The esport is continuing to thrive in the first half of 2020. The prize pool of viewership number increases every year, and I think it’s going to continue to grow in popularity and prize money for the rest of the year. Do you love long-standing games like Counter-Strike or League of Legends or you or you like much faster games, such as Call of Duty or Fortnite? The worldwide pandemic has altered sports leagues worldwide, but Esports is still building bigger on the viewership. In other words, esports viewers on platforms such as Twitch and YouTube have increased over the past five months.
What are the top esports games of 2020 ? This post will dive deep down into the most extensive active player base, super attractive games, games with millions of fans, and the massive prize money in the competition.
So, here we go…
#Number 10: NBA 2K
Total Prize Pool 2020: $1.4Million
Average Viewers Range: 5k-10k
Peak Viewers Count: 61.8k (back in NBA 2k League finals in 2019)
If we take a look, NBA 2K came out first in 2018 as partners with the NBA. Their franchising currently owns NBA 2k teams with a total number of 21 teams. Plus, NBA has teams in NBA 2k as well. The league is the ultimate path for new players to enter into the league. The league offers a competitive arena for players to compete and showcase their skills.
NBA 2k has a 15-week regular season. There are three regular-season tournaments and a lot of money. There is approximately a $900,000 prize pool, and the winner takes around $420,000. As of now, the league is relatively new, but NBA very actively supports it. And it continues to grow. For the coming years, the NBA announced that they would add four more teams. This was back in 2018. The trend continues to be the same for this year as well (hopefully).
#Number 9: Rocket League
Total Prize Pool: $350,000
Average Viewers Range: 25k-30k
Peak Viewers Count: 206k (Back in December 2019)
Rocket League is best described as “soccer where you are a rocket power car”. The gameplay revolves around two teams competing against one another and trying to score on each other, just like soccer. Also, each player is a small car that can fly and boost around the map. As far as competitive rocket league is concerned. It started back in 2016. This was when the Rocket League Championship Series was created. Believe it or not! The original price pool was $55,000. But, it was back when the league was new, and now it has grown to $350,000.This amount is for the champion series event in 2020. The viewership of the rocket league is relatively benevolent. Back in 2019, Rocket league had around 2.8 million views on Twitch in 2019. Although at the peak it was 2.5 billion for the second Championship.
#Number 8: Rainbow 6 Siege
Total Prize Money: $3,000,000
Average Viewers Range: 40k-50k
Peak Viewers Count: 303k (Back in February 2020)
Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six is 8th on our top esports games of 2020 list. It is a strategically advanced and tactical first-person shooter developed by Ubisoft. The game was launched back in 2015. The total emphasis of gameplay is environmental destruction and cooperation between players. So, each player assumes control of the attacker or a defender. There is rescuing a hostage in different gameplay modes, defusing a bomb, or taking control of the objective. Rainbow 6 Siege is a 5v5 game. There is one ultimate aim to win five games. So, Rainbow Six pro-league existed in 2016 and has grown exponentially around the world since its creation.
There are seven different regions around the world. They make a part of the pro league session. In 2020, the pool prize was amazingly $3million. The winning team took $1million. On the other hand, viewership of Rainbow 6 Siege is inconsistent. Early matches drew around five to ten thousand viewership. Later in the tournament, there was around 50,000 consistent viewership. However, it reaches 10K for the final major tournaments.
#Number 7: OverWatch
Total Prize Pool: $5,000,000
Average Viewers Range: 30k-33k
Peak Viewers Count: 1.1M (Back in OWL Grand Finals 2018)
Overwatch is an entertaining first-person shooter game. It was released/launched back in 2016 by Blizzard. It looks like Overwatch has an excellent long run. Did you know? Overwatch is a “hero” shooter? So, each player is given a hero. Each Hero has a specific style of ability and attack. There are three types of Hero, for example,
1. Tank Hero: It easily absorbs damage and also distracts enemies
2. Damage Hero: As the name suggests, this Hero deals most with the opposing team’s damage.
3. Support Hero: They assist and heal either defense or attack.
So the OverWatch League gained popularity back in 2018. Later Esports legally adopted the model of a traditional sports team, and they went city-based. Each team represents a region. Typically in eSports, the organization name as the team itself, but this trend is changing, and teams are named after the city. Plus, there is a mascot. Also, Overwatch has an unbelievable prize pool in eSports history with $3.5 million prize money in 2018. The prize money pool increased to $5 million in 2019. It is almost the same in 2020.
As far as viewership is concerned, Overwatch views peaked during OWL Grand Final. It reached 1.1M viewers in total. Also, it was aired on ESPN along with TWITCH and Youtube.
#Number 6: Call of Duty
Total Prize Pool: $6,000,000
Average Viewer Range: 50k
Peak Viewers Count: 189k(Call of Duty Championship 2019)
COD or Call of Duty offers a fast-paced one person shooter gameplay. Activision develops this game. It is part of Blizzard. That being said, COD is a top-rated game; everyone seems to have memories playing Call of Duty at some point in their life.
Call of Duty came in the picture around 2003. The new version of the game is released annually. However, the mechanics have changed drastically. All thanks for the different developers assigned to Activision each year. Competitive Call of Duty has been entertaining players and audiences since 2010. It is one of the biggest and long-running leagues in eSports. The very first Call Of Duty World Championship was held back in 2013. The prize money was around $1 Million. The prize money is 6x in 2020, and it’s now $6million. Back In 2019, Call of Duty moved to franchising, and teams went city-based with a Mascot. Unfortunately, this move hurt viewership because they began streaming exclusively on YouTube and twitch. Both of the aforementioned platforms became home of Call of Duty Streamer for many years. The average amount of viewership in Call of Duty league is around 40K on the first ones. Later it reached 100-K for the finals.
#Number 5: Hearthstone
Total Prize Pool: $4,000,000
Average Viewers Range: 70k-100k
Peak Viewers Count: 328k (back in Hearthstone World Championship 2016)
Hearthstone is a free-to-play card-based game developed by none other than – Blizzard. It was first released in 2014. The gameplay consists of two players. Each player plays with 30 game cards. And, there is a HERO. So, the game’s goal is to destroy the other person’s card and ultimately complete domination. The game is one of the most popular games. There were around 100 million players back in 2018. Each game card and Hero has a unique ability and superpower. However, the card character is based on the World Of Warcraft.
Competitive headstone began during the 2014’s and had around a $250,000 prize pool. The competition increased quickly and reached an international level. The game went super popular in 2019, with 50k to 150k viewers. The number now is around 276k at the peak in 2019.
As far as the Hearthstone World Championship in 2020 is concerned – there has been only one major tournament. The Average viewership dropped to ten to fifteen thousand this year.
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#Number 4: Dota 2
Total Prize Pool: $4,000,000
Average Viewers Range: 70k-100k
Peak Viewers Count: 1.21M (Back in International Championship In 2018)
Dota 2 is a multiplayer online battle arena game or MOBA. The gameplay is developed by Valve and was released back in 2013. The original game DotA was launched in 2003. In the game, two teams compete to destroy a large structure defended by the opposing team known as ‘ancient’. That being said, each team has to protect its structure. Each character is different from a special ability. DotA is also considered one of the most well-supported esport games ever created.
Professional leagues called the DotA Pro Circuit, where teams compete to gain points. And, to qualify for the International DOTA Premier tournament that happens annually. The price of international competition has increased since 2013 and reached $34 million back in 2019. Did I mention it is the immense prize size in Esports history? Today, the lack of tourney’s hurt Dota overall and boost anticipation for an upcoming international one.
#Number 3: Fortnite
Total Prize Pool: $7,000,000
Average Viewers range: 150K-200K
Peak Viewers Count: 2.3M (back in Fortnite World Cup 2019)
Fortnite came into picture back in 2017. It is free to play Battle Royal with cartoon graphics. Fortnite offers quick games. Developed by Epic Games, Fortnite gives players the ability to harvest material and build a structure in any situation. Also, it allows players to survive in open areas of the map and find a fight. Fast-pace games, along with working mechanics, lead to success. Soon Fornite was a popular game and entered the world of online competition.
Fortnite Competition began at the end of the summer back in 2018. The Epic games organized a tournament series called Summer and Fall Skirmish. The total prize money was on fire. In other words, it was about 2.6 million – one of the most massive amounts for an opening Tournament of any eSports. In 2019, Fortnite announced a World Cup in July 2019. Around 40 million people worldwide competed. Each one is trying to make $3million.
Fortunate is still on the third because they are two major games of eSports that are higher. That being said, winning a major tournament of Fortnight is exceptionally challenging. You have to be extremely lucky.
#Number 2: Counter-Strike: Global Offensive
Total Prize Pool: $20,000,000
Average Viewers Range: 200k
Peak Viewers Count: 1.2 Million(back In IEM Katowice 2019)
Second is CSGO or Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. CSGO is a first-person shooter. It was developed by Valve and was released back in 2012. It’s a 5v5 game, and there is one attacking team or Terrorist. On the other hand, it is Counter-Terrorist. Terrorist attacks, and they try to plant a bomb on a bomb site. The defending team must stop them. Did you know? There are two bomb sites, one is called bombsite A, and the other is called bombsite B.
CSGO has a massive fan base of over 100K viewers. Then during the pro-league, a more extensive dedicated fan base was recorded. It was above 1 Million; it is one of the largest bases outside Fortnite. CSGO is an intelligent game, and that is why it is so popular.
Well, Valve did an excellent job of promoting the game. By far, it is second on our list of top eSports games of 2020.
#Number 1: League Of Legends
Total Prize Money: $9,000,000
Average Viewers Range: $170k -250k
Peak Viewers Count: 3.9 Million ( back in League of Legend World 2019)
The ace of our list is League of Legends. It is a MOBA (multiplayer online battle arena) game, similar to DotA 2. In each team, five players play a different champion and have specific unique abilities. League of Legends(LoL) has over 100 million active players in 2020. It is prevalent internationally, and that carries it over the competitive side as well. The game has been very popular around the world since release, and it continues to be soon. Many more people tuned in to LOL compared to any other game because of its highest prize money.
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