Those who stopped playing video games in the 90s and early 2000s will be surprised to learn what this niche has become. Do you remember when Nintendo64 came out with four consoles, allowing for much more engaging multiplayer games? It was the only way to play video games back then against multiple human opponents.
Nowadays, tournaments have over 5 million viewers and over 142 million hours watched. The casual pastime among friends became a massive esports, or electronic sports, industry. This industry crossed the USD 1.4 billion mark worldwide in 2022, and you can even bet on the outcome of such competitions on platforms like Betway.
Unsurprisingly, such a thriving market fuels a creative industry with regular releases eagerly awaited by fans and competitors alike. Every year, sites like Betway offer the most popular games to receive updates, expansions, or entirely new versions. It means fans never suffer from boredom. In this article, we’ll talk about the leading titles in 2023 and why you should pay attention to them.
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The term “esports” includes emulators of real-life sports, like football and basketball, but not only so. There are also mediaeval battles, strategy games, and first-person shooting games. The titles are many, with exclusive features to please all tastes. Here are some of the most popular kinds of games in esports tournaments.
MOBA stands for Multiplayer Online Battle Arena, one of the most popular kinds of esports out there. You’ll probably recognise the most famous titles: League of Legends, Dota, Battlerite, etc. MOBA games consist of two teams fighting against each other in an arena or battlefield previously defined. Each player in the team has a unique set of skills that can help defeat the enemy.
First-person shooting games (FPS) also attract much attention from gamers. This category includes games like Doom, Quake, Call of Duty, and, of course, Counter-Strike. Usually, FPS games centre on objectives like capturing the enemy’s flag, last man standing, assault, deathmatch, and team deathmatch.
While the first two examples pertain primarily to video games, CS competitions can award the winning team as much as EUR 934,090.00. In 2020, the Call of Duty League Championship had a prize pool of EUR 4,297,320.00.
If you like shooting games but feel confused about the first-person perspective, don’t worry. You can also enjoy third-person shooting games (TPS), where the camera lets you see your character from above. Consider trying Fortnite Battle Royale if you enjoy this kind of gameplay.
There are also esports that emulate real-life sports like basketball and football. Some of the most important franchises in this niche are FIFA and NBA2K. The most recent NBA2K tournament took place last August, with a prize pool of EUR 934,090.00. The same goes for the FIFA World Cup 2023.
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The esports market craves novelty, like most of the entertainment industry. Some online bookmakers, such as Betway, already provide betting options for esports. If you want to play the trendiest games of the moment or get prepared for upcoming competitions, here are the most important games this year.
Tekken is a classic fighting game, first released in 1994. The franchise has 11 titles and counting. The next one is expected to come up next year. The last World Tour Finals tournament was contested in Amsterdam in February. The prize pool was USD 100,000 for this edition, gathering competitors from Japan, the Western European Union, and North America.
League of Legends
League of Legends (LoL) is one of the most popular online games. In 2022, the game had 32 million people playing it daily and about 180 million registered players. The League of Legends World Championship 2023 kickoff event happened in January. This championship is divided into three stages: Play-Ins, Swiss, and Knockouts.
Valorant is one of the most successful titles released by Riot Games, a studio that also signs League of Legends. Valorant is perfect for those who love shooting games but with tactical features. The Valorant Champions Tour 2023 took place between June and August.
DOTA 2 is a MOBA game whose main objective is to conquer the enemy’s stronghold, protected by towers. The battle involves two teams of five players each. One of the most important tournaments of this game is called “The International.” This competition involves 12 teams classified for the Majors round via regional leagues. The last year’s edition offered a prize pool of about USD 19 million.
Counter-Strike: Global Series
Those who love FPS tactical games have most probably tried a game from the Counter-Strike franchise at least once. It was first released in 2000 and consists of two teams: terrorists and counter-terrorists. While the main goal of the terrorists is to plant and detonate a bomb, the other team must defuse it before it explodes.
The most recent release of this franchise is Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, or CS:GO. The CS:GO Blast is one of the most relevant competitions for this title. The competition started in June and will have events until December. The highest prize ever awarded came in at almost 500,000 EUR.
Apex Legends is an FPS game developed by EA. Typically, this game involves 20 teams of three players fighting in a “battle royale” mode. It means it’s a last-man-standing kind of game. The Apex Legends Global Series is also organised by EA. The 2023 edition includes updates for season matches. The prize ‘was USD 5 million, which was claimed in July.
The esports industry is on the rise worldwide, partly due to the improvement of its media coverage. The internet has made the impossible a reality, with sites like Betway merging real sports with esports on their platforms. The viewership of esports competitions has been on the rise steadily since 2016. In 2022, the combined viewership of competitions totaled 532 million, with over 249 million occasional viewers.
According to the platform Newzoo, this market will likely rise 8% yearly until 2025. The jaw-dropping prizes also attract more professional players and inspire the creation of new teams and even academies for gamers to prepare for big competitions like the ones mentioned above.