The popularity and potential of esports gaming is absolutely huge. It’s not hard to realise why this is and it doesn’t take a genius to see that from its rapid expansion and bulging revenue figures, this could well become the future of sports betting. The reason behind this is because esports is a sport that can be played by anyone. You don’t need to be the next Arnold Schwarzenegger or Kobe Bryant to physically participate and as most kids have a computer, they have access to all these titles as most are free to play.
In our guide to esports games we’ll take you through all the popular titles used in competitive esports. We’ll give you a proper overview of the game itself plus any available betting strategies that are designed for the game.
Defence of the Ancients 2, simply known as DotA 2, is a stand alone sequel to a game that was originally a ‘mod’ for the game Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos. Released on all formats in July 2013, it’s classed as a Multiplayer Online Battle Arena (MOBA) and was developed by publishers Valve Corporation. The game is one of the most played games on the online service Steam and notable Tournaments include ‘The International’, which takes place annually in Seattle, Washington.
Matches are played by two teams of 5 players, with each team holding a stronghold in a corner of the game map. The objective of the game is to destroy the opposing teams ‘Ancient’ building which can be found inside their stronghold. The game features over 100 playable ‘Heroes’, each with their own unique style and abilities. During the course of a match you also collect gold and items plus experience for your Hero character.
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS: GO)
Often referred to as CS: GO, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive is a First Person Shooter (FPS) and the fourth title in the Counter-Strike gaming series. A collaboration between Hidden Path Entertainment and Valve Corporation, CS: GO was released in August 2010 across all formats. Cross platform multiplayer is also available for Mac OS, Windows and Linux.
Global Offensive is a Multiplayer FPS and you join either the terrorists or counter-terrorism squad, the idea of the game being to complete objectives on one of the maps during rounds of combat against your opponents. Players choose their load-out at the beginning of each round and earn money per kill during the game.
League of Legends (LoL)
The game League of Legends is a popular Multiplayer Online Battle Arena inspired by the Warcraft mod Defence of the Ancients. Developed and published by Riot Games, it was released at the end of 2009 and by 2012 LoL had already earned the title of ‘Most Played Game’ in The United States of America and Europe, with 27 million people playing per day! Notable tournaments include the ‘Championship Series’ and the annual ‘World Championship’ where players can win up to $2 million.
Games last between 20 to 60 minutes and you control a ‘champion’ with the ultimate objective of destroying your opposing teams ‘nexus’ which lies at the heart of their stronghold. League of Legends games start out on an equal footing, with champions collecting items and experience (xp) and increasing in strength throughout the game. There are smaller objectives which can be completed during the game that give teams an advantage in securing victory.
StarCraft 2 (SC2)
Starcraft 2 is Sci-Fi Themed Real Time Strategy (RTS) game that was developed and released by Blizzard Entertainment in 2010. The sequel to the immensely popular Starcraft and its expansion ‘Brood War’, SC2 features two expansions of its own; ‘Heart of the Swarm’ and ‘Legacy of the Void’. SC2 became the fastest selling RTS of all time with 3 million copies sold in its first month.
You control one of three races in SC2; The Terrans, Protoss or the Zerg, each race has a different play style and abilities. The objective of the game remains much the same as the original. In multiplayer mode you are tasked with destroying the the opposing teams base whilst protecting your own. This is achieved by balancing the player’s economy against their army production and responding constantly to the oppositions tactical attempts to do the same. You create your base, build structures and train army units in order to achieve this.
Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft
Hearthstone is an online Digital Trading Card Game (DTCG) developed by Blizzard Entertainment and released in 2014. It’s available for both Mac OS, Windows and is even playable via tablet and smartphone devices. Set in the Warcraft Universe, the characters, spells and cards are all rooted deeply, and faithfully, in existing Warcraft lore and it’s proved very popular, with more than 40 million registered Hearthstone accounts recorded as of November 2015.
The game itself is turn based with each match is played 1v1. You choose a Hero which gives a unique deck of cards and attributes although you may use a custom deck too. The players take it turn to play cards from their decks which can consist of casting spells, using weapons or directing powerful ‘minions’ to attack opponents. Cards may also be played which will directly respond to opponents moves later on. A winner is determined when a player loses all of their health points.
Heroes of the Storm (HotS)
Originally titled ‘Blizzard All-Stars’, Heroes of the Storm is a Multiplayer Online Battle Arena (MOBA) style game released by Blizzard Entertainment in 2015. The game itself features famous heroes from games in the Blizzard franchise including the Diablo series, Warcraft, StarCraft, Overwatch and The Lost Vikings.
HotS is centred around 5v5 matches that are hosted and played via Blizzards Battle.net online gaming servers. There are currently 39 heroes available for players to choose from that are each assigned different roles in the game. Each playable map has different side objectives that work alongside the main battle and serve to give your team certain advantages should you complete them.
Call of Duty
Call of Duty is a First Person Shooter (FPS) franchise published by Activision. It was first released in 2003 and its latest incarnation, Call of Duty: Black Ops 3, was released in 2015. The games are set in various periods throughout the last 50+ years, starting with World War 2 all the way up to present day.
Most of the games match types are either kill based, objective based or a mix. Teams will face off against each other until there is one decisive victor. With around 15,000 teams participating per season, players can compete in official ladders and tournaments in either 3v3 or 6v6 setups. Ladders give an overall official ranking while tournaments offer big cash prizes as a reward.