The Top Five Games in the e-sporting industry

Tom Johnson

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E-sports are considered pretty new in the sporting world. With over a decade in the market now, however, that tag is gradually fading away. There are enough titles in the industry to know which ones players are enthusiastic about and those that are not so lit. Here are the most popular e-sports as of mid-2020.


Counter Strike: Global Offensive

The CS: GO series has been a hit since its first episode was released in 2012. Then, it was compatible with PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, OS X and Windows. A subsequent version for Linux came out in 2014. The compatibility with numerous playing platforms was a major reason for its popularity.

That is not to take anything away from the awesome game that CS: GO is, however. It is a multiplayer FPS Game where terrorists go against counter-terrorists in a war that requires great skill. It is easy to learn but offers a lot of room to improve as you go. Valve’s release of timely new versions has helped the game to remain relevant for the near-decade it has been in the market. The company also offers great features like custom game modes that players and fans love. In 2019, CS: GO recorded 1.2 million viewers at the Katowice Major which had a pot prize of £13,590,000.

Free Fire

Although not as popularly mentioned as other e-sports, Free Fire has proven to be a widely popular game among both players and fans. It is a shooter survival game where a single player goes against other 49 players, all seeking to be the last ones standing. Its popularity is mainly due to the presence of a mobile version for both Android and iOS. These models have attracted great viewership to Free Fire gaming events. That it enjoys great popularity in the populous Asian market is also a factor its numbers. The 2019 event held in Rio Di Janeiro, Brazil, attracted a whopping two million viewers.

Dota 2

Another big hit from Valve. It really seems the developers over there are perfect at their stuff, winning again with this multi-player online battle arena (MOBA) game. The game was an upgrade of the game Defence of the Ancients (DoTA) and was released in 2013 for OS X, Linux and Windows operating systems. In the game, two teams, each with five players, go against each other trying to protect their territories from invasion. Each player takes charge of a particular character. The players in a team thus have to work in close coordination to achieve the ultimate goal.

Although it has not released a new full version for seven years, Valve has always provided updates to the game. It has retained its popularity and was the third-most watched e-sport in 2019, racking 2 million viewers at The International. It also has numerous smaller but widely popular tournaments.


This title from Epic Games has only been in the market for three years (released 2017), but it has already cemented its place among the most popular e-sports. It is built on a survival-shooter model. Fortnite games are available in three versions: Save the World, Creative, and Battle Royale.

The first version involves four players defending an area by fighting off zombies. Creative is about one person building an empire, while Battle Royale has up to 100 players in a survival-for-the-toughest battle. This diversity is a big reason for Fortnite’s popularity. Additionally, the availability of these games on most popular operating systems, plus Nintendo, Android and iOS for Creative and Battle Royale, is a key factor.

Battle Royale is the most popular game in competitions. Fortnite games attracted 2.3 million viewers at the 2019 Fortnite World Cup, which is the game’s most popular tournament. Up to £49,883,000 worth of pries were on offer at the tournament.

League of Legends

Not quite a surprise to see this one at the top, LoL. This title by Riot games takes top position despite being available for only macOS and Windows. It is a MOBA type game where a champion (Legend) plays against other champions. The aim is to invade and destroy the opponent(s) Nexus. The Nexus is protected, and that the opponents are also legends makes it a competitive sport. Each player can increase their strengths by collecting various valuables and achieving certain goals as they go.

The League of Legends World Tournament is the game’s biggest event. In 2019, it recorded the world’s largest e-sport viewership at a single event. 3.9 million viewers turned out to witness as the competitors battled it out for a share of the £6,917,000 purse.

As these games are popular in both participation and viewership, so is the popularity of betting on e-sports. The interest has been growing steadily, with a steep rise in the last three years. With the industry projected to be worth around £23,957,700 in 2020, the trend is bound to continue. If you are a betting enthusiast, the e-sports betting market should be your next fishing ground- if it already isn’t!

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