Chris is an engineer, thinker, and philosopher who enjoys exploring futuristic ideas and technology.
Competitive video gaming, also known as eSports, gaming is gradually gaining traction as generations go by. In this modern era, the average person would have likely played, and spent many hours playing at least one video game in his/her lifetime. The video game industry is now worth billions of dollars and challenges more traditional forms of media such as movies, music, and television.
Video games continue to dominate pop culture and the entertainment industry and have been recognized as a competitive event for several decades. Like other traditional sporting tournaments, eSports winners are given awards, recognition, and are rewarded in cash and prizes for their efforts. In addition, many elite professional gamers are known for their strict training regiments and some even get sponsorships and endorsements from big companies.
Nonetheless, making a career out of professional video gaming is becoming easier. At any given moment there are dozens of cash tournaments being played in a variety of games around the world. If you’d like to get in on the action, here are some of the Top eSports Games with Cash Tournaments.
Counter-strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) – This game needs no introduction. But for those new to the gaming scene, it’s a multiplayer first-person shooter, the fourth in the series after game creators, Valve, turned a mod for Half-Life into a standalone game. This multiplayer game has set a gold standard for competitive and cooperative first-person shooters. Today, it is one of the most popular games in the eSports scene with over 5,800 tournaments and a total of over 110 million dollars awarded as of 2021. CS: Go has over 14,000 pro players and is continuing to grow in popularity.
DOTA 2 – This is the sequel to the massively popular Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos mod, DotA (Defense of the Ancients). Like Counter-Strike, this game can be played by teams of players with each team consisting of up to five players. Unlike CS: Go however the game is classified as a multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) and controls much like a real-time strategy game with an isometric perspective. Also, unlike CS: GO, DOTA 2 does not have as many tournaments with just over 1,500. However, the prize money awarded is the largest at over 230 million dollars. DOTA 2 has over 4,000 pro players.
Fortnite – Fortnite began as a single-play game, however, the Battle Royale mode is now one of the most popular games in the world. Fortnite: Battle Royale is a third-person shooter that is played in an open arena format during competitive gaming. It can be played by up to 100 players and the last person standing wins the tournament. There are also tournaments for duos (teams of two players) and squads (teams of four players).
The game became a cultural phenomenon upon release quickly catapulting it into the eSports scene. Today, Fortnite has almost 5,000 pro players and has run over 700 tournaments with over 100 million dollars of prize money awarded.
League of Legends – This game is referred to as the acronym LoL, or simply League, and is an online battle arena game much like DOTA 2. It’s also played with teams of up to five players, also in isometric view. It has a larger player base than DOTA 2 (mostly due to its viral marketing campaigns) with almost 8,000 pro players and held over 2,600 tournaments. These tournaments have awarded a sum of over 84 million dollars.
StarCraft II – This game is a sci-fi real-time strategy game that is the sequel to the very popular StarCraft. Putting the two together, StarCraft is one of the oldest franchises in the eSports arena. The franchise itself is likely responsible for popularizing eSports worldwide. StarCraft II has held over 6,000 tournaments and has given away a sum of over $35 million dollars.
Other notable eSports games include PUBG with over $33 million dollars awarded, Overwatch with over $27 million dollars, Hearthstone with over $25 million, and Heroes of the Storm with over $18 million dollars in cash given away.
In addition to those notable games, there is money to made playing classic video games as well. For instance, with some searching, you can find tournaments for games like Mortal Kombat, Super Smash Bros, Quake III, Chess.com, and Age of Empires II.
It will likely take many more years for eSports to be on par with basketball, baseball, or major league football. However, like the major sports mentioned, the players and those involved in the industry of video games realize the honor and rewards that come with competing with other players to become the best. One day soon game-pads, computer mice, and keyboards will become as ubiquitous as balls, bats, and clubs.
DISCLAIMER: Check your local laws before participating in any cash-prize video game tournaments. In some states and countries, it is illegal to collect cash prizes from playing video games.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2021 Christopher Wanamaker