on your favorite esports team to win in the most popular games.

League of Legends

It can be difficul to judge the exact popularity of a video games since an estimate must factor in viewership, player counts, and the pro scene. But by all metrics, League of Legends has managed to keep a massive amount of players active more than a decade since launch. 

13 years of lessons have helped Riot Games create the most played game in the world. A few games like Fortnite and PUBG have managed to eclipse it, but only briefly. After those titles fell out of the limelight, League of Legends still stood strong. 

In 2021, League of Legends had the biggest audience with over 4 million people watching the global finals. League was also the second most-watched game of all time and it’s expected that this year it will again break the record. It’s also on the top when it comes to watch time with more than 600 million hours.

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive

Counter-Strike was already one of the most played games of all time 15 years ago before LoL even existed. Global Offensive is the most recent addition to the Counter-Strike series, which consistently ranks as the one of the top games on Steam in 2022. With over 400 million hours of watch time, it’s second on the list, but the esports side of things don’t work with the biggest budget.

Even if the highest-paid player earns more than in LoL, it doesn’t come close to some Dota 2 players. The CSGO Major Championship in Stockholm was the most-watched event with a peak of 2.75 million viewers.

Dota 2

Dota has a similar history as Counter-Strike, but they are two very different games. Dota 2 itself spawned from an older strategy title called Warcraft. Now League of Legends is an offshoot of Dota, basically making it the propgenitor of several esports scenes.

After Dota 2 was released, huge changes were made to the design and overall feel of the game. Developer Valve figured out new ways to make money and they made crowdfunding the main source of income for the year-end event, The International.

As a result of that crowd-funding, Dota 2 is home to many of the most-paid gamers in the world. Compared to the top LoL player with $1.25 million earned, double The International champion Johan “N0tail” Sundstein seems like a different breed with a net worth of $6.9 million.

The viewing numbers that The International pulls aren’t even close to LoL or CS:GO, but the prize system is what makes them unique. The International 10 grand final is the most-watched game with around 2.7 million viewers. Dota 2 has more than 400 million hours of watch time on streaming platforms.

Mobile Games

A couple of mobile games have managed to pull some amazing numbers, especially PUGB Mobile and Mobile Legends: Bang Bang. PUBG Mobile had more viewers than Dota 2 and CS:GO with around 3.8 million people watching. It still brings a lot of attention, and it has one of the biggest communities in the gaming world.

Mobile Legends is very popular in Asia, which makes up 75% of all players. Indonesia and Philippines are the countries with the most players. it’s the number one game in both countries, including PC and Console games. Over 280 million people have downloaded Mobile Legends since the release of the game.