eSports has expanded in recognition and revenue in recent years. It is a form of competition using video games, and with new inclusions, mobile games, with the help of live streaming technology. It usually takes the form of organized multiplayer competitions that involve players, particularly professional ones, who play either together as a team or individually against each other. While some players only participate in eSports games as a hobby, some people play professionally, and if you’re still new to the eSports world, you can always learn to get started.
The most common genres of games that are found in eSports are First Person Shooter (FPS), Multiplayer Online Battle Arena (MOBA), Sports, Fighting, Battle Royale, Card, and Real-Time Strategy (RTS) games. With the MOBA genre being the most popular regarding viewership and participation.
Whether eSports gaming should be classified as a real sport has been controversial. While some countries, for example, China in the year 2003, are one of the first to conclude it as a real sport, others deem it laughable and prefer to classify it as a mind game that involves physical fitness and training.
With the eSports games expected to rise to around 460 million viewers, more of this recognition is coming from Asia, which has always included eSport games as a medal event at their competitions. The 2007 Asian Indoor Games was the first popular multi-sport competition to include eSports as an official-medal winning event. This inclusion and getting featured alongside traditional sports is to help promote eSports as a legitimate sport and gain more acceptance globally. The International Olympic Committee is also discussing the inclusion of eSports into future Olympic events.
One of the biggest and most featured eSports games globally is League of Legends. Many eSports tournaments have featured this game. It’s a real-time strategy game where the strength of the character is determined by the upgrades the players have made to their LoL accounts. While League of Legends is arguably the biggest eSports game out there, this article will explore other eSport games that can be said to be as big as League of Legends, particularly sports games.
Sports eSports Games as Big As League of Legends
FIFA, to be rebranded as EA Sports FC in 2023, has been produced by Electronic Arts for more than 20 years and has now grown to be the largest sports video game franchise globally. It is a series of association football video games that have been made available in at least 51 countries over the years and localized into 18 languages.
As of 2021, FIFA sold over 111 million copies, and Guinness World Records listed it as the world’s best-selling sports video game franchise. In its first week of release, FIFA 12 sold 3.2 million copies generating over 186 million dollars, to hold the record of the fastest-selling sports game ever.
The latest edition of the FIFA series is FIFA 23, released in September of this year. The cover art features Chelsea Women forward Sam Kerr, as she becomes the first female footballer to feature on the game’s global front cover, alongside Paris Saint-Germain forward Kylian Mbappe, making it his third consecutive year. However, this is the last game that will be released from this series under the FIFA name, as EA Sports and FIFA failed to reach an agreement over licensing fees for the name FIFA. EA would continue producing the game under a different name, EA Sports FC.
Meanwhile, FIFA has also announced that they will be working with another developer to make “the only authentic, real game that has the FIFA name” in 2024, and it will be considered “the major new FIFA game.”
FIFA has been the official eSports game of the World Cyber Games since its first tournament in 2001. Also, the FIFA Interactive World Cup is the world’s largest video game tournament.
Pro Evolution Soccer (PES)/eFootball
Developed by Konami, eFootball, formerly known as Pro Evolution Soccer internationally, has been considered FIFA’s biggest competitor since the 90s. It is known as Winning Eleven in Japan and North America.
As of 2020, the game franchise has sold over 111 million copies globally and is regarded as one of the best-selling video game franchises in the world. It also boasts over 400 million downloads of its mobile version. In what is described as the greatest rivalry in the history of sports video games, PES, now eFootball, goes head to head against FIFA/EA Sports FC. Since 2010, an annual tournament, which will now be known as eSports League, has been held by Konami every year.
The game features an offline and online multiplayer mode, allowing gamers to control an entire team or a particular player. Even though the series has had different game modes, it usually features a typical game of association football.
EA Tiburon developed this immersive, simulation-based American football video game for EA Sports. It uses authentic NFL interactive experience to give gamers the thrill of playing out their fantasy of participating and winning the Super Bowl and other football titles. It is the only licensed National Football League (NFL) football game.
The game was known as John Madden Football until 1993, and it derives its name from John Madden, a Pro Football Hall of Fame coach and television color commentator. With no losing season, he holds the highest winning percentage among NFL coaches who have coached a hundred games. The game series is one of the most successful game franchises in the world, as it has sold over 130 million copies since it started, and as of 2013, it had generated over 4 billion dollars in sales.
The latest edition of this series is Madden NFL 23, released on the 19th of August, 2023, and became the USA’s best-selling game of August for the 23rd consecutive year. The game was released in August and is already the fifth best-selling game of the year.
The Madden NFL mobile game is also doing numbers, as it was ranked the third top-grossing iOS game in the United States.
EA and NFL collaborated to organize the Madden NFL Championship Series for top gamers to compete for a pool prize to give the game a more befitting eSport feel. To appeal to as many players as possible, the organizers of the MCS add modest differences to the format and game mode of the competition every year. The pool prize for the Madden NFL Championship Series 23 would be a whopping sum of 1.7 million dollars.
The above games are some of the biggest sports eSports games that would give League of Legends a run for their money. While the deliberation of whether eSports should be regarded and included as sports continues, many developers of eSport games, most especially sports games, have begun to organize eSport tournaments for their top players in the same manner that tournaments are organized for traditional sports games.
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