Has the Pandemic Changed the Balance of Power? The Most Popular Esports Games in 2021

Esports is growing from year to year and it seems that this trend will not slow down in the near future. The current situation in the world, which has been keeping people in their homes for almost more than a year, has definitely contributed to eSports and the growth of its popularity.

There are many different eSports competitions and those players, who have the most talent and skills, compete at the highest levels for prizes that were unthinkable when competing was introduced, more than a decade ago. Of course, this also brings with it a large number of fans and viewers who enjoy watching the professionals play.

Simply put, it pays off to be a gamer. In order to make money from playing video games, you do not even have to be an absolute world-class who will participate in world championships on a regular basis, but just to be… let’s say, good enough. Nothing more than that. You can make money in various ways, and the most popular of them is to be a streamer, i.e. a person who records his playing on platforms such as Twitch or YouTube and builds a base of his viewers and followers. They often know how to and find ways to donate great amounts of money if they like to watch the player’s broadcasts, and the players themselves can sometimes earn very good amounts. Sometimes, the performance and character of the player, as well as his playing skills, are even more appreciated because, after all, the player is the one who attracts the audience.

Looking at the popularity and earnings that individual video games make, we came up with a list of the five most popular eSports games in 2021:

League of Legends

Currently, League of Legends is considered the most popular eSports game in the world. This is definitely supported by the fact that there are more than one hundred million active players in the world. The prizes in the competitions in this game are not as high as in the next game on our list, Dota 2, but it seems that soon this one, like many other records, could be broken. At the first World Championship in LoL, in 2011, the prize pool was $ 100,000, and only six years later, it amounted to $ 6.4 million. Last year’s World Championship in LoL was supposed to be a real spectacle but the global situation with the pandemic and related problems have greatly diminished the magnitude of the event.

Since the World Champs are held at sports stadiums and indoor arenas that can place tens of thousands of fans, ticket revenues are extremely high. It is something that did not happen last year and most likely will not happen this year either, and yet a great prize pool has been provided for all participants. It was as high as $ 2,25 million, which is an astronomically big amount for one free game, that is clear, but it is also an astronomical amount due to the fact that the hype in 2020 was not that strong because of everything related to the coronavirus.

Dota 2

Dota 2 is a game that came out in 2013, and it is a free multiplayer game. It belongs to the MOBA game genre and definitely fits into the very top of video games in terms of its popularity, but also prize funds.

The game may not have the largest community of players in the world but it does offer the biggest rewards. For example, at the World Championship in 2017, the prize pool was a staggering $ 24 million, and the winner alone earned nearly half of that – more precisely $ 10.8 million.

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive or more simply CS: GO is a game that has been around for many years and that is why it is enjoyed by adults the same as children and teens. During one year, a large number of CS: GO tournaments are held with very rich prizes. In some of them, the prize fund exceeds one million dollars, and the teams have the opportunity to earn extremely large sums of money throughout the year.

The popularity of CG: GO is also contributed by the fact that, compared to other sports games, most people bet on it using the rich offer provided by the best betting sites.


Overwatch is an action game that became a popular eSports discipline very soon after its release in 2016. The first competitive leagues in this game appeared in Asia where prize pools were several hundred thousand dollars.

Of course, the popularity of the game has spread to Europe and North America, and in 2016, the first World Cup in Overwatch was held. Now, it has become regular and is held every year, and the awards have reached several million dollars.


This list would really be incomplete if it did not include probably the most popular traditional sports-based video game in the world – FIFA. Due to the fact that an extremely large number of different tournaments are held in this game in one calendar year, it is justifiably at the very top of the popularity scale.

Often, professional footballers themselves promote this game, play it in their free time, and post it on their social media profiles, which attracts many young people to try it. Also, a new version comes out every year that contains some of the latest player transfers and the like, so many FIFA fans have to keep up and that is where the big revenue comes from.Are you still wondering if it pays off to be good at video games?

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I am the owner of ThisGenGaming.com

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