Gaming is much more than a past time now and the 10 Most Professionally Competitive Games is proof of that. E-sports is growing, and professional e-athletes are growing with it. If you are looking for a chance to make some money and play against some of the best and most dedicated gamers in the world, maybe try your hand at one of the 10 Most Professionally Competitive Games.
Super Street Fighter II: Turbo may be one of the oldest competitively played games in existence. It is now almost 20 years after the game was released and tournaments are still being held for it. EVO, the biggest fighting game tournament in the world, will be hosting side tournaments for it in about a month. Despite things like random damage, one touch kills, and incredibly unbalanced characters, Super Turbo is still considered one of the fairest competitive games in existence, and that's why it's on our list of the 10 Most Professionally Competitive Games.
FIFA is cool because it brings the international gaming crowd together. It’s one of the most popular games in places that aren’t necessarily the U.S., kind of like soccer itself. If you travel overseas, you’ll find local game stores holding FIFA tournaments all the time. If you look hard enough, you can even find some of them in Gamestops in America as well.
Halo 2 brought the competitive shooter genre out of the PC and into the land of consoles. Before Halo 2, shooter tournaments were held at LAN parties and internet cafes. Being able to make a splash on the competitive scene meant having your own portable gaming rig. However, Halo 2 was popular enough that real tournament money started shifting toward consoles. Not only were console tournaments easier to hold, they were also easier to play in, as everyone used the same controllers.
Sports games are always kind of hard to hold tournaments for. They take a long time and have so many changeable rules and so much imbalance between teams that it’s hard to settle on a rules set that makes sports game tournaments run effectively. That doesn’t stop Madden from being one of the most played competitive games in the pro gaming world. Not only is EA willing to throw tons of money at Madden events, but these events have managed to actually buy out some impressive locations for their finals. For example, Gamestop helped to sponsor a Madden tournament that was held in Times Square!
When shooters finally entered the realm of professional gaming, Quake lead the charge. Not only did this game get its own tournaments, it eventually got its own convention! Yes, entire hotels were bought out just so that people could come together and play Quake. Now that’s dedication. See you at the next QuakeCon!
And now let’s talk about Korea when it comes to the 10 Most Professionally Competitive Games. As much as we’d like to believe that the U.S. will eventually have a respectable e-sports community, Korea has us beat. When it comes to Starcraft, they have bought out entire stadiums just to show off finals matches. No fooling. Even though Starcraft 2, Warcraft 3, and several other RTSes are out, the original Starcraft and its expansions is one of the biggest professionally competitive games in the world. It’s also one of the only games out there to have its own betting scandals, just like real sports.
Street Fighter III: Third Strike got a slow start. It came out at a time when fighting games were flooding the market. However, when great pro players like Daigo Umehara eventually picked the game up, we got to see amazing matches like the fabled EVO Moment #37 where Daigo perfectly parried every hit of Justin Wong’s super with almost no life remaining.
Smash Bros. Melee is one of the most competitive games, possibly because it wasn’t supposed to be. The Smash Bros. series boasts very simple controls, incredibly random stages, and items that can swing matches wildly for no good reason. Yet, the professional gaming community has worked hard to narrow the game down to the fairest stages, turned off all the items, and figured out hand cramping professional techniques like wavedashing and short hop fast falling.
Up near the top of our list we have Counter Strike, the fan made mod gone official of Half-Life 2. Counter-Strike was well known for being absolutely unforgiving to newbies. Of course that would mean that it would find its place as a staple of the professional gaming community. Much like Quake, Counter-Strike was played at LAN parties and huge conventions and you can still find it being played at events like PAX today. While the pro community isn’t nearly as excited about it as they used to be, the competition hasn’t gotten any less fierce.
Finally, our greatest professionally competitive game is League of Legends, the game that created the term MOBA (multiplayer online battle arena), and to this day is the most played MOBA in existence. League of Legends is played at nearly every professional e-sports event. Tournaments for the game have been held in the U.S., Europe, Asia, and more. Prize pools for the game have climbed to millions, yes, MILLIONS! Individual prizes have routinely managed to climb to the hundreds of thousands if not more. Professional gaming teams are literally making a living off of this game alone and that's why it's #1 on our list of the 10 Most Professionally Competitive Games.