WELCOME TO THE TEAM

If you ever want to manage your favourites, change your details or update your marketing preferences, just visit ‘My Account’

Personalise your GGRecon experience so that the information presented is bespoke to your likes
Games
Call of Duty
Overwatch
VALORANT
CS:GO
LOL
Apex Legends
RL
Fortnite
Trending
FIFA
PUBG
Dota 2
Influencers
Why Should I Join GGRECON?
Welcome
to the team
Sign Up via Social Media:
Or Sign Up Manually
Select A Country
Already got an account? Login Here
WHY GGRECON?

Customise the 'My News' page to create your own personalised experience

Recommended content based on your favourite games, teams, streaming stars and esports players

Exclusive articles, features, interviews and guides by our
award-nominated editorial team

Follow your favourite
players & streamers

RESET YOUR PASSWORD
Complete!
Success! You’ve reset your password
You’ll now be able to use this password to login successfully
RESET YOUR PASSWORD
RESET YOUR
PASSWORD
FORGOT PASSWORD
FORGOT PASSWORD
Email sent! Check your inbox

We’ve sent a link to the email ‘’.

Please follow the instructions in this email
to reset your password

FORGOT PASSWORD
FORGOT PASSWORD
Please enter your username so we can send you a link to reset your password
Welcome back to
Enter your details below to log into the GGRecon Site:
Login via Social Media:
Or Login Manually
Not a GGRecon member yet? Sign Up Here
WHY GGRECON?

Customise the 'My News' page to create your own personalised experience

Recommended content based on your favourite games, teams, streaming stars and esports players

Exclusive articles, features, interviews and guides by our
award-nominated editorial team

Follow your favourite
players & streamers

Why Should I Join GGRECON?
Complete your sign up
 
Select A Country
Already got an account? Login Here
WHY GGRECON?

Customise the 'My News' page to create your own personalised experience

Recommended content based on your favourite games, teams, streaming stars and esports players

Exclusive articles, features, interviews and guides by our
award-nominated editorial team

Follow your favourite
players & streamers

Advertisement

Scroll to read

What Are The World's Most Popular Esports?

Valve | Riot Games | Epic Games

Written by 

Tom Chapman

Posted 

2nd Jul 2021 15:02

Share via:

If you want to join the esports scene and are a bit of a novice that doesn't know where to start, there couldn't be a better time to hop on the (battle) bus. With the global esports market set to soar past $1.084 billion in 2021 – boasting a 14% growth from last year - the esports audience is also set to rocket to 728.8 million worldwide.

Advertisement

Whether you want Call of Duty with its gritty, boots on the ground aesthetic, want to be taken to far-off lands with League of Legends and its magic, or the character-driven arcs of a hero shooters like Overwatch, we've got you covered.

While you might want to be the last man or woman standing on the battlefield, no one wants to be hopping into an empty match with a title no one's heard of - we're looking at you Hyper Scape. Covering those who want to watch from the sidelines to those who are poised to leap into action on their journey to becoming a pro player, here are the most popular esports around.

Advertisement

Dota 2

Dota 2 most popoular esports
Valve

In terms of cashing in on esports, none do it as well as Dota 2. As the common name of Defense of the AncientsDota 2 dishes out cash like nobody's business. With Valve cancelling all in-game tournaments due to the coronavirus pandemic, it means Dota 2 saw its viewing figures plummet in 2020, but it retains its legendary status.

Advertisement

10 players are split into two teams for this MOBA, with you picking sides of either Radiant or Dire. Choosing your favourite of 100 heroes, teams duke it out to control the opposition's ancient. The largest Dota 2 competition is The International, which has been held annually since 2011. 

Still, Dota 2 has a massive fan base - which comes in part to it offering a whopping $231,295,237.22 across 1,493 tournaments and to just 4,000 players. If you've got the skills to play, Dota 2 can be a fast track to easy street. 

Advertisement

CS:GO

CSGO very popular esport
Valve

Another veteran from the Valve archives is Counter-Strike Global Offensive. Popularised as CS:GO, the first-person shooter is firing its way through the competition. Despite going free-to-play over two years ago, CS:GO has continued to climb. 

CS:GO might be haemorrhaging players to the young upstart that is VALORANT, but that hasn't stopped the esports team from keeping a tight grip on its loyal following. Let's also remember that 2020 saw CS:GO set a new record for concurrent viewers in non-major tournaments, when over a million fans tuned in to watch G2 Esports take on Natus Vincere at the IEM Katowice 2020 finals.

Advertisement

Over 354.2 million hours of CS:GO were watched last year. The ongoing success is due to the fact that unlike CS:GO being almost completely tied to majors like Dota 2, it carried on in an online format. Thanks to American teams making a move into Europe, and CS:GO adapting to the pandemic, it's remained one of the most popular esports into 2021.

Fortnite 

Fortnite Battle Bus
Epic Games

With a lower age bracket than most professional games, you only have to be 13 to take part in Fortnite at a competitive level. Since its release in 2017, Fortnite has branched out into three modes of Save the World, Creative, and Battle Royale. While Epic tries to toot the horn of the other two modes, let's be honest, you're probably here for Battle Royale. 

Advertisement

100 players jump off the Battle Bus and onto the map, either solo or with teammates. There are various hotspot landings, and as the storm circle closes in, the action is centred on an increasingly smaller area. There are plenty of battle royale games out there right now, but when it comes down to it, Fortnite is the most famous.

In terms of competitions, Epic has been called out for reducing its prize fund this year. That being said, let's remember how Fortnite largely shaped the esports world in 2019 and played a part in the industry's current success. As the world hopefully gets back to normal, the annual Fortnite World Cup (and Epic's $100 million sponsorship) is sure to see the great and the good reach for their pickaxes and draw their battle lines.

Advertisement

Overwatch

OWL esport gaming
Blizzard Entertainment

Dubbed the OG hero shooter, Overwatch and the Overwatch League (OWL) is regarded by some as the birth of modern esports. This 6v6 shooter is as vibrant as they come, and with an engaging story of expanded lore, encourages gamers of all ages to jump into battle. 

The Overwatch esports scene is alive and kicking, with the Overwatch World Cup offering one of the best prize pools around. Ironically, Overwatch wasn't built with esports in mind, but a main gold of "building a great competitive game". That's obviously changed over the years, with the OWL being at the pinnacle of the esports world.

Advertisement

There's been a sharp decline in viewing figures thanks to OWL's move to YouTube broadcasts, but there's a glimmer of hope (supposedly) just around the corner. The long-awaited Overwatch 2 is out there somewhere, and while we're not expecting it to make its mark in 2021, 2022 will surely be Blizzard's chance to regain the crown with Overwatch 2.

Call of Duty

Call of Duty Modern Warfare
Activision

With a franchise like Call of Duty offering up 18 years of games, it's no surprise it's an esports name everyone has heard of. Going all the way back to 2006, it was here CoD first put esports in its crosshairs alongside Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare

Advertisement

By now, we're sure you know all about the Call of Duty League, which Activision launched in 2020 with 12 teams competing. Dallas Empire trounced Atlanta FaZe in the finale and had the honour of being the inaugural CDL champions. There are plenty of changes ahead with the 2021 season - most of all, 100 Thieves joining the part as the Los Angeles Thieves.

As one of the few big esports games to be played on console, Call of Duty is carving its own path. Thanks to a yearly release schedule of titles, Activision manages to keep the fan base refreshed, and it's a methodology that works. Considering CoD made over $3 billion in 2020, the esports branch of this shooter showstopper is clearly doing something right.

Advertisement

League of Legends

League of Legends esports
Riot Games

Last, but not least, where would we be without League of Legends? Alongside Dota 2LoL is known as the definitive esports MOBA. It's hard to believe that it's been nearly 11 years since LoL first cast a spell over us all. The game is often cited as the biggest esports title around, which might have something to do with its worldwide appeal of 12 leagues.

LoL hit a high in 2019, with the 2019 World Championship smashing past 100 million unique viewers and peaking with a concurrent viewership of 44 million. Added to this, LoL has an estimated daily player base of 8 million users - making it the most-played PC game around. It might not be as big as other titles like Fortnite, but remember Epic's battle royale juggernaut if played on far more platforms. 

Advertisement

LoL's esports credentials started with the Season 1 World Championship at Dreamhack in 2011, and most recently celebrated the 2021 Mid-Season Invitational. Even all these years later, the popularity of LoL's esports potential shows no sign of slowing down. Last year might've upended the LoL World Championships, but here's hoping it'll be back to normal soon.

 

Advertisement

Advertisement

Trending
PlayStation Showcase Time: How To Watch The PlayStation Event
Stray: Release Date, Trailers, Platforms and More
The Lord of the Rings Gollum: Release Date, Gameplay Trailers, Platforms, and More
UFL Football Game: What Is The United Football League?
How To Register For The Riders Republic Beta
Advertisement

Advertisement

Related Articles
What Is The Splitgate Player Count Across All Platforms?
Can You Play PS4 vs PS5 and Xbox One vs Xbox Series X On eFootball?
Is eFootball Cross Platform? Konami's Latest Game To Rival FIFA
Will Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl Be Coming To Xbox Game Pass?
How Long Is It Takes Two?
Advertisement

Advertisement

Advertisement

Scroll to read

Genshin Impact Perfumes Are On The Way

miHoYo

Written by 

Emma Hill

Posted 

19th Sep 2021 11:35

Share via: