For many fans, 2020 has been a terrible year for sports. First, they couldn’t watch or attend live matches for over two months for safety reasons. Then some leagues abandoned games and declared winners prematurely.
Most sports have since resumed or started a new season. And still, to be clear, they don’t allow fans to attend. Fortunately, these aren’t situations eSports fans can associate with because 2020 has been a great year for competitive video gaming.
Unlike traditional sports, eSports didn’t cancel games or ban fans from streaming games online. Instead, eSports games have only grown more popular. In the UK, these are the eSports dominating the market in 2020.
Counter Strike: Global Offensive – CS: GO
Launched in 2012, CS: GO is arguably the biggest eSports game in the UK. In all fairness, it’s also the biggest eSports game in most countries around the world. It’s easy to see why. On the one hand, it’s thematically colorful.
On the other, it has all the characteristics of an A-level video game. From the storyline and gameplay to customizations and tournaments, CS: GO was designed to be an eSports game. Speaking of which, the game’s eSports community is enormous.
And this community acts at the backbone through which CS: GO has remained a success for so long. Whether you want to learn how it works, or need people to play with—there’s always a place to find the right people.
DotA 2 is many things. But it can be summed up as “Easy to learn, hard to master.” At its core, Defense of the Ancients pits two teams of five players on each side within an enclosed territory. Each team member controls a powerful character (hero) with unique capabilities.
The heroes get even more powerful depending on how you play—collecting experience points advances their powers. That said, the primary mission in Dota 2 is to destroy the opposing side’s “Ancient,” a structure of the sort.
Like CSGO, Dota 2 has a fan base of tens of millions of people. With a huge community, comes the chance to organize large tournaments. Some of these tournaments (The International) have prize pools that exceed $30 million.
Football is the most popular sport in the UK. So, it comes as no surprise that FIFA 20 ranks highly in the British eSports community. For the uninitiated, FIFA 20 focuses on soccer, allowing fans to simulate club and national tournaments.
Being a sports simulation game, FIFA 20 is simple to play. All you need is to beat an opponent simulating a football match of your choice. It could be an EPL game, the World Cup, the Champions League, or street football.
In the eSports scene, FIFA 2020 doesn’t have the biggest pool prizes. But it’s not uncommon for elite pro-gamers to make over $1 million from global competitions. When it comes to betting, there’s a great guide here. And it can teach you how to pick the right eSports sportsbook, comparing odds and finding bonuses.
Some people think Fortnite is losing its popularity. It’s probably because the game is no longer on Apple Store. Or maybe young fans are outgrowing the game. Regardless, it’s far from losing its status as a top-level eSports game.
Earlier this year, Fortnite hosted a tournament with 12.3 million concurrent players. Rapper Travis Scott’s presence helped raise the numbers. But even without his live concert, Fortnite is capable of drawing millions of fans.
Take the Fortnite World Cup held mid last year as an example. It attracted over 80 million players and a prize pool of $30 million. Sixteen-year-old Kyle “Bugha” Giersdorf won the event and walked away with $3 million.
League of Legends (LOL)
League of Legends is another incredibly popular eSports game in the UK. Like Dota 2, it features two teams that fight to destroy the opposing side’s based—called a Nexus. Again, like Dota 2, LOL also involves players controlling powerful characters that become more skilled the more you collect experience points.
When it comes to eSports, League of Legends ranks up there with CSGO in popularity. Over 50 million people play this game. And LOL eSports tournaments draw up to $30 million in prize pools.
Interestingly, LOL holds annual world championships through its parent company, Riot Games. Fortnite’s Epic Games and Dota 2’s Valve Corporation also do the same. However, LOL is more established with its national, continental, and global championships.
Voted the best eSports game in 2017, Overwatch is a team-based first-person shooter video game. It lets six players control heroes selected from a roster of over 30 characters, with the aim being to control specific points.
To spice up the gameplay, Overwatch awards players with skins and game victory poses whenever your team wins. What’s more, it has loot boxes to purchase cosmetic items—although they are highly controversial.
With that in mind, Overwatch has had to deal with several disruptions this year. It had planned to launch home stands akin to traditional sports. But due to the pandemic, these games got canceled and Overwatch reverted to online gaming.
Player Unknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG)
PUBG is regularly the most played eSports game on mobile devices. It’s exceptionally famous in India although it has since been banned in the country. In the UK, the Battle Royale game is popular with young fans.
It pits 99 participants into a fast-shrinking island through parachutes. And they have to compete for resources and kill one another until one player remains standing. It comes with the option to play solo or participate as a group of up to four players.
Call of Duty
The Call of Duty Series has been around for nearly two decades. And throughout this period, it has been one of the most played games in the UK. Black Ops is the most successful COD game in the eSports community.
And that’s largely because it focuses on multiplayer gaming. It’s also easy to play, the aim being to annihilate opponents within a specific amount of time. These days, COD for mobile is also getting popular in the eSports world. But it isn’t as successful as PC and console variations.