Video games used to be thought of as a waste of time, something that kids would do for fun but with no redeeming qualities. At the same time, games like Chess have often been associated with intelligence and skill. Well it’s 2017 and the world has changed, video games are being put more and more in the realm of chess with masterful players making millions of dollars and eSports possibly getting added to the Olympics.
Gone are the days of button mashing, modern games require thinking many moves ahead, learning from other experts and their proven strategies, and studying and understanding your opponent. Sound similar to chess? Yes, these games actually have a lot in common with the process of learning and mastering chess.
You might also be surprised to learn that there’s a eSports tournament that just ended, and the winning team walked away with $212,500, and that’s a drop in the bucket compared to the over $100M in prizes that the top game has already reached. Which leads to an interesting question, and it’s another reason I wanted to make a longer intro in this post, so you can’t scroll down and cheat.
So now for the question – can you name the top three eSports games in 2017?
#1 – Dota 2
Dota stands for Defense of the Ancients, and not surprisingly the “2” at the end means this is the second game in the series. The game actually started out as a community-created mod for Blizzard’s Warcraft III. The game is played by teams, and each team has five players with ten total players. Each player becomes a “hero” – which like the name implies, is a powerful character with special powers and abilities. The team that destroys a large tower on the opponents base (aptly called the “Ancient”) wins the game.
Total Prize Money: $101,226,600
Total Tournament-level Players: 1980
Total Tournaments: 764
#2 – League of Legends
You might be surprised to learn that League of Legends was also inspired by a Warcraft III mod and the original DOTA game. In the game players are called “summoners” and they control a “champion” that, like a “hero” in DOTA 2 has special powers and abilities. Also similar to DOTA 2 (and not surprisingly) the goal of the game is to destroy a critical building on the opposing team’s side, which in LOL is called the Nexus.
Total Prize Money: $41,890,164
Total Tournament-level Players: 4803
Total Tournaments: 1881
#3 – Counter Strike Global Offensive
To round out the top three is a very different style of game, a first-person action shooter. It is the fourth in the Counter Strike series and like DOTA and League of Legends it pits two teams against each other. Like most first-person action shooters the goal is to shoot the other team as much as possible but there’s an additional wrinkle to the game which involves completing objectives while you’re whirling virtual bullets at each other. There are six different game modes, each different, and like DOTA 2 and League of Legends the top teams deploy incredibly detailed and complex strategies.
Total Prize Money: $37,386,103
Total Tournament-level Players: 7855
Total Tournaments: 2520