Choosing An Esports Genre In 2021

One of the first steps you need to take when trying to figure out how to become a professional gamer and join an esports team is to learn about the different video game genres. In esports, there are six main genres:

Multiplayer Online Battle Arena (MOBA)

Known as the MOBA genre, this is one of the most popular genres in esports. Originally, the MOBA genre originated as a Warcraft 3 community mod, but thanks to its popularity, it became something much bigger when Riot Games and Valve developed stand-alone games based on the original. The first of these two companies created League of Legends while the second one created DotA (now Dota 2). Now, more than 10 years later, these games are hugely popular. League of Legends is played by over 100 million people while Dota 2 by over 10 million. Both of these games have thriving communities and professional scenes.


MOBA games are a mixture of RTS (Real-Time Strategy) and RPG (Role-Playing Game) games, involving heroes, buildings, items, skills, and everything else you might expect to find in an RTS or RPG game. Two teams of five players each compete on a two-sided map and the goal is to destroy your opponent’s base. It sounds very simple but it’s actually extremely complex. MOBA games have somewhere between 500 and 1000 elements that you need to assimilate before you can even fully understand what’s going on in the world.

Real-Time Strategy (RTS)

The RTS genre is one of the most brutal and mechanically challenging, because it involves a one-on-one battle between two players in real-time. You also need to play with great speed and efficiency. You don’t know where your opponent is on the map, you don’t know what they are doing, and you need to figure out the environment and next steps as soon as possible while managing your economy, offensive moves, defensive moves, and so on. Every battle is challenging and exhausting. Pro players in the RTS genre usually reach an ATM (actions per minute) of at least 250. Unlike turn-based strategy games, RTS games don’t wait for each player to make their move. You can perform as many actions as your mind, hands, and resources allow you to.
The most common examples of successful RTS games are StarCraft, StarCraft 2, and Warcraft 3.

First-Person Shooter (FPS)

Esports from this video game genre involve guns, maps, and teams that try to eliminate each other in the attempt to reach a certain goal. Of course, FPS games still involve many of the strategic elements that other genres have, but they rely heavily on your ability to shoot and position yourself on the map in a smart way. The most famous esports from this genre are Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Overwatch, Rainbow Six Siege, and Call of Duty.


This genre involves more traditional sports play: football games such as FIFA20, battling car games such as Rocket League, and more. You’ll find other types of sports as well, but football tends to be the most popular in this genre.


This is one of the oldest sports genres of all, and one of the most primal. The goal is pretty clear: Smash your opponent until they drop down. Although they might not seem so, fighting games are highly technical in nature, with milliseconds being the difference between winning and dying. Games like Mortal Kombat 11 or Tekken 7 are among the most popular titles here.

Battle Royale

This is the newest and most successful video game genre that has morphed into an esport. The biggest names here are Fortnite and PUBG. Battle Royale games involve a chaotic battle between a lot of different teams or individuals, who parachute onto a map and then start to kill each other, getting better and better equipped with each success. The goal is to be the last man (or team) standing, and the rounds are exhilarating. Once you get the rhythm, you can’t get enough of them.
Fortnite is played by over 250 million people and in 2019, it had a world championship with a prize pool of more than $30 million. On the other hand, PUBG is yet to become better developed as an esport, but as a competitive game, it has been played by over 50 million people on PC alone.

Regardless of what your choice may be, esports has plenty of video game genres to choose from. If you like chess-like games, go for MOBAs. If you like shooting, go for the FPS or Battle Royale genre. The RTS genre is still popular, though not as much as it once was. As for sports and fighting, they’re probably the simplest to grasp, even if you’ve never played them before.

Radu Muresan

Radu Muresan

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