The demand for esports is consistently growing, attracting an audience unfamiliar with game mechanics, rules, and the competitive side of these video games. If you are interested in learning more about these esports games and their basics so you can add some matches to your betting slip, then you are in the right spot. Here we cover the most popular titles you will find in most online sportsbooks.
Betting on Esports with Crypto
Before we start listing the top esports, we should note that you can bet on esports using cryptocurrency like BTC. This way of online gambling has many advantages over more traditional methods like credit cards or e-wallets, and plenty of online sportsbooks support it. Most esports matches are fast-paced, and a payment method like crypto that’s processed almost instantly is a great way to ensure you don’t miss out on any of the action.
The Most Popular Esports Game Genres
Most competitive games are multiplayer team-based or duel games and the most popular genres you can find in online sportsbooks are:
- MOBA (Multiplayer Online Battle Arena)
- FPS (First-person shooter)
- Hero shooter
- Battle royale
- RTS (Real-time strategy)
Multiplayer Online Battle Arena
MOBA is a prevalent game genre, and some of the largest esports tournaments are held for games such as Dota 2 and LoL. Each match is usually played between two teams of five players, with the simple objective of destroying the enemy’s base.
First-Person Shooter Games
The FPS genre had some of the first esports games that created the early competitive scene. It’s no surprise that FPS games like Quake and Counter-Strike are still popular today. In an esports context, these games tend to be played in a tournament format with teams of players trying to outgun each other.
Hero Shooter Games
In terms of gaming history, the hero shooter genre is relatively new. Games such as Overwatch, Rainbow Six Siege, and Team Fortress 2 are prime examples. These types of games usually revolve around two teams of players attempting to complete an objective, like capturing a certain point on the map or defending their team’s flag while capturing the opponent’s. There are many variations on a theme, but they all have one thing in common: Each player uses a unique character with special abilities.
This genre, which got its inspiration and name from the Japanese movie Battle Royale, has some of the biggest esports games on the market. The objective of these games is simple – be the last player standing.
Games such as PUBG, Fortnite, and Apex Legends have taken the world by storm. In these games, players are dropped onto an island or some other type of map without resources and need to get their bearings quickly and eliminate the opposition.
The RTS genre is one of the pillars of PC gaming and esports. These games have been popular since the late 1990s, with classic games such as StarCraft: Brood War and Warcraft III popularizing the RTS competitive scene. In these games, players must collect resources, build structures and units, and ultimately destroy their opponents.
The sports genre is one of the easiest to follow for newcomers to esports betting. Games such as FIFA, Madden NFL, and NBA 2K are some of the most popular titles in the genre. These games simulate real-life sports, and players can compete against each other online.
The Most Popular Esports Games
Now that you are aware of the different genres of esports games, it’s time to take a look at some of the most popular and recommended esports games to bet on.
1. Dota 2
Release Year: 2013
Dota 2 is a game developed by Valve and is the sequel to the Warcraft III mod Defense of the Ancients. Dota 2 is a MOBA game where two teams of five players each compete against one other with the objective of destroying the enemy’s base.
The game is played from a top-down perspective, and each player controls a unique character with special attacks and skills, which are upgraded during the game by successfully eliminating other players and AI-controlled creatures.
It’s among the top esports games, and for a good reason: Valve holds a yearly tournament, The International (TI), with tens of millions of dollars in prize money.
2. Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO)
Release Year: 2012
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive is a first-person shooter game where two teams, terrorists and counter-terrorists, compete against each other.
The game’s objective depends on the map you are playing on. It can be planting or diffusing a bomb, rescuing hostages, or simply eliminating the opposing team since there is no respawn in the classic competitive game mode.
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive players use a variety of weapons to eliminate their opponents, such as rifles, pistols, and grenades. The game is very fast-paced, and the players need to have good aim and reflexes to succeed.
Release Year: 2017
Genre: Battle royale
Fortnite is a battle royale game where up to 100 players per match are parachuted onto an island and fight until only one player or team remains. Fortnite was developed by Epic Games and has managed to establish itself among the most popular esport games.
The game is very fast-paced, and players need to scavenge for weapons and resources to survive. The game constantly changes what game mods are available but recently introduced a mode without building, which makes it more similar to other battle royale games.
Epic Games regularly holds tournaments, so there are ample opportunities for esports gambling with this battle royale.
4. League of Legends (LoL)
Release Year: 2009
League of Legends is a game developed by Riot Games. Like Dota 2, the game was inspired by the Defense of the Ancients map in Warcraft III and follows the same concept. Each team aims to destroy its opponent’s central structure and comprises five players, each controlling a unique character.
The gameplay revolves around real-time strategic decisions and managing one’s champions. The game has more than 140 champions with different specializations and classes to choose from, making the tactical aspect of the game very important.
Release Year: 2020
Genre: Hero shooter
Valorant is a 5v5 character-based hero shooter game developed by Riot Games that quickly established itself as one of the biggest esports in the industry. The game has various modes of play, including a competitive one.
The objective of the game is to eliminate all the members of the opposing team or complete the mission objective. Each player controls a unique character with different abilities, and the team that uses its characters’ abilities in unison will generally win the day.
6. Call of Duty
Release Year: 2009
Call of Duty is a first-person shooter video game franchise published by Activision and one of the most profitable esports titles in the industry. The games follow various military conflicts across different time periods and locations. Various iterations of the game, like Modern Warfare and Warzone, are popular in the competitive scene, and many leagues and tournaments are organized around the game.
7. Starcraft II
Release Year: 2010
A mandatory entry on any list of esports games is Starcraft II. It’s a science fiction real-time strategy video game developed and published by Blizzard Entertainment. The game revolves around three factions, Terran, Zerg, and Protoss, vying for domination in a distant part of the Milky Way galaxy.
They all have unique units and strategies available to them to survive and triumph against their opponents. For a strategy game, it’s very fast-paced, and players need to make quick decisions to succeed.
Release Year: 2016
Genre: Hero shooter
Overwatch is a team-based multiplayer first-person hero shooter game developed and published by Blizzard Entertainment. It’s also a popular esport to gamble on.
Like in Valorant and similarly to MOBA games, each character you choose performs a certain role on the team, such as protecting its teammates, supporting them, or performing destructive attacks on the opposing team. Escort and assault missions are played in ranked matches, making it an entertaining game to watch.
9. Rainbow Six Siege
Release Year: 2015
Genre: Hero shooter
Rainbow Six Siege is a tactical hero shooter video game developed by Ubisoft Montreal and published by Ubisoft. In the game, two teams compete to either eliminate the other team or complete an objective, such as defusing a bomb, controlling a certain point, or rescuing hostages.
It is where the similarities to CS:GO stop, as this gambling esports title allows players to choose different types of roles to play in a team. Each player chooses from one of over 60 operators with different specialties to create the perfect team for the task at hand.
10. Rocket League
Release Year: 2015
Rocket League is a unique game on our list. Players are participating in a soccer match, but you are not controlling people; you are controlling RC cars that can fly and drive on walls.
The objective is still to score goals and win the match, so even if you had no idea what the game was about, it would become apparent quickly. Driving skills and aim are both important in the game, and it’s a ton of fun.
11. Age of Empires
Release Year: 1997
Age of Empires is a real-time strategy video game franchise published by Microsoft. The title was always among esports’ most popular games.
The games center around historical events and factions throughout the ages, from the Stone Age to the Classical period. Players must gather resources, build structures, and create armies composed of archers, knights, and siege equipment to defeat their opponents. The game recently received its fourth sequel, released in 2021.
12. FIFA 22
Release Year: 2021
FIFA is a yearly release soccer simulation video game series published by Electronic Arts. The game tries to stay as true to the sport as possible, with accurate rosters of teams and players worldwide.
Soccer’s worldwide popularity makes this title one of the mandatory esports games on betting sites. There are multiple leagues, cups, and tournaments with their own sets of rules, but the straightforward nature of soccer makes it an easy game to follow or start playing.
13. NBA 2K22
Release Year: 2021
NBA 2K is a basketball simulation video game series published by 2K Sports. Similar to FIFA, the game strives for realism as each player and team reflects their real-life counterparts.
Betting on esports NBA matches doesn’t come close to the popularity of real NBA games, but most sportsbooks that have esports betting include it in their offer, making it a widely available esport for bettors.
14. Heroes of the Storm
Release Year: 2015
Heroes of the Storm is a free-to-play MOBA developed by Blizzard Entertainment and another title in the arsenal of esports games for the developer. The game features characters from across Blizzard’s franchises, such as Diablo, Warcraft, StarCraft, and Overwatch.
Unfortunately, due to Blizzard shutting down its official support for competitive play, the game’s esports scene has died down and isn’t as widely available for betting as it once was. There are independently held tournaments, however, so it’s still possible to bet on the game if you can find a bookie that offers it.
Release Year: 2014
SMITE is a third-person multiplayer online battle arena video game developed and published by Hi-Rez Studios. In the game, players take control of mythological gods and goddesses from a third-person perspective and do battle in arenas.
The concept is similar to Dota 2 and LoL, and it’s a bit dwarfed by the popularity of the two. The game is still among the most popular MOBAs currently and has an active competitive scene with multiple tournaments held each year. As such, it’s widely available on esports betting sites.
Gambling on Esports and Licenses
The online betting and gambling industry is growing at a rapid pace. This has led to an increase in the number of online sportsbooks and casinos that offer esports betting. However, with this growth comes increased regulation, and knowing what authority provides a license for your sportsbook of choice is important.
Many venues that we recommend here at BitcoinPlay have a valid Curacao eGaming license, one of the industry’s most popular regulatory bodies. There are others, such as the Malta Gaming Authority and the UK Gambling Commission, that are also highly respected.
Getting a Crypto or Bitcoin Wallet
You’ll need a Bitcoin or a crypto wallet to bet on video games with cryptocurrencies. A cryptocurrency wallet is a digital application where you can store, send, and receive these digital assets. If you don’t already have one, don’t worry – setting up a Bitcoin wallet is a simple matter. For most users, downloading a smartphone application is the easiest way to go about it.
What esports can I bet on?
There are plenty of options for esports fans to bet on. Some of the most popular choices are Dota 2, LoL, and CS:GO.
What game is most played in esports?
Fortnite is one of the most played esports, and Epic Games hosts tournaments regularly.
What esport game pays the most?
Plenty of esports games have large prize money pools. For example, Dota 2 had one of the biggest funds for The International 2021 tournament, with a prize pool of more than $40 million. Fortnite World Cup 2019 had a reward of $6 million for the first three places in Solo mode.