eSports has become an explosive industry over the last few years and doesn’t show any signs of slowing down. Rather, we can probably expect to begin seeing the larger eSports competitions broadcasted on live television to captivate even more people (and money). Let’s take a look at the top grossing and most competitive eSports games for 2017.
Team Fortress 2
Initially released all the way back in 2007, Team Fortress 2 is still a strong contender in eSports. It still draws a more than healthy player base while giving top gamers the ability to compete in competitions for a piece of the $13,000 prize pool. It won’t make you rich by any means, but you can still have fun and blow opponents to smithereens.
It just so happens that when the developers of The Witcher introduced players to the Gwent card game, quite a few enjoyed it so much that they wanted to take it to a professional level. This tactical game of mental prowess allows players to utilize a number of complex strategies that can overcome unsuspecting rivals. The prize pool has surprisingly risen to just over $100,000.
When it comes to creating brutal fights between your favorite super heroes and characters from a variety of movies, Injustice 2 will surely deliver. With multiple mechanics that take the gameplay deeper than just being a fighter title, Injustice 2 has a high skill cap and extremely competitive player base. The prize pool is tipping the scales at over $107,000, not too shabby for watching Robin get his ass kicked by Sub-Zero.
Super Smash Bros. Melee
How many times can you remember having your ass handed to you by a max difficulty AI fighter in Super Smash Bros. Melee? This ever popular title has drawn skilled players from all over the world together so they can test out their godly skills against one another. This game carries a whopping prize pool of over $250,000!
This free to play cartoonish hero shooter game packs a lot of outrageously fun battles. Heavily based on teamwork and character roles during combat, Paladins has multiple game modes to keep things interesting and challenging. Whether you want to play with friends and form a formidable team or queue up with random strangers, this game has something for everyone, including a $328,000 prize pool.
For only being released two years ago, Rocket League has proved to be a dominant title that has quickly climbed the competitive eSports ladder. Who could have guessed that being highly skilled in the art of controlling a rocket propelled car in arenas equipped with cartoon physics could be so lucrative? Rocket League boasts a large prize pool of over $531,000!
Gears of War 4
The Gears of War games have always offered a surprisingly high-quality multiplayer aspect that has gained a sizable loyal following. Having the ability to interact with the environment and use teamwork to gain access to game changing weapons during a match has created a competitive space for the top players. With a prize pool just shy of $700,000, making a living by blowing enemies away with a shotgun has never been so enticing.
Halo 5: Guardians
Halo games are legendary for their addictive multiplayer experiences. In fact, some players buy the games solely for the purpose of playing online and completely omit the story (big mistake). As we begin to ramp things up on this list, Halo 5: Guardians has drawn a massive amount of attention from viewers and competitors alike. As a result, the prize pool has grown to an impressive $1,200,000.
We have finally arrived at one of the three top MOBA games in eSports. Smite allows players to compete in highly competitive and tactical battles with different gods. The addition of custom building your character with gear on a per match basis makes for some truly wild outcomes. The staggering prize pool for Smite has climbed to $1,235,000.
You were probably waiting for this game weren’t you? Overwatch took the gaming community by storm and seems to have brainwashed hordes of players to dedicate hours upon hours into the fast paced matches. Teamwork is the only surefire way to victory and it’s imperative that everyone on a competitive team executes their role perfectly. Now that we’re in the major leagues, top players will lay claim to their piece of the $1,450,000 prize pool.
Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft
Warcraft games have always pulled large audiences of gamers, but Blizzard really struck gold when the rolled out Hearthstone. This strategy based competitive card game has a literally endless number of deck building options. With cards being updated and new ones added all the time, no one strategy stays on top for long. The prize pool has rocketed to a shocking $1,700,000.
Heroes of the Storm
Over 67 heroes and 13 maps with various game modes to choose from makeup Heroes of the Storm. As with many other games, players will have to pick characters with specific roles that best suit their play style and work closely with teammates to assure victory. The competitive state of this game has been on an aggressive climb since its release, raising the prize pool to just under $2,000,000.
Often referred to as the true hardcore MOBA style game for any serious gamers that enjoy this genre, Dota 2 has been a long time runner up in the world of eSports. Across 61 tournaments, players will compete in five versus five matches while crafting their characters to outsmart and overpower the opposing team. Dota 2 has drawn together a prize pool totaling $7,875,000, which has no doubt fueled its continuously growing competitive player base.
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive
The long time champion of the eSports world is, of course, Counter-Strike. Despite all of the new age games that have come out, stunning graphics and gameplay, Counter-Strike has managed to stay on top and maintain a commanding lead. Small skirmish matches between terrorists and counter terrorists can become very serious when you realize that the prize pool is at an industry leading high of $10,200,000.