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Which are the popular esports games of 2021? Read on to find out.
The number of people playing video games is consistently increasing, regardless of age or gender. The gaming industry has been providing its audiences with a wide variety of games that players can choose. There are games that are for those who want adventure, sci-fi, fantasies, and sports. With eSports, the gaming industry’s competitive level among players became greater, gathering huge audiences, unbelievable cash pots, and numerous sponsorships that gave opportunities to elite players to upgrade their passion for playing into profitable careers.
The gaming industry was affected by the current coronavirus pandemic, which hindered all events pertaining to major competitions that needed large venues for large numbers of gamers. ESports games need to follow social distancing protocols, which made the organisers decide to postpone all major competitions such as Fortnite World Cup, which usually draws 20,000 people.
There are so many choices for all gamers. For many, their choices may be limited to the games that are popularly played in the mainstream, such as Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS: GO), Player Unknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG). However, there are also a number of indie eSports games like Among Us and Rocket League that provide the same level of excitement for gamers and spectators alike.
Which of these games took the throne as one of the most played games amidst the pandemic? Let’s find out.
Among Us was developed by Inner Sloth and launched in 2018. The global health crisis has paved the way for the indie game to become an instant hit. It helped that many well-known influencers like PewDiePie and Chance Morris streamed the game to millions of their followers, catapulting it to the mainstream gaming scene.
It is a multi-player game consisting of 10 players, dropped into a specific location like the planet base, headquarters, or an alien spaceship. Each player will receive a designation, which can either be as a “crewmate” or an “impostor.” In a game of survival, players can choose to complete task assignments and vote off the impostors. The impostor’s role, on the other hand, would be to kill all the crewmates or prevent them from completing the tasks.
The game is available for iOS, Android, and Windows.
From the Activision label, Call of Duty: Warzone is among the popular eSports games of 2021. During events, it attracted a total of 363 active players, with total prize money of more than $1.1 million. This free-to-play battle royale game was released at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. This version is part and parcel of the Call of Duty: Modern Warfare and associated with Call of Duty: Black Ops: Cold War. Developed by Raven Software, the Warzone version permits players to fight against 150 players. It has three primary modes: Plunder, Resurgence, and Battle Royale.
This latest instalment also introduced a new in-game currency method, allowing players to “Buy Stations” within the map. Cash can be used for trading limited access to custom classes or to buy items, such as gas masks and killstreaks.
Valorant is among the popular eSports games of 2021, which attracted 581 active players and hosted 45 tournaments. It awarded prize money totalling $1.4 million.
This free-to-play hero shooter game from Riot Games was released in 2020 and immediately garnered the interest of many eSports enthusiasts. In fact, many likened it to CS: GO and Overwatch for the game’s mechanics of pitting two teams against each other.
Valorant is a tactical, first-person shooter game where players belong in a team of five, wherein they can be a set of agents. They can either attack or defend a team. Each of the agents will have a unique set of abilities that can be signature to them.
Another one of the popular eSports games of 2021 is again from Riot Games – League of Legends. This multiplayer, online battle arena (MOBA) is among those that received wild praises for its incorporation of role-playing, real-time strategy, and tower defence in one, setting it apart from the usual MOBA games. This distinction has allowed attracting 532 players in only 22 tournaments.
It is also among the most accessible games that have made it appealing for players who find it difficult to access Dota 2.
Developed and published by Psyonix, Rocket League is a vehicular soccer video game that features rocket-powered cars playing soccer. The game pits two teams with up to eight players each. They will use rocket-powered vehicles to hit a soccer ball to claim a goal and score points. It also offers cross-platform gaming between all versions. It has become a huge hit that it had 90 tournaments drawing in 452 active players. In fact, Telus recently announced they would be hosting their first-ever Rocket League tournament in Canada.
Defense of the Ancients 2 or Dota 2 is a wildly popular multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) game of today. Its appeal is mostly due to its easy to learn gameplay. However, never underestimate this game, as it is also among those that are pretty challenging to master. This MOBA game allows players to choose one among hundreds of playable Heroes on the battlefield. Players should take advantage of the character’s unique abilities, playing style, and attributes to bring victory to the team. It is for this reason that many spectators prefer watching top players battle it out in numerous tournaments to learn valuable strategies.
Fortnite is amongst the hugely popular eSports games of 2021. Developed and released by Epic Games in 2017, this online video game is available in three modes.
The first one is Fortnite: Save the World, in which the gameplay follows a hybrid-tower defence-shooter-survival game where players battle it out with zombie creatures through traps and building forts.
The other gamer version is the Fortnite Battle Royale, where up to 100 players battle each other to emerge as the last person standing.
The third version is Fortnite Creative, allowing players to freely become creative in building their worlds and developing their own battle arenas.
Among the three gameplays, Fortnite Battle Royale attracted the most players, with more than 125 million active players, bringing $9 billion in revenue within the two years of its initial release.
CS: GO remains one of the most popular eSports games of 2021 despite its age. For those who are not familiar, this game was launched in 2012, banking on the popularity of Counter-Strike and Counter-Strike: Source. While it was able to hold its claim, thanks to its active community of players and familiar gameplay, CS: GO should seriously take a look at its graphics and thematics. Otherwise, it can easily lose out to modern titles. For now, it has a commanding presence with 158 tournaments and more than $6.2 million in prize money awarded in 2020.
Perhaps one of the most undeniable popular eSports games in 2021 is PUBG. This online multiplayer battle royale game has sold more than 70 million copies and has more than 1 billion downloads as of March 2021. It is also among the top-grossing games, garnering $4.3 billion on mobile devices alone.
Its gameplay involves a player vs player shooter game. It begins with up to 100 players where each one has to make sure that they are the last man standing. Players can choose to play the game solo, as a duo, or as a member of a four-person team.
While it has received positive reviews from critics, the game is reportedly banned in some countries due to its potential to become addictive, particularly for young players. To date, the game has 182,451.8 active players, peaking at 419,509 in the last 30 days on Steam.
Now that you are aware of the most popular eSports games of 2021, which of these are you most likely to play or already playing? Let us know!