The heavyweights of the gaming world are known as MOBAS. Multiplayer Online Battle Arenas. The world’s most popular games of all time belong to this genre of eSports. Think of MOBAS as Soccer. Soccer is easily the most watched sport in the world, one of the biggest TV event of the year being the World Cup. MOBAS are at the same altitude in terms of popularity. League of Legends (LoL), released in 2009, swept the MOBA world by storm.
According to Jeremiah Paul in “By The Numbers: Most Popular Online Games Right Now” (Source), there are more than 70 million active players logging on every month to LoL who play for more than one billion hours, making it the most played game in the world. And what about LoL competitive scene? Equally as massive. In League’s 2015 world championship there were over 360 million hours watched live with a grand prize pool of 2,130,000 dollars (Source 1, Source 2), and analysts are predicting double the viewership with a prize pool of the same price in 2016 which is taking place right now. League made its fame through its new free to play model, where anyone can play at no price.
Now that I’ve established MOBA’S colossal eSports scene, let’s talk about a few of the most popular ones, and what they bring to the table.
LEAGUE OF LEGENDS (LOL)
League of Legends (2009), is known as the most played video game in the world, like I said before. Its eSports scene one of the biggest there are, with millions of people watching and playing everyday. The game’s developer, Riot, takes hold of it’s competitive scene like a dictator, taking control over the different organizations that fund players and tournaments, and to bring legitimacy and sportsmanship to the scene. Riot tries its hardest to emulate real sports in LOL.
DEFENSE OF THE ANCIENTS 1 & 2 (DotA)
DotA started out as a Warcraft 3 mod, or a modification of the game. Since then it’s one of the biggest scenes in eSports, made by Valve, the owners of the most popular game sale platforms called Steam. In 2013 DotA 2 was release made by the same guys that made the original, now working for Valve. DotA is notable for its player base being allowed to pitch in and fund tournaments, leading to enormous prize pools. The International Tournament 2016 has a prize pool of $20,770,640.00 (Source).
Smite (2014) made by Hi-Rez is one of the new kids on the block. Released around 2 years from now, Smite takes place in the juxtapositioned lore of all types of mythology. That includes Greek, Norse, and many more. What Smite brings to the table is its non traditional third person viewpoint during matches, while most other MOBA’s have asymmetric views. People also title this game as a crossover from MOBAS, RTSs, and Shooters. All in all Smite brings a fresh look to MOBAS even with its eSports scene not being the most popular.
HEROES OF THE STORM (HotS)
One of the biggest game companies created Heroes of the Storm in 2015 named Blizzard. Blizzard is respected in the gaming world because of other popular games that have been release in many genres; such as World of Warcraft, Diablo, Overwatch, Starcraft, and Hearthstone. HotS inserted a MOBA into Blizzard’s game library. With it’s scene still quite small, its growth potential is still quite large because of its continued support by Blizzard.
Thank you all for reading this post. Next time I’ll be continuing on this and explaining the mechanics of a MOBA in more detail.