Best Esports Games
This page aims to guide readers on the best esports games, in understanding how they work, why they’re popular, and provide some top tips and advice, as well as a list of the best esports betting sites for particular games.
What are the Best Esports Games?
There are many different games to suit a vast range of different esports appetites. The best esports are typically considered to be those with the largest following, such as:
- Counter-Strike: Global Offensive
- Dota 2
- League of Legends
However, there are also the more ‘niche’ esports such as Hearthstone and Team Fortress 2 that attract a loyal and significant fan base, which have stood the test of time.
Clicking through to any of these top esports games will give you a detailed insight into the teams, players, mechanics, and the sportsbooks that are available, as well as so much more!
One of the most exciting aspects of esports betting is that there is such a vast array of games to bet on, and new games regularly compete to grab more eyeballs in the competitive scene.
While many of the best esports games today are likely to last many more years, it is not uncommon to see new games create whole new markets for esports betting, as was seen with Blizzard’s 2016 blockbuster, Overwatch.
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What Games Qualify as Esports?
In very basic terms, any video game title that is played competitively for money is an esport.
It doesn’t matter if it is well-managed or entertaining to watch, or has a small prize pool, the definition still applies.
The real question is less ‘what is an esport?’ and more ‘what makes an esport successful and recognised?
Qualities such as having an engaged community, an active player base, LAN tournaments, storylines, and recognisable talent within the competitive scene are also important for the future of any title.
These factors can also lead to the downfall of a game, such as when a game is perceived to be catering to ‘casual’ groups of players, or the loss of these talents results in a drop in interest.
Thousands – if not tens of thousands – of games are released every year, yet the overall esports games list remains shockingly short.
The truth is that not every game has what it takes to go competitive.
What are the Most Common Esports Genres?
There is a plethora of genres with their own traits and characteristics that make for a distinct gaming experience.
Some are on the way out, while others are just reaching their peak, and competitive games can be wildly different depending on what guidelines they follow.
Here are some genres you should be aware of:
1. Multiplayer Online Battle Arena (MOBA):
Also known as real-time strategy video games, MOBAs are by far the most popular esports titles in the world.
Played between two teams, MOBA games are usually head to head, and involve destroying the other team’s base and killing any players.
Many MOBAs like League of Legends and Heroes of the Storm come with a huge selection of unique characters and itemization options.
Therefore, pros need to have astounding levels of synergy, game sense, and mechanical prowess.
2. First-Person Shooter
First-person shooter esports games are very popular, and usually involve fighting on a map, either in free-for-all or team vs team mode.
Last man standing and capture the flag are two of the popular formats of esports games in First-Person Shooter titles.
Call of Duty is arguably the best first-person shooter of all time, while games like Unreal Tournament and early versions of Counter-Strike did a lot to pioneer this genre.
The gameplay formula of simulating a firefight from a first-person perspective might seem simple on paper, but each FPS developer puts its own spin on it.
3. Fighting Games
Just as the name indicates, their gameplay revolves around two players (or more, as in Super Smash Bros) selecting unique characters and engaging in close-quarters combat on the digital ring.
With that, a professional fighting game match turns into a flurry of blows, parries, and combo moves – and if that doesn’t make for an immersive viewing experience, we don’t know what does!
4. Real-Time Strategy
This might be the most complex esports genre on the market and a rare breed of game to come across.
Most of the interest comes from its inherent complexity. RTS players assume the role of generals that control armies, erect buildings and build up their economies.
Doing all of these things at the same time requires a great deal of macro- and micromanagement, which is why RTS titles are commonly described as chess on steroids.
Unfortunately, such complexity alienates casual fans, so real-time strategies and other strategy games have a hard time keeping up with the best esports games in terms of player numbers.
Examples: StarCraft: Brood War, Warcraft III, StarCraft II.
5. Sports Games
The sports genre of esports games should not be underestimated and it is only now beginning to flourish.
Most of the major European soccer leagues have now launched digital esports leagues, running off the FIFA series, while 2K is insanely popular with basketball fans.
Granted, there are a few notable differences, such as a faster pace or a stronger focus on individual skill rather than team play.
But if you’ve ever tuned in to a football or basketball match broadcast, you’ll have an easy time following sports games.
Examples: FIFA, Madden NFL, NBA 2K, Pro Evolution Soccer, Rocket League.
6. Battle Royale
Battle Royale esports games have got elements of many games, including survival, exploration, scavenging, and even first-person shooter.
Beginning on a massive map, a battle royale esports game usually has a safe zone, forcing players to eventually come together in a small zone.
The winner of a battle royale esports game is usually the last team or man standing. PUBG is a prime example of a Battle Royale esports title.
7. Card Game Battles
Card game esport games are very popular and are usually referred to as digital collectable card games.
For a long time, digital versions of collectable cards were not desired, but now many distributors are only releasing them as a video game, like 2020’s no.1 digital card battle game Hearthstone.
How To Bet On Esports?
Betting on esports is also very similar to normal sport betting. Conventional singles and multiples are available on win/draw/win and match result markets.
You can also bet on who will reach the finals or who the finalists will be, the region the winner will come from, and many, many more lines.
Some specialist lines are available too, dependent on the game, wagers on teams or individuals to win certain sections, maps, prizes or components of the game, for example.
Although named esports, you are betting on real people playing in the real world. This means bookies can only predict odds based on the information they have (exactly as they would for any other real event). Therefore, outsiders can surprise the field just as in any other sport and, equally, strong favourites can fail to win..
If you are bored with all of the conventional sports and betting and want to get involved in a sport and gambling sector that is growing exponentially, then try out an esport.
While you’re at it you may as well claim one of the esports offers listed on this page, or take a betting site sign up offer as listed on our home page.
What Are The Next Big Esports Games?
Throughout the years, businesses have gone to ridiculous lengths to predict the next big esports. Their efforts make sense on paper.
Esports is a billion-dollar industry, so guessing which video game is going to blow up next can open up quite a few money-making opportunities.
Unfortunately, most of this guesswork tends to fall flat.
If you look back at the history of esports, the next big game usually comes out of the blue.
In fact, many of the best esports games paved the way for new genres and subgenres, making it next to impossible to predict their eventual rise to prominence.
After all, no one could’ve guessed that a Warcraft III mod – Defense of the Ancients – would lay the foundation of the wildly successful MOBA genre.
In a similar fashion, few industry experts anticipated that Overwatch would reinvent the tried and trusted first-person shooter formula to draw in huge investors and venture capitalists into its esports scene.
The truth is, no one knows whether any of the upcoming esports games will stick.
We can, however, try to make educated guesses. In that sense, the best place to look is mobile games.
The mobile gaming industry is massive, as it generates more revenue than the console and PC gaming markets combined.
This puts it into a unique spot where the player numbers are already there to support the existence of multiple esports. And the only thing left is figuring out the right way to approach this audience.
Some attempts have already been made. Games such as Clash Royale, Vainglory, and Arena of Valor have enjoyed quite a bit of success by introducing the concept of esports to the mobile gaming audience.
For now, none of them have reached the level of their PC counterparts, but it’s clear there’s a very bright future awaiting them.
While most hardcore gamers still view mobile games as nothing more than casual fun, their outlook might very well change in the coming years.
What Makes Esports So Popular For Gambling?
It’s no secret that the esports industry is deeply intertwined with the world of online gambling. A part of it stems from the game developers.
Many publishers understand that gambling is an inherent part of the competition, so it’s common to see betting sites acting as sponsors for official teams, players, and esports tournaments.
Of course, not all games are equal in the eyes of bookmakers.
It’s no secret that popular titles come with better lines, wider markets, and broader coverage.
After all, it’s much easier to analyse statistics for League of Legends matches than it is for Rocket League games.
That’s not to say there’s no merit in betting on upcoming esports games. On the contrary, the fact that gambling sites have a hard time researching less popular titles puts you into a unique position where you can find generous esports odds practically out of thin air.
Although your options might be limited to simple match-winner and tournament-winner wagers, you can still make a profit gambling on rising esports.