What makes a game an esports game?
1. It should be popular among gamers - Popularity attracts viewers to watch professional matches. Approximately 2 out of 10 gamers are watching professional matches, the ratio is slightly better in the case of world championships (4 out of 10).
2. Tournaments with a decent prize pool - Up to $1,000,000 prize pool tournaments could maintain a healthy esports scene for an game. Frequently, it is just as important as the prize pool itself. Also, per capita (per player) income from a tournament should always be above $20,000 to make a decent living for a pro-gamer which will lead to a $40,000 to $60,000 overall income per year (including sponsorship and salary).
3. Sustainable, stable game ecosystem - Winning one tournament in a year doesn't make an esports team sustainable. The fast changes in the game's popularity could make investors uncertain, so a game should have a long-lasting popularity and lifespan (10+ years).
4. Enjoyable broadcasts for viewers - Be realistic! Watching a match where nothing in half an hour is a big pain. One of the the most important things is the action that viewers can see on the broadcast. If they are not enjoyable, the game will fail as an esport in the long-term. In future, broadcasts will have to have extra entertainments like live sweepstakes, quiz games or soft betting.
5. Toolsets for broadcasters - Connected to above, broadcasters require a 'toolset' for creating quality content within the game. Game developers need to give extra information in terms of data and visual specifications to broadcasters on order to let them put content together.
In our experience, the most popular esports games are team based. There are certain exceptions like FIFA or Hearthstone but from a spectator point of view it always creates more excitement when we watch more people in the game. This makes the game more uncertain.
What are the most popular esports?
Most popular esports titles based on global viewership members (2018) are:
1. Fortnite* - BR - The most popular Battle Royale game.
2. League of Legends - MOBA - The biggest fanbase and one of the richest in history across the globe.
3. Counter-Strike: Global Offensive - FPS - The most important FPS esports.
4. Dota 2 - MOBA - It has huge events (minors and majors) like The International that attracts many people and provides the biggest prize pool for pro-players.
5. Overwatch - FPS - Emerging FPS game thanks to US Overwatch league (which aims to follow the model of traditional North American professional sports).
6. Playerunknown's Battlegrounds* - (PUGB) - BR - The icebreaker title of Battle Royal games.
7. Hearthstone - CCG - The most successful collective card game among players.
8. Apex Legends* - BR - One of the big success stories of 2019.
9. Clash Royale - Optimised for mobile experience, the game mixes the playing attributes of MOBA, tower defence and CCG.
10. FIFA series - Sport - Soccer sport simulator, a gateway to esports in the EU.
11. Rocket League - Simulator - Vehicular soccer video game.
12. F1 Series - Simulator - a racing video game featuring Formula 1 cars and circuits.
13. Brawl Stars - MOBA - A real time mobile action game mixing the attributes of CCG and MOBA action.
(*) The current Battle Royale titles like Fortnite, Apex Legends and PUBG are still not 100% esports ready games. The lack a lot of functions that are required by broadcasters and gamers in order to provide great tournament experiences. Based on the intention of the developers, they will fulfill these requirements later.
Most popular esports based on player's income (2018):
1. Dota 2 - MOBA
2. League of Legends - MOBA
3. Counter-Strike: Global Offensive - FPS
4. Fortnite - BR
5. Overwatch - FPS
6. Hearthstone - CCG
7. PUBG - BR
8. Call of Duty - FPS
Why team logos important in esports?
In esports, the team's visual identity is an important factor compared with traditional sports clubs. Team logos are appearing on a lot of online and offline surfaces and hold the marketing value of the whole organisation, therefore organisations intend to perfect their design.
What strategies do video games employ to keep you playing?
1. Free loot boxes, daily quests/rewards over time (e.g. Clash Royale) - You login every day and get small rewards for it in the form of instant gifts.
2. Trading platforms to earn more 'coins' (e.g. FIFA19) - Have any duplicates? No problem! You make virtual coins from it by exchanging your virtual cards for ones you are looking for.
3. Weekly missions (e.g.Hearthstone) - New missions appear in the game.
4. Periodically extra content (e.g. PUBG, Dota 2) - After updating the game, you may find new content, visuals or heroes which weren't part of the first release. This is one of the most common tools utilised by game developers,
5. Long game learning curve (e.g. League of Legends) - There are huge numbers of heroes you can master in the game. Every hero has different skill sets which you must learn one-by-one. In LoL, every week new heroes become free to play. This helps new players to try out these heroes.
6. Esports (e.g. League of Legends, Overwatch, Dota 2) The biggest game enthusiasts are not only playing the game but also watching tournament streams which motivate them to play.
7. Drops (e.g. CS:GO, FIFA, Overwatch) - You may collect items while you are simply watching esports streams on Twitch. When you return to game, you will find these items/skins on your account.
8. Achievements and social interactions (e.g. World of Warcraft, StarCraft II) - People keep playing the game to connect and solve problems to overcome certain missions together.
Game developers apply the strongest gamification mechanics to keep players in the game. The whole phenomena "gamification' could have originated from game development.