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The Biggest Esports Games Every Gamer Should Know

A vibrant esports arena with players competing in a popular game watched by a large audience.


Esports has transcended its niche origins to become a global phenomenon, captivating millions of viewers and inspiring a new generation of gamers. The industry not only fosters competitive play at its highest levels but also drives a significant cultural impact on gaming communities worldwide. As we move through 2024, certain titles continue to dominate the scene, each with its unique appeal and a dedicated player base. Here’s a comprehensive look at the biggest esports games every gamer should know.

1. League of Legends (LoL)

Developed by Riot Games, League of Legends has long been the cornerstone of the esports world. Known for its strategic depth and dynamic gameplay, LoL boasts numerous professional leagues globally, including the LCS in North America, LEC in Europe, and LCK in Korea. The annual World Championship not only garners millions of viewers but also offers substantial prize pools, making it a highly prestigious tournament in the esports calendar.

2. Dota 2

Famous for hosting The International, which consistently breaks records for the largest prize pools in esports history, Dota 2 remains a titan within the industry. This MOBA (Multiplayer Online Battle Arena) game, developed by Valve Corporation, is celebrated for its complex strategy and diverse hero pool. The International highlights a community-funded prize pool that has surpassed $40 million in recent years, underlining the game’s popularity and the community’s engagement.

3. Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO)

Valve’s Counter-Strike: Global Offensive is a staple in the competitive gaming scene, known for its first-person shooter mechanics and tactical gameplay. CS:GO’s major tournaments, like the ESL Pro League and the Major Championships, continue to draw huge global audiences and have played a crucial role in shaping the modern esports landscape.

4. Fortnite

Epic Games’ Fortnite has taken the world by storm with its battle royale format, appealing to both casual viewers and hardcore players. Its accessibility and high entertainment value have made it a favorite in the esports community. Fortnite’s World Cup with its eye-catching prize pools and celebrity pro-am events showcase the game’s massive appeal and broad reach.

5. Call of Duty

Activision’s Call of Duty franchise has successfully transitioned into the esports realm with the Call of Duty League (CDL). The CDL operates similarly to traditional sports leagues, with city-based teams and a regular season leading to playoffs. The fast-paced action and yearly game updates provide a fresh competitive experience that keeps fans engaged.

6. Valorant

Riot Games’ Valorant quickly ascended as a serious competitor in the esports scene following its release in 2020. Combining elements from both CS:GO and Overwatch, Valorant offers a unique mix of tactical shooter gameplay with distinct character abilities. The game’s Champions Tour has rapidly become a highlight on the esports calendar, drawing teams and viewers from around the world.

7. Rocket League

Rocket League’s unique blend of soccer and vehicular acrobatics has carved a niche in the esports industry. Its tournaments, such as the Rocket League Championship Series, are celebrated for their high-energy gameplay and accessibility. The game’s straightforward yet deep mechanics make it appealing to a wide audience.

8. StarCraft II

Though its peak may have passed, Blizzard’s StarCraft II remains a revered title in the esports domain, particularly noted for its popularity in South Korea. StarCraft II’s strategic depth and demanding skill ceiling have secured its place in the annals of esports history, continuing to be a benchmark for individual skill in gaming.

These esports games are not just popular; they are pillars of a booming industry. Each game offers something unique to its players and spectators, from strategic depth and team dynamics to individual skill expression. Whether you are a competitive player, a casual fan, or somewhere in between, these games are essential viewing to understand the breadth and depth of the modern esports phenomenon.


1. What makes a game popular in esports?

A game becomes popular in esports due to its competitive balance, engaging gameplay, and strong community support, along with developer backing for tournaments and events.

2. How do esports tournaments generate revenue?

Esports tournaments generate revenue through sponsorships, advertising, ticket sales, merchandise, and streaming rights deals.

3. What skills are needed to compete in professional esports?

Competing in professional esports requires excellent hand-eye coordination, strategic thinking, teamwork, and the ability to perform under pressure.

4. How can newcomers get involved in esports gaming?

Newcomers can get involved in esports by joining online communities, participating in amateur tournaments, and practicing regularly to improve their skills.

5. What are the future trends in esports for 2024?

Future trends in esports for 2024 include increased mobile gaming, enhanced virtual reality experiences, and more mainstream media integration and investment.

By familiarizing yourself with these leading games, you gain insight into what drives the global passion for esports and perhaps discover where you might want to focus your own gaming skills in the competitive arena.

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