These Are The Most Popular Video Games Of 2022 (And How Much They Gave Out In Prizes For Esports Pro Players)

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2022 was a big year for the esports industry. Now that 2023 is approaching, we highlight some of the most popular games of the year.

Here are the top 10 most played esports by gamers from all over the world.

Counter-Strike: Global Offense

The “Counter-Strike” series has been at the summit of esports since its release in 2000: an undisputed classic. Valve’s Counter-Strike is a highly competitive, strategy-oriented, multiplayer, first-person shooter game.

See also: Mobile Games Are Being Dethroned In the Post-Pandemic World

And, with the launch of “CS:GO” in 2012, the game has definitely experienced a revival. According to Esports Earnings, a community-driven competitive gaming resource based on freely available public information, in 2022 2407 “CS:GO” professional players collected $14,734,911 in prize money in 342 tournaments.

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Call of Duty: Warzone 2

Activision-Blizzards’s ATVI “Call of Duty: Warzone 2” is a free-to-play battle royale video game for Sony’s SONY PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, and Microsoft’s MSFT Windows, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S.

The video game was released in November 2022 and is the sequel to the original Warzone from 2020. Similar to its predecessor, in Warzone 2.0's primary game mode, Battle Royale, players compete in a continuously shrinking map to be the last player remaining.

“Call of Duty: Warzone 2” saw $131,788 in prize money, had 62 pro players and 12 tournaments, while “Call of Duty: Warzone” saw $1,887,112 in prizes, had 264 players and 82 tournaments in 2022, as per Esports Earnings.

League of Legends

“League of Legends”, or “LoL”, is a 2009 multiplayer online battle arena video game developed and published by Tencent’s TCEHY Riot Games. Since its release in October 2009, “League” has been free-to-play and is monetized through purchasable character customization. The game is available for Microsoft Windows and Apple’s AAPL macOS.

See also: Riot Updates Scheduling Strategy For LoL, Valorant; Location Of Next LoL Worlds Leaked

In the game, two teams of five players battle in player-versus-player combat, each team occupying and defending their half of the map. Each of the ten players controls a character, known as a "champion", with unique abilities and differing styles of play. During a match, champions become more powerful by collecting experience points, earning gold, and purchasing items to defeat the opposing team. In League's main mode, Summoner's Rift, a team wins by pushing through to the enemy base and destroying their "Nexus", a large structure located within.

In 2022, “League of Legends” amassed $13,060,732 in prizes, had 568 players, and 105 tournaments.

Valorant

Despite being a relatively new release, with its launch in 2020, Riot Games’ “Valorant” has captivated gamers from all over the globe.

This team-based first-person tactical hero shooter videogame for Windows is set in the near future. Players play as one of a set of Agents, characters based on several countries and cultures around the world. In the main game mode, players are assigned to either the attacking or defending team with each team having five players on it.

How does “Valorant” perform in numbers? According to Esports Earnings, pretty well: $5,853,194 gathered in prizes, 1444 pro players, and 104 tournaments.

PUBG

Tencent’s “PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds”, better known as “PUBG”, has great popularity in both of its formats: mobile and PC.

In this game, players parachute down to a remote island and fight to remain as the last player standing, competing alone or in teams of two or four, depending on the game mode selected before the match. Each match lasts about 30 minutes.

By December 2022, “PUBG Mobile” had accumulated around 1.3 billion downloads while grossing over $9 billion, making it the third highest-grossing mobile game. It is also the second most-played mobile video game of all time.

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In terms of prizes, “PUBG” has collected an impressive amount of $23,353,916, with 1534 professional players all over the world and 72 tournaments.

DOTA 2

Valve’s “Dota 2” is a 2013 multiplayer online battle arena, and a sequel to the classic “Defense Of The Ancients” that made its name in the early 2000s.

Dota 2 is played in matches between two teams of five players, with each team occupying and defending its own separate base on the map. Each of the ten players independently controls a powerful character known as a "hero" who has unique abilities and differing styles of play. During a match, players collect experience points and items for their heroes to successfully defeat the opposing team's heroes in player-versus-player combat. A team wins by being the first to destroy the other team's "Ancient", a large structure located within their base.
As stated by Esports Earnings, DOTA 2 is the esport that has boasted the most prize money in 2022 with $32,662,443, 1033 players, and 110 tournaments.

Rocket League

“Rocket League” is a vehicular soccer video game developed and published by Epic Games’ Psyonix.
The videogame was described by Sportskeeda as follows: “If racing cars had a weird child with football, that's what ‘Rocket League’ would be described as. Racecars fighting each other on the football field and trying to hit a giant football into the opponent's goal is a sight we all want, and need, to see. As bizarre as it may sound, the gameplay and the acrobatics involved are nothing to joke about.”

See also: US Congress Presses Big Video Game Companies To Combat Harassment And Extremism

The game released in July 2015 can be played on PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, GeForce Now, Microsoft Windows, Mac operating systems, and Linux. Moreover, ”Rocket League” raised $9,359,815 in prizes, had 1641 pro players in 2022, and 419 tournaments.

Rainbow Six

“Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Siege” is an online tactical shooter video game developed by Ubisoft Montreal and published by Ubisoft. It was released worldwide for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One on December 1, 2015; the game was also released for PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X and Series S exactly five years later on December 1, 2020.

The game puts heavy emphasis on environmental destruction and cooperation between players. Each player assumes control of an attacker or a defender in different gameplay modes such as rescuing a hostage, defusing a bomb, and taking control of an objective within a room. The title has no campaign but features a series of short, offline missions called, "situations" that can be played solo.

“Rainbow Six” has collected $7,890,890 in prizes in 2022, had 558 players worldwide, and 64 tournaments.

Fortnite

“Fortnite” is an online video game developed by Epic Games and released in 2017. It is available in three distinct game mode versions that otherwise share the same general gameplay and game engine: “Fortnite Battle Royale”, a free-to-play battle royale game in which up to 100 players fight to be the last person standing; “Fortnite: Save the World”, a cooperative hybrid tower defense-shooter and survival game in which up to four players fight off zombie-like creatures and defend objects with traps and fortifications they can build; and “Fortnite Creative”, in which players are given complete freedom to create worlds and battle arenas.

See also: Do You Want to Become an Esports Pro? These 5 Tips Can Help

Furthermore, this game is possibly one of the most influenced by pop culture, as collabs with artists and different media franchises (such as Netflix NFLX's "Stranger Things," Disney DIS's "Star Wars," Ariana Grande, and Travis Scott) are very common in “Fortnite”.

This title gathered up $16,108,000 in prizes, had 925 players, and 171 tournaments in 2022.

Overwatch 2

“Overwatch 2” is a 2022 first-person shooter by Blizzard Entertainment. As a sequel to the 2016 hero shooter “Overwatch”, the game intends a shared environment for player-versus-player modes while introducing persistent cooperative modes. A major change in PvP modes was to reduce team sizes from six to five.

The newest game on our list has amassed $4,741,763 in prizes, had 306 players, and 16 tournaments in 2022.

Photo by Florian Olivo on Unsplash

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