Most popular eSports Games 2023

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Video games are becoming more popular every year and more and more gamers are finding their way into virtual worlds. The eSports game popularity now generates more revenue than the film and music industries. Gaming is no longer just a hobby for many. Professional gamers are finding their way into professional eSports and compete against each other in competitions for sometimes high prize money. But just as great as the popularity of top eSport games is the selection of different genres and games. Which are the biggest eSport games and where can the highest prize money be earned? reports.

MOBAs zählen zu den beliebtesten eSports Games.

eSports Game is not the same as video game

Before we dive into the numbers be sure to know that there is a difference between eSports Game and Video Game. That's why the answers to the questions: "What is the most played video game in the world?" and "What is the biggest eSports Game?" are widely different. 

An esports game is a video game that is played competitively in organized tournaments and leagues, usually with professional players who compete for prize money or other rewards. Esports games can include a wide variety of video games, including first-person shooters, multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) games, fighting games, and sports games.

On the other hand, a video game is any game that is played on an electronic device, such as a console, computer, or mobile device. Video games can be single-player or multiplayer, and can be played for entertainment or educational purposes. Video games can also be played casually or competitively, but not all video games are designed with competitive play in mind.

Most popular eSports Games: Which one is it?

Here's a table of the top 10 esports games in the world as of 2023, including their prize pools:

Esports GamePrize Pool (in millions)Console/Platform
League of Legends$20.8PC
Dota 2$40.0PC
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive$27.8Multi-platform
Call of Duty: Warzone$3.0Multi-platform
Rainbow Six Siege$2.0Multi-platform
Rocket League$4.0Multi-platform
Apex Legends$2.0Multi-platform

Note: The prize pool numbers are approximate and may vary depending on the source of data.

What is the most popular game in the world?

Here's a table of the top 10 most popular video games in the world as of 2023:

Game TitleDownload Numbers (in millions)Console/Platform
Among Us600Multi-platform
Apex Legends200Multi-platform
Call of Duty: Warzone150Multi-platform
Genshin Impact90Multi-platform
League of Legends80PC

Note: The download numbers are approximate and may vary depending on the source of data.

Deep dive: Most popular eSports Games 2023

With the growing popularity of eSports games, the number of professional players also changes regularly. As a result, the popularity ranking is constantly changing and it’s quite difficult to answer the question what is the most popular eSports game now. Therefore, we present you below the five biggest eSport games of the past years, but not as a numbered ranking. The following top 5 has remained unmatched in recent years, but among these titles, the rankings kept changing. Every gamer can draw their own conclusion about what is the biggest eSport game. 

1. Counter-Strike: Global Offensive

In the classic game mode of the strategic first-person shooter Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO), two teams of five players each compete against each other as terrorists and anti-terrorists. Unlike most other shooters, a player who is killed in action cannot immediately rejoin the game here. Those who are killed can only support their team again in the next game round of a competition.

In two different possible game scenarios, the teams are given different missions:

  • Bomb defusing: the terrorist team tries to place a bomb at one of the predetermined zones and guard it long enough for the timer to go off. The goal of the anti-terrorists is to eliminate the terrorist team before they can place their bomb or prevent the detonation by defusing the bomb.
  • Hostage Rescue: There are two immobile hostages on the terrorists' side, and the counter-terrorist team must rescue at least one of the hostages and carry it to the hostage rescue zone. Players carrying a hostage cannot fire and move slower. If an anti-terrorist is eliminated during a rescue operation, the terrorists can carry the hostage back to its original position. Victory is also possible if the respective enemy team is completely eliminated.

A special feature of CS:GO is the steep learning curve compared to other first-person shooters. The large number of tactical game positions of the different maps, grenades and weapons, which all have a different spread when firing, makes the shooter extremely demanding and challenges even experienced players.

The most important key data about Counter Strike Global Offensive:

  • Genre: first-person shooter
  • More than 10,000 professional players
  • Studio: Valve Corporation
  • First release: 21.08.2012
  • Age rating: USK 16
Counterstrike is one of the most popular eSports games
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2. League of Legends

In the real-time strategy game "League of Legends", two teams compete against each other on a classic MOBA map. Each team consists of five of a total of over 150 different selectable characters (champions), each of whom takes on one of the five available roles: Toplane, Midlane (Carry), ADC (Attack Damage Carry), Support and Jungler.

Each available champion has four different abilities and requires different tactics. The players of each role compete on their playing positions against the same roles of the opponent team.
The goal is to gain the upper hand over the opposing team by destroying objectives as a team and thus penetrate their base and destroy their nexus.

The most important key data about League of Legends:

  • Genre: Multiplayer Online Battle Arena (MOBA)
  • 7,130 professional players
  • First release: 27.10.2009
  • Studio: Riot Games
  • Age rating: USK 12

3. Fortnite

The original hype from the release of the Battle Royale shooter "Fortnite" has still not died. The game principle of the eSports game is simple one: A total of 100 players compete against each other on a huge map. The last survivor wins.

Unlike other Battle Royale titles, however, Fortnite has a special focus on obtaining various resources and building structures. These can create a tactical advantage in the fight against other players or provide cover.

The most important key data on Fortnite:

  • Genre: Battle Royale
  • More than 4,000 professional players
  • First release: 25.07.2017
  • Studio: Epic Games, People Can Fly
  • Age rating: USK 16

4. Dota 2

Similar to League of Legends, Dota 2 also plays on a MOBA map in five-on-five and follows the same gameplay. Dota 2 convinces with appealing graphics and a more tactical and less mechanically focused gameplay.
The choice of over 110 different heroes and five different playable roles makes the game just as varied as its counterpart.
In recent years, Dota 2 has become the most popular eSports game among the most successful players in the sport.

The most important key data on Dota 2:

  • Genre: Multiplayer Online Battle Arena (MOBA).
  • First release: 09.07.2013
  • Studio: Valve Corporation
  • Age rating: 12 years
Dota 2: The main discipline of the most successful eSportsmen
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5. Overwatch

With Overwatch, World of Warcraft developer Blizzard Entertainment successfully combines first-person shooter and MOBA. Basically, the game plays like a shooter in the first-person perspective. But as in MOBAs, you can choose between many different characters for different roles, all of which have different weapons and four different abilities each. This makes it possible to outplay the opponents and bring them to their knees by skillfully using the abilities.

The most important key data about Overwatch:

  • Genre: first-person shooter
  • More than 3,000 professional players
  • First release: 24.05.2016
  • Studio: Blizzard Entertainment
  • Age rating: USK 16

Conclusion: Most popular eSports games

The popularity of video games is constantly changing, but a pattern is emerging among the top 5 titles. MOBA and battle royale games are at the top eSports games in 2022, and first-person shooters are also doing well. eSports players will need to be adaptable in the future to compete in the tournaments with the highest prize money.

Most popular eSports Games: Why is Dota 2 so popular?

Just two years ago, Counter Strike was the undisputed number 1 among eSports games, but that changed. The reason for the popularity of Dota 2 is the high prize money at tournaments.

eSports live stream: Where can you watch the sport?

Live games / tournaments are broadcast on portals like Lol eSports or Twitch.

What is the difference between an eSports Game and a Video Game?

eSports games are video games played competitively in organized tournaments, involving professional players and prize money. Video games, on the other hand, encompass a broader range of electronic games, played for entertainment or education, and may not necessarily involve competitive play.

What are the biggest eSports Games and their prize pools?

As of 2023, the top eSports games include League of Legends, Dota 2, and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. The highest prize money is found in Dota 2 with a $40 million prize pool, followed by League of Legends with $20.8 million.

What are the top 5 most popular eSports games in recent years?

The top 5 eSports games, not ranked numerically, include Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, League of Legends, Fortnite, Dota 2, and Overwatch. These games have consistently held popularity among gamers.

What trends are observed among the most popular eSports games?

MOBA and Battle Royale games dominate the top eSports games in 2023, with first-person shooters also thriving. Adaptability is key for eSports players aiming to compete in high-prize tournaments.