The esports industry has seen tremendous growth over the years, both in terms of viewership and revenue. The gaming culture has emerged as one of the most influential and central forms of entertainment around the world. It has grown even more since the coronavirus pandemic commenced.

With major sporting events being canceled, many shifted their focus on esports, and the esports industry managed to organize online events as well as stream tournaments. Hundreds of games worldwide are played every second, and some of them had a significant impact on the esports ecosystem throughout the coronavirus pandemic. We take a look at some of the most impactful games this year.

Riot Games Dominates Esports

For more than a year, League of Legends has been elected as the most impactful PC game in the world. League of Legends was the most-watched video game on live streaming platform Twitch in the first three months of the year.

According to Riot Games, the League of Legends European Championship experienced an 81% increase in average-minute audience for the first half of its 2020 summer split compared to that of summer 2019.

Most professional regional leagues started in mid-January and generated tons of viewership since then. The four major professional leagues, North America, Europe, China and South Korea, were able to shift into an online format and continue competitive play very quickly.

Valorant: A Rising Star

While League of Legends is the number one game, Valorant has also emerged as one of the most played and viewed games around the world. The game was first launched in closed beta, and access was granted through Twitch drops.

The hours watched on Twitch exceeded 100 million. It was officially released in June and became the most-watched game on Twitch with 544 million hours in the previous three months.

Legends of Runeterra and Teamfight Tactics

According to The Esports Observer, two more games from Riot Games are in the top 15 most influential games in 2020: Legends of Runeterra and Teamfight Tactics. Although Legends of Runeterra barely has a competitive esports scene and only a small Twitch viewership, the game has a high player base as it is similar to Hearthstone by Blizzard entertainment.

Teamfight Tactics Galaxies Championship will soon be hosted, and players from all around the world will fight to win the tournament.

Consistency of CS:GO

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive is considered the best FPS game in the world. They have been consistently hosting events, attracting fans, and thriving in the esports industry for many years.

This year, they had the most tournaments hosted and paid out the most prize money as well. CS:GO paid out approximately $4.9 million, and the biggest tournament in terms of pool prize was the $1 million Flashpoint Season 1 league, which was won by Overactive Media’s MAD Lions team.

Many important events during the quarantine period were held online for the European and North American divisions. Overall, the game drew 239 million hours of viewership on Twitch during the second quarter of 2020.

Other Impactful Games

  • Fortnite
  • Dota 2
  • Call of Duty: Modern Warfare
  • Rainbow Six Siege
  • Hearthstone
  • Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds
  • Overwatch
  • Rocket League
  • Starcraft
  • EA Sports: FIFA 20