Unsurprisingly, Esports are rapidly growing in popularity, with millions of fans tuning in to watch their favorite teams and players compete in high-stakes tournaments. The increase in accessibility, spectator-friendly gameplay, intense competition, and a strong community of passionate fans have contributed to the tremendous popularity of esports.
The popularity of Esports has even led to the emergence of college scholarships and career opportunities. Esports leagues have emerged as major players in the gaming industry, attracting top talent and offering big prizes. While competitive video gaming has seen a surge in popularity, a few games are receiving all the buzz. Here are the top five Esports leagues to check out right now.
1 . League of Legends World Championship
Organized annually, the League of Legends (LoL) World Championship is one of the most popular, if not THE most popular, Esports games right now. The 2022 championship garnered a whopping 5 million viewers as fans tuned in to watch players compete for a jackpot of more than $2 million. Viewers can even bet on League of Legends matches and tournaments for the chance to win big. Various online betting sites have made it easier, safer, and more accessible than ever to bet on Esports leagues.
Released in 2009, teams from all over the world face off in League of Legends. There are multiple stages in the championship play, beginning with the play-in stage and ending with the knockout stage. During the game, players control a ‘champion’ character with unique abilities and strengths and compete with a team of other players against an opposing team to destroy their base. League of Legends is a highly complex and strategic game that has become a major player in the world of Esports and has a dedicated and loyal fan base around the world.
2 . The International Esports League
The International is a popular annual Esports league for the game Dota 2. The annual tournament features the best Dota 2 teams from around the world competing in a single-elimination tournament.
Considered one of the most lucrative Esports events, prize pools regularly exceed tens of millions of dollars. In fact, in 2019, the tournament had a prize pool worth $34 million. The tournament attracts millions of viewers each year as spectators tune in to see who will win the jackpot.
Since 2011, The International has featured various community events, like cosplay competitions and fan art showcases, in addition to the annual competition. The annual event is a major gathering place for Dota 2 fans and players, attracting thousands of attendees from around the world every year.
3 . Rocket League Championship Series
Rocket League Championship Series is an annual tournament produced by Psyonix, the game’s developer. The championship consists of three online qualification splits in several regions.
The popular Esports league features a mashup of cars and football, where players drive rocket-powered cars in a virtual arena trying to score goals using a large ball. The game requires a lot of strategy, skill, quick reflexes, and teamwork, making it a popular game for Esports competitions.
The Rocket League Championship Series has attracted a dedicated and loyal fanbase and highly skilled players competing for large prize pools.
4 . PUBG Mobile World Invitational – PUBG Mobile
PUBG, also known as PlayerUnknown’s Battleground, has taken the mobile gaming world by storm. What makes PUBG interesting is that it is a completely mobile game – players can access the game anytime, anywhere from their Android or iOS phone. PUBG is one of the most played and most popular games on mobile devices today.
The free-to-play battle royale video game starts with players parachuting onto the game island as you try to gather everything you can to help you win – from weapons to medical supplies, with a wide range of weapons, too. Some have compared the game to the dystopian novel, The Hunger Games, as you start with nothing and must scavenge and collect equipment to survive.
5 . Overwatch League
Created by Blizzard Entertainment, The Overwatch League is a stand-out Esports league that has a unique participation format and overall structure. Launched in 2018, the league features professional teams from around the world competing in high-stakes matches for a multi-million dollar prize pool.
The Overwatch League operates very differently from most professional Esports leagues. It has a unique focus on player development and team building, and players are signed with salaried contracts and benefits. Furthermore, the league offers training and mentorship for up-and-coming players looking to make it to the professional level. These teams participate in a regular season, playoff, and championship format.
Esports Leagues Rising in Popularity
These popular professional leagues and tournaments held around the world are growing at an exponential rate. The large prize pools, annual events, and high-quality graphics make these competitive Esports a thrilling experience. We can’t wait to see how Esports leagues grow and develop in years to come in this highly tech-driven world.