The video gaming community is one of the most competitive, yet equally loyal, sectors of the entertainment industry. If you can find the winning formula with a good game, it can lead to plays and sales from the community for many years after initial release.
The Esports world is filled with legendary gaming favourites that have cemented themselves at the top of the tree for events and competitions right across the world. Not only do they attract millions of fans and followers, but these games still boast some of the most lucrative sponsorships and prize pools anywhere in the entertainment world.
From Warcraft to Counter-Strike, here are some of the greatest games to take to the world of Esports.
4. Warcraft III
World of Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos was released by Blizzard Entertainment in July 2002, a whopping seventeen years ago. Winning critical acclaim from reviewers and selling over a million copies in its first month on the shelves, it was clear from day one that this game was going to be a winner.
What made Warcraft III a staple in the Esports world however is its online feature; by using Blizzard’s Battle.net network, players could access regional ‘gates’ that paired them up against players of similar skills and levels. Players could also design their very own maps to play online, whilst also being able to pair up with their teammates in ‘clans’ which they use in competitions and tournaments. Warcraft III still boasts a highly engaged and competitive scene, with a global ladder ranking system still used for the game’s teams and rosters.
3. Street Fighter
Street Fighter is the ultimate side-scrolling fighting video game series. With the original instalment being released in Japan in August 1987, Street Fighter has evolved into one of the most expansive and recognisable video games anywhere in the world, with dozens of spin offs and cultural references across the board since its release.
Every Street Fighter instalment has made waves in the Esports scene, purely because of its tough, competitive nature. Street Fighter V, the latest instalment in the Street Fighter series, has seen a huge amount of interest in its competitive scene in recent months. At this year’s Evo tournament, the premier tournament for fighter games, Street Fighter V beat out competition from the likes of Mortal Kombat and SMASH to take the honour of being the headline game of the event, proving the upturn in popularity for the series.
Beginning originally as a mod for Warcraft III, Dota (or ‘Defence of the Ancients’) was soon picked up by leading video game designer Valve with the release of Dota 2 coming in 2009. One of the most popular MOBAs in the world ever since its inception, Dota has seen off competition from the likes of Heroes of the Storm and created one of the most devout fanbases anywhere in the gaming world.
To this day, Dota makes up one of the top three Esports in the world and still boasts the most lucrative competition in the video game sector with its International. This year’s International was worth a cool $34M, trumping this year’s Fortnite World Cup’s $30M, with the winners netting more than the victors at Wimbledon. It has been a truly meteoric rise for a game that has its humble beginnings in the early 2000s.
The most popular first person shooter in the world of Esports, very few gamers would have seen Counter-Strike’s rise to the top of the table when it was first released in November 2000. Initially a modification for the game Half-Life, Counter-Strike was picked up by game developer Valve and has since sold 25 million copies.
Known for its high skill ceiling and thrilling gameplay, the competitive Counter-Strike scene has soared in popularity in recent times. Watched by millions of people on platforms such as Twitch or YouTube, almost all of Counter-Strike’s popularity comes from its thrilling major competitions where the top professionals and teams come together and compete. Betting on sites such as Unikrn has become commonplace amongst the Counter-Strike community and its competitive calendar is becoming more stacked and more lucrative with every year.
The Esports world has proven to be a safe haven for retro and classic games that people
around the world continue to love even today. With video games seemingly having less and less of a shelf life in today’s world, the Esports community comes across as a lot more loyal and appreciative of what makes a classic game a true classic.