As the term e-sports covers all forms of competitive gaming online, it technically encompasses pretty much all video games with multiplayer capabilities.
However, there are some specific genres of games that are extremely popular for eSports, and most commonly have major tournaments and betting opportunities.
We’ll look at each of these types of eSports games below.
Multiplayer Online Battle Arena
Often known as a MOBA for shorthand, this is a genre of video game that is, in actual fact, a sub-genre of real-time strategy games, but has gained greater popularity than traditional RTS’ in recent years.
Specifically, a MOBA involves a player controlling a single character in a team that must destroy the opposition team’s main building.
In addition to the player controlled characters, there will be non-player controlled units spawned in each team’s base that will travel along set paths towards the enemy base in order to support the main characters.
This brings together action elements, along with real-time strategy, to create a fun, fast-paced but strategic video game experience.
However, Smite and Heroes of the Storm are both successful and popular MOBAs that also have major tournaments and we suspect more will come.
A staple of PC gaming for decades, real-time strategy games (or RTS for short) have always been a big genre in the competitive gaming industry.
RTS games involves the player building an army by constructing buildings, and developing units, in order to gain dominance over a map and defeat other player’s armies.
In order to achieve this, the player will normally need to gather the limited resource available on the map which are required to construct the building and develop the units.
There may also be elements of technological advancement involved in order to progress through the game.
The “Real-Time” part of RTS games is that each player performs their actions at the same time, and differs from turn-based strategy games which are more like board games; i.e. a player completing a set number of actions before the next player takes a turn.
RTS games are less popular now in the world of e-sports than they previously have been, mostly due to the growth in popularity of MOBAs.
However, StarCraft II is still extremely popular, and has many major tournaments and excellent eSports betting opportunities.
First Person Shooter
First Person Shooter (or FPS for short) are an extremely popular form of competitive e-sport that mixes PC and console gaming way more than the likes of RTS and MOBAs, which are, let’s be honest, far more popular with the PC crowd.
FPS games involve players taking part in a firefight across a map. This could be for the purpose of gaining as many kills as possible, or to achieve some form of objective such as planting or defusing a bomb.
FPS games can also be individual or team-based, though in competitive tournaments they are almost always team-based.
These are very popular due to the frenetic action, as well as the ease of understanding and picking up the game, which is comparatively simple when compared to RTS and MOBA games.
In terms of major e-sports tournaments, and e-sports betting opportunities, the dominant game in this genre is Counter-Strike: Global Offensive.
However, there are a number of other popular FPS games with major tournaments, such as HALO and Call of Duty (which are more popular with console gamers).
Fighting games have been a big part of competitive gaming since the very beginning. Even before online gaming were around, you would have competitions on arcade machines to beat high scores.
This genre of fame involves two players controlling characters in close combat action, attempting to defeat each other by reducing their opponent’s health to zero.
Interestingly fans of fighting games don’t like the term “e-sport” being applied to their games, and prefer the term competitive gaming.
The reason given for this is that e-sports is closely tied to PC gaming, such as with FPS, RTS & MOBA games, whereas fighting games are much more closely tied to console and arcade gaming.
Additionally, while there are a number of very big tournaments associated with fighting games, there are currently very limited betting opportunities.
However we fully expect these to expand in the years to come as esports starts incorporating what some would view as more mainstream and popular video games.
In fact, some of the fighting game genre found within esports tournaments are instantly recognizable to anyone who has ever picked up a joystick or controller. These range from the more classic titles like Street Fighter, King of Fighters & Mortal Kombat, to more recent titles like Super Smash Brothers.
Street Fighter & Super Smash Brothers are the two most notable games in terms of big e-sports tournaments.
Sports games are based on traditional sports competitions, such as racing, football, basketball, etc.
The most common form of competitive sports video game is, of course, FIFA. Makes sense right?
It is an exceptionally popular football game that is predominately played on console devices and played extremely heavily online between gamers of all abilities.
There are a wide variety of e-sports tournaments dedicated to FIFA, and is has been an official game of the World Cyber Games since its inception.
Other types of genres
There are a number of games that do not fit into the traditional e-sports genres, but have been very successful and popular with gamers.
The biggest and most notable of these is Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft.
This is a card game where players use cards to summon minions, equip weapons, and cast spells, with the aim of reducing their opponent’s health to zero.
Hearthstone has a variety of major tournaments and there are many betting opportunities available to take part in.
Another very popular e-sports game that doesn’t fit into a traditional category is World of Tanks.
This is a tank simulator game where players control a tank in order to attack and destroy opponent’s tanks.
There are a number of major tournaments available for World of Tanks too, though there are less betting opportunities than Hearthstone.
Now you know about all the types of eSports games and you’ve read the first part of our beginners’ guide on “What Are E-Sports?”, you’re ready to learn how to bet smart on your favourite games.
Time to check out further sections in this beginner’s guide, which will tell you all about eSports betting.
Let’s start by looking at the best eSports bookmakers that you can use to place your first e-sports bet.
Alternatively, if you want to know even more about the different eSports, then check out our game review guides covering all the major competitive games, and will help you to really get to know each game.