Esports has never been more popular. In 2021, casual viewers numbered more than 240 million. By 2024, this number is expected to swell to more than 290 million. If you’re one of the few people who have yet to explore the exciting world of esports, you’re probably unsure of what to get started. Struggling to decide between multiplayer online battle arena games and first-person shooters? Below, we highlight three of the best esports games for first-time viewers to get stuck into.
League of Legends (LoL)
Launched in 2009 by Riot Games, League of Legends is one of the most-viewed multiplayer online battle arena titles on the planet. This dynamic title is a firm fixture of the professional circuit, with more than 1,700 pro-level players exclusively participating in LoL tournaments and fixtures.
For viewers, League of Legends is an accessible and entertaining option. The basic premise of the game is simple. Two teams of five players face off against each other on an assortment of virtual battlefields. However, it’s not simply a case of capturing an enemy base. Before competing teams have a chance of coming to blows with their opponents, they’ll need to traverse all manner of obstacles.
There are hundreds of League of Legends esports teams spread across various leagues and tournaments, but without doubt, the most successful is T1. This Korean team has been around since 2014 and produced megastar players including Moon Woo-chan, Lee Sang-hyeok, and Kim Tae-gi.
Defense of the Ancients 2, better known as DOTA 2, was first unveiled by Valve in 2013. Like League of Legends, DOTA 2 is a multiplayer online battle arena game. DOTA 2 is arguably seen as one of the more challenging multiplayer games on the esports circuit, with a keen focus on tactical thinking and real-time reactions. Currently, there are little over 1,000 professional DOTA 2 players competing in major leagues.
The premise of DOTA 2 shares a lot of DNA with League of Legends. Each game sees two teams of five players compete against each other. The aim of the game is to defend your home base from attack, as well as launch a crippling assault on the base of the enemy. However, before this final onslaught can get underway, teams need to overcome a host of challenging obstacles.
One of the most interesting aspects of DOTA 2 is that live players are supported by virtual auxiliary forces. This is by no means a surefire advantage, with teams needing to utilize tactics to leverage these forces effectively. As of 2021, Russian team Team Spirit dominates the DOTA 2 rankings.
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO)
CS:GO is another popular esports title from Valve. It’s also one of the oldest, with the first version of the game debuting in 2000. This first-person shooter is also heavily represented, with more than 4,500 players currently playing professionally.
In CS:GO, two teams take on the role of either a terrorist cell or counter-terrorist response team. Depending on which role a team has adopted, the objectives of the game vary. Teams playing as terrorists will need to plant explosives, while counter-terrorist teams will need to diffuse said bombs and rescue hostages.
With relatively high levels of realism, CS:GO is particularly thrilling for first-time viewers of esports. The application of penalties also means that no fixture is a foregone conclusion. Thinking about making a standout shooter your first esports viewing experience? Find all the latest CSGO news at 1337pro and discover the latest match fixtures so you never miss a thing.