League of Legends
League of Legends (or LoL) is probably the most popular electronic sport in the world, having a player base of more than 100 million people. It is a MOBA game (Multiplayer Online Battle Arena) created and published by Riot Games. It was announced for the first time in October 2008 and was released just one year later, in October 2009. Since then, the game has reached incredible heights in terms of popularity and monthly active players. Last year’s League of Legends World Championship had 43 million unique viewers and a total prize pool of over 6 million USD.
Smite is another successful eSport belonging to the MOBA genre. It was created and published by Hi-Rez Studios and since its release in March 2014, the game has reached a large audience and has been played by more than 20 million people worldwide. The first Smite World Championship was held in 2015 and had a prize pool of 2.6 million USD.
Heroes of the Storm
Heroes of the Storm is an electronic sport created and published by Blizzard Entertainment, the same company that developed Hearthstone, Overwatch and the Warcraft, World of Warcraft, StarCraft and Diablo series. It is a MOBA game turned eSport, with tournaments that have prize pools of hundreds of thousands of dollars. Last year’s BlizzCon World Championships offered a total prize pool of one million dollars.
In terms of professional tournaments and prize pools, Dota 2 is the most successful eSport ever developed. It is a free-to-play MOBA game created and published by the same company which owns the Steam platform, namely Valve Corporation. Its development began in 2009 and it was released in July 2013. Since then, the game has grown tremendously in popularity and at the moment has more than 12 million players worldwide. Last year’s The International (basically an annual World Championship of Dota 2) had a prize pool of more than 20 million dollars.
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (or CS:GO) is a popular electronic sport with a lot of history behind it. It is a multiplayer first-person shooter created by Hidden Path Entertainment in association with Valve Corporation. It is the fourth game in the Counter-Strike franchise and was released in August 2012. Since then, CS:GO has sold more than 25 million copies and has become one of the most successful electronic sports in the world.