Competitive gaming has been a popular pastime for decades, but the money and industry around the top esports games is a relatively recent development. Esports does not mean some friends playing Mario Kart in a bedroom; esports is a multi-billion dollar industry that includes a plethora of titles in every genre, from shooters to simulators and everything in-between. In no particular order, here are the top esports games in 2021 based on a number of factors, including viewership, events, and overall success, and the tournaments you should tune in to watch.
Top esports games
Eight years since the launch of Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CSGO) and it has maintained its position as one of the top esports games in the world, with frequent updates to the game, a lucrative market in weapon skins and knives, and a flurry of events every year. Alongside ongoing leagues like the BLAST Premier and ESL Pro League, 2020 has plenty of top-tier tournaments like IEM Katowice 2020, DreamHack Anaheim, and both ESL One events in Rio de Janeiro and Cologne respectively. When it comes to viewership, the biggest tournament in 2019 for CS: GO was the IEM Katowice major, which accumulated 1.2 million views with a $1 million prize pool. This is another million in the total prize money awarded since 2013, which is currently at just over $91 million. The HLTV events page has all of the upcoming CS: GO esports action you can tune into or if you fancy competing yourself, jump in-game and play some ranked to test your mettle. Fortnite is the game that took the world by storm when it launched in September 2017 and while the buzz in the general media has died out, the esports scene is still thriving. 2019 saw the biggest Fortnite esports event ever; the Fortnite World Cup in New York City. Nothing has been confirmed yet for 2021 but everyone is expecting Epic Games to ramp up the stakes for the next World Cup. Thanks to the amount Epic gave out during 2019, Fortnite quickly surpassed most other esports titles to have the third all-time highest prize total, surpassed only by CS: GO and DotA 2.
How many people play Fortnite is a question plenty of people ask, and as of March 2019 – so almost a year ago – Fortnite had 250 million registered users. Ask any random person on the street and chances are they will have heard of Fortnite, even if they are not able to tell you exactly what it is about, which shows just how quickly Fortnite grew. The official Fortnite competitive page lists all the upcoming events and has everything you need to know or play some of the in-game tournaments to see if you are good enough to compete yourself. If you are a fan of Apex Legends, the esp cheat for apex legends makes things easier.
EPIC League Season 3
The Dota 2 EPIC League Season 3 features 16 European and CIS teams competing for a total $100,000 prize pool. The competition features 16 invited teams who initially play a group stage. At the conclusion of this, the top eight teams advance to Division 1, and the bottom 8 go to Division 2. Each division’s playoffs are double-elimination bracket, with all matches (except the grand final) being best-of-three. The final is best-of-five.
RLCS Season X – Winter: North American Major
Rocket League Esports developed RLCS Season X. It has separate competitions in Fall, Winter, and Summer. Each of these seasonal events has regional events leading into an international major. In the Group Stage of the Winter tournament, 12 teams play in a Double Elimination Bracket. In the Grand Finals, teams from the loser’s bracket need to bracket reset opponents from the Winners Bracket.
2021 ESL Pro League 13
2021 is the 13th season for the ESL Pro League, ESL’s premier league for Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. It is a European tournament and includes a Group Stage, with four single round-robin format groups. The group winners then proceed to the Play-In, with winning teams there advancing to the Semi-finals. These occur in the Playoffs, eventually finishing with a best-of-five Grand Final.
2021 Dreamhack Open 44
The Dreamhack Open 44 is an online monthly tournament for Counter-Strike organized by DreamHack. There are versions for both North and South America. Games are played entirely online, with talent and players participating from their own homes. The tournament is part of the ESL Pro Tour.
2021 WardiTV Winter Championship
The WardiTV Winter Championship is a Starcraft2 tournament organized by WardiTV. It will feature notable players from around the globe. There has already been a Preliminaries Stage, consisting of a Group Stage, followed by Playoffs. The main tournament will be played in a double-elimination bracket series, with best-of-five matches.