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The Games Played in Esports

One of the most significant events on the esports calendar is the League of Legends World Championship. It's a stage that every pro player dreams about being on; The Summoner's Cup is a trophy that every fan imagines their team lifting.

The 2021 World Championship was one for the history books. Edward Gaming (EDG) had one of the most difficult roads to arrive at the finals. They defeated the most decorated team in League of Legends (LoL) history, T1 Esports, in the group stage, their Chinese rival, Royal Never Give Up (RNG), in the quarterfinals, and a revitalized Gen.G team in the semifinals. The final match would be between EDG and the reigning world champions, DAMWON Gaming KIA (DWG KIA). "I think this is the stage that I've been always dreaming of. Here represents the highest level of competition as a pro," said EDG Midlaner Lee "Scout" Ye-chan.

"I think the main thing is that winning would prove all the doubters I've had since the start of my career wrong," said Scout, and he would be right.

EDG, a team that had previously never passed a Worlds quarterfinal, and a team nobody picked to win, would stun the world by defeating DWG KIA 3-2 to take the Summoners Cup from the reigning world champions. Scout, a player who had been living in the shadow of one of the world's best LoL players, Lee "Faker" Sang-hyeok, would be named the LCS Finals MVP.

MOBA: Multiplayer Online Battle Arena

When it comes to esports games, League of Legends has earned its place among the greatest games in the history of esports. In terms of the sheer size of the tournaments  produced for LoL (League of Legends), it's a behemoth.

MOBAs are a genre that fuses real-time strategy, role-playing, and action games. Typically, each match starts with two opposing teams of five players working together to achieve the ultimate victory of destroying the enemy's base while protecting their own. The first team to beat the opponents' main structure wins the match. Some MOBA games have other victory conditions, such as destroying the enemy team. Some of the more prominent games for ages 13+ in this category are:

  • Defense of the Ancients (DOTA 2)
  • League of Legends 
  • Heroes of the Storm

Fighting Games

The fighting game community (FGC) was born in the early days of local arcades and still carries a feeling of nostalgia unlike any other game in esports. Perhaps it's due to titles like Super Smash Bros. Melee, where players still prefer to play on the Nintendo Game Cube systems. Attending a fighting game tournament is like being transported back in time to those early arcade days. Multiple fighting games are being played under one roof, making for a unique tournament experience. Notable favorites in the genre for ages 13+ include:

  • Street Fighter
  • Marvel vs. Capcom
  • Tekken


Motorsport games are a genre that has thrilled fans for years. They range on a spectrum between photorealistic physics-based professional simulators and old-school arcade-style racers. Here are a few for ages 10+:

  • Gran Turismo Sport
  • iRacing
  • Project CARS
  • Track Mania

 Real-Time Strategy (RTS)

This type of game is where players progress simultaneously with each other in "real-time" instead of taking turns. Typically, players construct buildings and position armies to create drama leading up to a big battle. Here are a few of the most popular for ages 13+:

  • StarCraft: Brood War
  • StarCraft II
  • Warcraft III
  • Age of Empires series

Sports Games

Titles under the sports game genre can be split into sports simulation games and arcade games. Here are a few for ages 8+:

  • Madden
  • FIFA series
  • NBA 2K

 PC Card Games

Also known as Collectible Card Games, CCG is played similarly to table-top card games. Most titles have a storyline that takes you into battle to save the world. Here are the most popular esports titles for ages 12+:

  • Hearthstone
  • Magic: The Gathering Arena

First-Person Shooters

First-Person Shooters (FPS) is a genre where individuals or teams compete against each other in a firefight from a first-person perspective. Some of the titles have produced subsequent series of the game. Here are the many games that fall under FPS for ages 14+:

  • Counter-Strike series
  • Battlefield series
  • Overwatch
  • Apex Legends
  • Valorant

Third-Person Shooters (TPS) are 3D action video games in which the player character is visible on-screen. For this list, these titles are also TPS battle royales. Battle Royales (BR) is the last-man-standing gameplay with the survival, exploration, and scavenging elements of a survival game. They involve multiple players who start with minimal equipment and must eliminate all other opponents while the play area shrinks smaller with each round. Being caught outside the designated boundary takes the player's health until eventual elimination. Play continues until only one team is left standing. Winner winner chicken dinner: 

  • Fortnite
  • PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds (PUBG)

The games listed in this article are some of the most popular and not exhaustive lists. If you didn't see a favorite esports game listed above, check out this graphic created by esports researcher Nico Besombes.

The beauty of esports games is that it's not one-size-fits-all. Esports has something for everyone, along with the communities of passionate, like-minded fans to support your favorite teams and players.

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