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Most popular eSports games, players, teams, organisations, tournaments
Over the last three decades, video games and esports, in general, have transformed from this pass-time activity that nerdy kids enjoy to this global sports and entertainment industry that has surpassed music and movies in annual turnover. All this begs the question, what are the most popular esports in 2023?
Even as esports continues to gain popularity and set new trends, new games are released daily. Some games, players, teams, organisations and tournaments have already emerged and established dominance in the industry. What and who are those dominating parties in esports?
What are the most popular esports games?
While trends and new releases cause games to emerge in the popularity list, others fall into obscurity. However, the following have remained on the popularity list for the last three years and are the most popular esports games in 2023.
5. Dota 2
Even though many gaming fanatics may argue that Dota 2 is way past its glory days, but average monthly player count puts it as the fifth most popular game on the planet hosting well over 700k players per any given moment, with average monthly players being 2 million. Dota 2 is a multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) released by Valve Corp in 2013.
4. Counter-strike: Global Offensive
CSGO, as others normally call it, was released a decade ago, in August 2012, but it has remained one of the most popular games on the planet. Fans and critics love its straightforward, intuitive gameplay, which revolves around the concept of "kill or be killed" and has won several awards. For this reason, the game boasts an average of 35 million players monthly while hosting over a million at any given time.
No other game has taken the world by storm quite as Fortnite did. Many consider it a cultural icon, especially with its role in popularising virtual concerts. The game was first announced in 2011 but officially released in July 2017, with its Battle Royale being released in September that year. The game currently has over 257 million users and boasts over 1.5 million live players at any given point.
2. League of Legends
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LoL is by far the most played game in Esports, and contrary to the notion that it is losing players outside competitive gaming, it has been gaining players over the years. Released in 2009 by Riot games, it was mostly loved due to its character design and overall quality. As a result, the game currently registers an average of 115 million monthly users and has over 1.8 million on its servers at any given point.
1. PlayerUnknown's Battle Ground (PUGB)-Mobile
PUGB: Royale exploded in popularity in January this year after switching to a free-to-play model to become the most downloaded mobile game with over 1 billion downloads and the most popular esports right now. The game was released on Microsoft's Steam in 2017 and has an upward trajectory to now, where it registers 30 million players daily.
Likewise, below are some games worth mentioning that have been equally popular in the last three years but did not just make our list.
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- Rocket League
- Tom Clancy's Rainbow six siege
- Arena of Valor
- Apex Legends
Most popular esports tournaments
Every year esports tournaments bring in millions of fans. What are the biggest and most popular ones? We have listed them for you below.
Free Fire World Series
Free Fire, or Gerena Free Fire as it is also known, is a battle royale game developed by the Vietnamese game development company 111 dots studios and published by Gerena, a Singaporean game developer. Free Fire world series is the tournament that pities esports teams against each other in the game. It's held in Singapore annually.
PUBG Mobile Global Championship
PUBG Mobile Global Championship, as the name suggests, is an esports tournament hosted by Tencent for its battle royale game PUBG. Players first compete on the regional PUBG Mobile Open Club, located in different parts of the world, before qualifying for group stages and, finally, the global finals, attracting millions of viewers.
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Fortnite World Cup Championship
Fortnite World cup is hosted by the game's publisher, Epic Games, annually in New York. In 2019 at its inaugural, it offered $3 million for its overall winner, the highest prize money in the history of esports tournaments.
DOTA 2- The International
The International is DOTA 2's annual esports tournament hosted by its developer Valve. It was first introduced in 2011 at Gamescon and has since been held in different parts of the world.
League of Legends World Championship
League of Legends World Championship, or Worlds, as it's commonly referred to, is the game's annual esports tournament held in different parts of the world and is hosted by Riot Games, LoL's developer. It is currently the most popular esports league, and in 2018 it had a record viewership of 99.6 million people.
Esports tournaments are big businesses for game developers because of the attention they get. Below are also equally popular esports tournaments in the world.
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- EVO Series
- Overwatch World Cup
- Call of Duty World League Championship
- HALO World Championship
- Valorant Championship
What are the most popular esports organisations?
There is nothing that beats a good team effort to accomplish a goal. So, esports, just like any other sport, has teams. Although least known to many is that way before the sudden interest, some teams had been dominating the sports already. So, which teams had been dominating the esports world? Below are those teams which also dub the most popular esports organisations.
5. Team Liquid (TL)
Even though Team Liquid, or TL as it's popularly called, has been short of titles this year, it is one of the most followed esports org in the world. Last year they were the most watched online, with over 117 million hours of their content being watched throughout the year. It was founded in 2000 and is based in the Netherlands, making it one of the oldest esports organisations.
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4. Team SoloMid (TSM)
TSM is an esports organisation founded in 2009 by Andy' Reginald' Dinh. Their claim to fame and popularity was through winning seven of North America's League of Legends Championship seven times, where their primary focus was. They have since moved into other esports and are currently fielding players.
California-based cloud9 was founded in 2013 by LoL's legend Jack Etienne and Pauline Etienne. Its biggest win by far, and the one that made them win many fans was the 2018 Boston Major. They have since won other titles such as Hearthstone, Super Smash Bros., Overwatch, Fortnite, and Valorant.
Founded in 2004, Fnatic is one of the oldest esports organisations in the world. They are based out of London and have rosters in multiple esports titles such as LoL, Fortnite, CS: GO, Fortnite, DotA 2, Rainbow Siege, and Valorant.
They are regarded as one of the best League of Legends esports teams in Europe and the world, as they have seven split titles from the European Championships.
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1. FaZe Clan
FaZe Clan is arguably the biggest and most esports organisation in the world. However, their sphere of influence transcends just esports. Over the years, they have grown to become a fully-fledged entertainment company. It was founded in 2010 and got its kickstart with a youtube channel showing its founders Jeff "Timid" Emann, Ben "Resistance" Christensen, and Eric "ClipZ" Rivera Call of Duty skills.
Below are some also esports organisations that are also famous:
Natus Vincere (NAVI)
Rex Regum Qeon
Most popular esports players
Esports has witnessed many great players who have left their mark over the years. Though the games vary, a combination of skill, star power and influence has catapulted some across the entire esports world. Based on fans' ranking and online publications, below is a compilation list of ten of the most popular ones. The name includes the games the players were famous for.
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- Lee "Faker" Sang Hyeok- League of Legends
- Johan "n0tail" Sundstein- Dota 2
- Lee "Flash" Young Ho- StarCraft II and StarCraft: Brood War
- Patrik Lindberg "F0rest"- CS:GO
- Christopher Alesund "GeT_RiGhT"- CS:GO
- Lim Yo-hwan "SlayerS_Boxer"- StarCraft II and StarCraft: Brood War
- Umehara Diago- Street Fighter
- Jonathan "Fatal1ty" Wendel- Quake
- Jang "Moon" Jae-Ho- Warcraft
- Lee Jaedong - StarCraft II and StarCraft II: Brood War
Frequently asked questions FAQs
Below are some frequently asked questions related to the most popular esports.
What is the most popular esports in Japan?
Esports is very famous, and in fact, it is one of the countries considered the Mecca of esports, with some legendary developers coming from the country. Its most popular game is Overwatch.
What esports makes the most money?
Valve, with their game Dota 2, is the highest-paid esports brand.
Who is the richest gamer in the world?
Richard Tyler Belvins, otherwise known as Ninja, is the richest gamer in the world.
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Technological advancements have made video games at the centre of some of the cultural trends we have witnessed in the 21st century, and some of the most popular esports mentioned above have been at the centre of it all.
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