As mobile Esports gain traction on a larger scale, the impact of these competitions will likely be felt far beyond the mobile gaming industry with implications that touch upon all areas of digital entertainment. Mobile gaming Esports has seen an unimaginable rise in popularity over the past several years. With mobile gamers now making up a huge portion of the world’s 3.24 billion gamers and mobile gaming dominating as the top-grossing segment, mobile Esports has become a competitive arena for gamers everywhere. It is fascinating to watch mobile gaming as such a powerful force not only in terms of numbers but also in its ability to shape how we interact with games by providing us with more avenues to challenge and compete against each other.
PUBG Mobile has become the hottest mobile title worldwide, backed by the Chinese gaming giant Tencent. It can be accessed on virtually any platform or emulated onto a PC through dedicated software and is even playable in countries where it was previously banned for national security concerns. This mobile gaming success comes with a whopping $5 million prize pool, which is twice that of Arena of Valor and Free Fire, and it all boils down to its incredible format. One hundred players parachute onto an island in search of weapons and supplies–all while trying to stay the last person alive. Although battle royale games were around before PUBG, they hit the spotlight and solidified mobile Esports thanks to this revolutionary title.
Garena Free Fire is undoubtedly making waves with its explosive mobile Esports scene, pulling in a revenue of more than $1 billion a month and scooping up the coveted award for breakthrough game of the year by Google Play. Furthermore, it had 38 million hours of watch time during 2019 and has a rather generous prize pool total of $2 million – which isn’t too shabby! Additionally, Free Fire is most popularly known for the Brazil Pro League where it tends to hit over 1 million viewers. But things don’t stop there; its World tournament in 2019 rocked an average of 1.2 million viewers and even soared to 2 million at its peak! Evidently, Garena Free Fire is sure to make an indelible impression as a bronze contender on this list with flames that are just getting started.
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SuperCell has come to represent top Esports excellence with their popular titles Clash of Clans, Clash Royale, and now Brawl Stars. These games have gotten so popular they have grown prize pools to the million-dollar mark. Players no longer simply play these games for the sake of fun – they actively invest money in-game items and the competitive esports scene with their playing online. With such a dedicated competitive audience, it’s no wonder that SuperCell remains top of the top Esport rankings.
The classic first-person Shooter Game has long been considered a mainstay of the gaming experience, and its transition to the mobile platform is no exception. With an impressive number of players taking part each year in COD (Call of Duty) Mobile Esports events like the Call of Duty: Mobile World Championship, it has made a big splash on the world stage. It continues to draw in huge numbers of enthusiastic participants, demonstrating just how popular it has become among those that prefer not just playing but competing in mobile games. With the large and ever-growing player base, there’s no doubt that this game will be around for many more years to come.
Arena of Valor, formerly known as King of Glory in China, became one of the most popular mobile games when it was released in 2015. Since then, it has gained immense popularity among players with 200 million registered accounts and 80 million active players. Its success is largely due to the developer’s decision not to use an existing Riot Games title such as League of Legends Mobile or Wild Rift, but instead produce a game similar yet legally distinct. As a testament to its incredible reputation, Nintendo even decided to put this game on its Switch platform. Today, Arena of Valor is hosted globally and offers an annual prize pool of almost $2.2 million for those who reach the highest rankings. But the greatest indicator of its influence is the number of Hours watched for AoV content which stands at an unbeatable 70 million hours – making it the leader amongst mobile Esports games.
Fortnite is a juggernaut in the world of video games, boasting an immense online following and decades’ worth of premier players. Few titles compare to it, but Fortnite’s mobile capabilities have taken it to the next level by introducing Esports tournaments from almost anywhere. Mobile teams can now compete on the go with others around the world, for a chance to win some sizable prizes and make a name for themselves in the gaming community. It’s hard to deny the universal impact of Fortnite, and its mobile iteration proves no different.
Hearthstone is one of the biggest mobile games based on the cult classic game World of Warcraft. It utilizes a card-based system to enable players to easily compete against each other, whether it be solo or in tournaments with global or regional rankings. Players have access to hundreds of cards featuring characters and spells from the world of Warcraft, which they can use to build formidable decks that let them gain powerful advantages over their opponents. With an ever-expanding library and diverse group of players, Hearthstone offers a wildly entertaining experience for both new and existing gamers alike.
Mobile gaming is something that will stay with us for a long time and it cannot be denied. As more developers create engaging experiences and tournaments become even more lucrative, mobile esports will continue to rise in popularity. With games like SuperCell’s Clash Royale, Call of Duty: Mobile, and Arena of Valor / King of Glory leading the way, it’s clear.