The esports scene is huge right now, and that means there are many games trying to be the next big competitive title. These games fall into different categories or genres, each offering a different experience to both players and spectators. Esports titles are unique in their accessibility to those who watch the competitive scene – something traditional sports can’t always offer. Let’s have a look at some of the biggest genres in competitive gaming and some of the examples of games that make up each.
Multiplayer Online Battle Arena
The multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) is one of the biggest in the esports arena, offering huge prize pools and millions of players. They’re general complex games requiring a strong knowledge of the game’s systems, heroes, items and current meta game, and for this reason isn’t a very accessible genre to get started in. It often requires serious commitment for new players to become familiar with all the game mechanics and play styles. The premise of this genre is a team-based game where two teams of usually 5 players a team attempt to outplay the other team and destroy a critical building in their opponent’s base. The most popular games in the MOBA genre are Dota 2 and League of Legends, both boasting millions of active players.
First Person Shooter
The first-person shooter (FPS) is a staple of computer gaming and one that has found a huge footprint in competitive gaming. It’s a dynamic genre with many variations and game styles, from solo player vs player kill count-based games to round-based team games. At its core the genre features a view that emulates you looking out of the eyes of the character you play, and almost always the objective is to gun down your opponents or computer-controlled opponents to win. There are so many subtypes in the genre that we can’t cover them here, but popular entries include games like Overwatch, Call of Duty and Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege. First person shooters are real money earning games and one of the genres offered on Unikrn’s UMode platform where players can wager money on their own performance and make bets on their upcoming games. It adds a level of intensity to these games like no other way could.
Battle Royale could be classified as a subset of the FPS genre, but because it’s one of the biggest game types on the planet right now, it needs its own section. The basic game design features a huge map where about 100 players will be deposited with nothing in their inventories. By looting buildings and gearing up, they must be the last player or team alive to claim victory. The map is constantly made smaller by using a safe zone that shrinks during play. Fortnite is the best example of the battle royale genre and is currently the biggest game in the world by active player counts. Another good example and perhaps the first game in the battle royale genre to gain popularity is PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds.
Trading Card Games
The trading card game is an extension of the cardboard based genre that has been popular amongst players for many years. It’s modelled on games like Magic the Gathering and similar trading card games, but instead of physical cards, it uses digital versions. The core gameplay mechanics involve building decks of cards to play against your opponent in a one on one setting. Usually this involves reducing a health pool down to zero by playing better cards than your opponent. Trading card games are known for their strategy but often include a level of randomness and chance that purists don’t enjoy about the genre. Trading card games are often spin-offs of bigger game universes or mirrored from their physical versions. Big games in the genre are Blizzard Entertainment’s Hearthstone and CD Projekt Red’s Gwent.
The fighting game has been around since arcades made use of cabinets and games like Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat are the grandfathers of the genre. The game is usually a player vs player style where the objective is to knock out your opponent in a side scrolling view. Games of the genre usually have a vast catalog of fighters to choose from each with a small backstory to enrich the game’s lore. It has seen a resurgence in recent years and now enjoys popularity as an esports title with many players across the world. Street Fighter V is currently the biggest title being played competitively in the fighting game genre.
There are many other genres popular with esports players and spectators alike. Some honorable mentions are sports and racing simulations like the Fifa series of games and real time strategy games like StarCraft 2, whose predecessor, StarCraft, was one of the forerunners in competitive gaming. Whichever genre you choose to play or watch, you can be sure you’ll find a game you enjoy!