The esports industry has multiplied leaps and bounds in the last few years and it shows no signs of slowing down. The competitive scene of video games has witnessed massive participation in terms of the player base as well as viewership.
Even though the pandemic has been raining on everyone’s parades, the esports industry is all set to have an amazing 2022. If you are a newbie looking to enter the esports scene or simply wondering what to watch out for in 2022, you’re at the right place!
Top 10 Esports Games to Check Out in 2022
This order is based on the number of players, tournament prize pool, and overall popularity. Here are top 10 esports games to keep an eye on in 2022.
1. CounterStrike: Global Offensive
This one needs no introduction. CS: GO was released way back in 2012. Even after seven years, the game has a strong user base and the prize pool for its tournaments only keeps getting bigger. The CS: GO community is very active and the shooter is one of top esports games.
The visuals of the game look slightly older and the “story” may not be as intense as some of the newer games. However, those who like pure gunplay without all the drama will surely love CounterStrike: Global Offensive.
Needless to say, CS: GO enjoys a highly competitive esports scene with countless tournaments. As a newbie, it will be difficult to master the gunplay. But CS: GO is all set to have another bright year.
Valorant saw a quick surge in popularity and user base right after its release. Comparatively, the game showed strong potential for competitive play really early. It managed to enter the esports scene quickly with a strong player base. Valorant faces strong competition from industry veterans like Call of Duty and CS: GO
In 2022, Valorant is gearing up for competitive play for the second year. We will know if the tactical shooter will be able to sustain its popularity or not. The viewership of tournaments will give us a fair idea. You can consider going pro with Valorant as the player base is still budding.
3. League of Legends
League of Legends remains a popular RPG-MOBA title and is one of the biggest esports games. The game is free to play and attracts a lot of players. Strategic tower defense and role play make it one of the finest RPGs that you’ll ever play.
LoL has a strong player base and fans across the globe. Every year, Riot Games sponsors the League of Legends Championship Series. The prize pool is over $2 million and the tournament is quite a crowd puller. The 2021 World Championship managed to get 73 million viewers.
In 2022, League of Legends is likely to pull off another record-breaking season. If you’re into MOBAs and RPGs, then you need to check out LoL.
With frequent updates, Fortnite introduces new characters, new weapons, and has a decent story overall. With celebrity concerts and superhero skins, Fortnite has made a mark on pop culture. The colorful atmosphere and zany characters are welcoming to all kinds of players.
For the 2019 Fortnite World Cup, the prize pool was a whopping $30 million. Given the popularity of the game, this pool will only keep getting bigger.
The microtransactions and all the “hype” surrounding the game may not appeal to some players. If you are a beginner, you can give Fortnite a shot.
5. Dota 2
Dota 2 is another popular esports title that pops up alongside CS: GO and LoL. The MOBA game was launched back in 2013 and still retains a loyal player and fan base. Every year, Dota 2 makes headlines with its insane prize pool and this makes it one of biggest esports games.
Dota 2’s The International tournament had a prize pool of $40 million in 2021. Needless to say, the enormous prize pot happened to be the biggest one in esports history. This year too, the tournament is likely to break new records.
By no means is Dota 2 an easy game to master. But if you’re a MOBA fanatic, then you cannot get classier than Dota 2.
Blizzard’s Hearthstone is a fantasy-themed trading card game. The game has been around for a while and enjoys a loyal fan base to the day. The digital 1v1 game is a turn-based strategy game wherein the two players try to outdo each other’s decks.
For 2022 tournaments, Hearthstone has restructured its esports scene a bit. For one, they have bid goodbye to the Grandmasters. The scope of the World Championship has been widened to accommodate more players. It’d be interesting to see how the changes will be received by the community.
7. Rocket League
Rocket League, the beloved football-based game of 2015, enjoys a strong competitive scene. The fancy sports car slamming jumbo balls around the arena is a pleasure to watch. As you can imagine, the tournaments attract players and viewers alike.
All the Rocket League pros assemble at the annual Rocket League Championship Series. The last championship had a cool prize pool of $1 million. Despite the pandemic, Rocket League has shown steady growth. In 2022, the game is expected to portray steady growth.
If you are into cars and football, Rocket League is a game you need to try.
8. Rainbow Six Siege
Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege is another colorful tactical shooter with a promising esports future. However, the game is pitted against veterans like Call of Duty and CS: GO. Newer games like Valorant, Fortnite, and Halo: Infinite also pose a competition.
Rainbow Six has its tournaments lined up for 2022. We can expect steady growth in the player base and viewership. However, the upcoming year will determine how Rainbow Six will fare against the competition.
9. Apex Legends
Titanfall games failed to get the attention they deserved. But Respawn’s Apex Legends gave the developer the due credit. Apex Legends is another battle royale/ survival shooter game, but with a twist.
Set in the Titanfall universe, the game has several characters with unique abilities. These legends have smart futuristic outfits (but not too colorful) and cool weapons. The innovative ‘ping’ system makes the game action-packed.
Apex Legends was one of the popular games on Steam. Although the game faces competition from PUBG and other shooters, it is likely to grow in 2022. It is backed by developer support and has several esports tournaments lined up.
Overwatch is a tactical shooter from Blizzard that has a good esports foundation. With the cool characters, colorful theme, and great gunplay, Overwatch is a fan favorite. Every year, Blizzard hosts the OWL Playoffs, Overwatch World Cup, and other tournaments.
However, the viewership of the tournaments has been dipping. Last year, OWL Playoffs had a viewership of 134,000 (a significant decline since the last tournament).
Overwatch needs to do something to bring back the interest. Delays in releasing Overwatch 2 have also affected the viewership in general. The 2022 tournaments will determine the future of Overwatch.
Most video games are easy to learn. You can get the hang of the controls simply by playing a few rounds or getting a buddy to teach you. However, mastering it needs time and practice. You can learn a lot from YouTubers, streamers, and by watching tournaments.
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