Esports is an incredibly large and diverse beast that takes many years to grow.
The majority of accomplished esports games have either found their success due to a high interest from the community around them, or thanks to a strong developer pedigree backing, as they transition upwards through the tiers.
On top of this, the ideal behind the perfect esport is often cited as one that is “easy to learn, but hard to master”.
This implies there is a low barrier of entry for newer players, while at the same time still offering a high-skill level ceiling for those that are more experienced.
So with this criteria in-mind, we’ve put together a few “upcoming esports games” on our radar right now, with a *possible* future potential!
Upcoming esports games with future potential
Midair: Community Edition
Midair: Community Edition is the standalone successor to the original Midair released in 2018 and developed by archetype studios. It is currently undergoing development by Vector Z Studios who aim to bring the best parts of Midair into better focus and enhance the main features of the game.
For those unfamiliar with Midair, this is a fast-paced, first-person jetpack shooter set in a breathtaking sci-fi universe. The mechanics heavily focus on movement and physics, which makes it highly addictive to play. Players have jet packs that launch them into the skies as well as anti-friction boots to slide down hills ready to build momentum for the next jump.
There are a few reasons why we believe Midair CE can succeed as an upcoming esport game. For starters, the fast-paced action is exciting to watch, and apart from shooting, the main skill involves mastering the map terrain. Moreover, unlike the original midair, all items are available to new players immediately and there is no progression system.
So far, Vector Z Studios has promised game modes such as Capture the Flag, Team Deathmatches, Duels, Arena, etc. They’ve given us a planned 3rd September 2022 release date, too. However, this is likely to change.
Overwatch 2 is the standalone sequel to the team-based, first-person shooter developed by Blizzard Entertainment in 2016. During its prime, Overwatch was the sixth most popular eSports game in existence with 40 million players worldwide; therefore, it’s sure to make a massive comeback.
Despite being a ‘sequel’, you’d be better to think of Overwatch 2 as an unconventional upgrade that should have rolled out some time ago – when the player base started to dwindle. This is because the game will still maintain a “shared multiplayer environment” between itself and the original.
While the game will focus primarily on PvE missions, the expansion will affect the PVP side of things too. The biggest change is PvP consisting of 5v5 teams with only one tank. Moreover, Heroes will get a reworking within their classes, plus we’ll see new PVP modes and a handful of new maps.
Blizzard originally announced Overwatch 2 at BlizzCon in 2019 with no release date in sight. However, after a long wait, we do know that players from the Overwatch League will be using an “early build” of Overwatch 2 sometime in 2022. For everyone else, a 2023 release looks more likely.
Roller Champions is a 3v3 competitive multiplayer sports game played from a third-person perspective. It’s set to release in 2022 (late spring), bringing a thrilling, goal-seeking gameplay experience to PC, Switch, PlayStation, and Xbox.
Roller Champions has a similar atmosphere as Rocket League. Described as a “futuristic roller derby”, players must battle for possession of the ball while skating around the ring. They must then carry it through checkpoints in the arena’s four quadrants to have a chance of scoring goals.
While Roller Champions mainly has easy-to-use controls, the depth of skill is challenging. The mechanics are hard to master, and like Rocket League, it involves communication and coordination to score goals. For instance, players must learn to pass as a team, dodge, tackle, jump, crouch, etc.
Ubisoft has plans to get Roller Champions sponsored for esports play eventually, though the sponsor is unknown. As RC is still young, time will tell what specific place it holds in the esports world. So far, Ubisoft and the community have only hosted a few small tournaments themselves.
Overall, Roller Champions’ creates exciting confrontation and competition. This is exactly what a game needs to become upcoming esports material.
Halo Infinite is the next chapter of the legendary Halo franchise which has dominated esports circles for so many years. The game is set to be released in “Holiday 2020”.
Few FPS franchises have sparked the fanaticism found in fans than the Halo franchise, and gamers are eagerly awaiting this next iteration.
This new entry is being co-developed by 343 Industries and SkyBox Labs – both Halo franchise veterans, and is set to be released in-house by Xbox Game Studios. You can expect it to drop in late 2020 on both the Xbox One and the upcoming Xbox Series X.
“Halo Infinite” looks like it may be the first competitive phenomenon available on the next generation of consoles. If all goes well, and it most likely will, “Halo Infinite” should further cement the Halo franchise as a tentpole in esports circles well into the new decade.
We can’t wait for this one, and its no-doubt an upcoming esports game that will be taking over competitions in the future!
League of Legends: Wild Rift
League of Legends: Wild Rift is a MOBA mobile game (Android, iOS) with high fantasy, steampunk, and other genre influences. The game was released by Riot in October 2020 – to fill the North American mobile esport void.
Compared to its LoL PC counterpart, Wild Rift has shorter games, simpler playing modes, and more compact maps. That aims to reduce stagnation and create an even faster pace of play. One way the mobile version achieved this is by eliminating some respawning defense enemies (e.g. Inhibitors).
In October 2021, Riot hosted the “Summoner Series”, a month-long esports league. This led to the first North American Champions event held at Localhost, Denver. The winner of this event – Tribe Gaming NA walked away with a sizeable $70,000, plus an invitation to the international Horizon Cup.
Overall, Wild Rift is definitively in the making to become a very successful esport. However, first, we do think the skill expression needs to get a bit more technical. Moreover, the level of play still isn’t the highest; but that’s good news for new competitors wanting to be a part of the action!
“Quake Champions” is a fast-paced Arena shooter that was developed by id Software.
The franchise has been beloved by gamers for over two decades and this most recent entry has given the tried-and-true gameplay of the veteran shooter a new life in the field of esports.
Iterations of the Quake franchise have been played competitively by teams of pro’s for as long as the series has existed, and this isn’t about to change anytime soon!
More recently, publisher “Bethesda Softworks” announced on their official website that they are holding the Quake Pro League, which runs from QuakeCon 2019 to QuakeCon 2020.
It’s no surprise that players from all over the world have answered the call, eager to show off their skills at these highly awaited competitions.
Quake is a favourite for FPS purists and is widely considered the pivotal of skill-based shooters in video games.
Dragon Ball FighterZ
“Dragon Ball FighterZ” was released in early 2018, and is one of the more recent additions to the Dragon Ball Z fighting-games canon.
The game was born from what made the Dragon Ball show so loved and famous which includes endless spectacular fights with its 40 all-powerful fighters.
The old-school fighting mechanics are very reminiscent of the Street Fighter franchise, another esports staple. The variety of play-styles has made this is a go-to game for competitive fighting over the past couple of years.
Although there have been more recent fighting games made from the franchise, such as “Dragonball Z: Kakarot” – the simple and pleasantly intuitive fighting mechanics of “Dragonball FighterZ” continue to strike a chord with competitive players.
With the Dragonball FighterZ (2019/2020) World Tournament held by publisher Bandai Namco having recently wrapped up in Paris, the future of this competitive fighter only looks as if it’s going to grow.
“Valorant” is a first-person shooter developed by Riot Games.
If you don’t know, Riot Games are giants in the esports field, having developed and published the legendary “League of Legends” as well as “Teamfight Tactics”.
While “League of Legends” features fantasy role-playing game-play more similar to the Warcraft franchise. Riot Games are taking inspiration from other tried-and-true FPS games such as the very popular Counterstrike franchise for their new game.
Due to the esteem in which Riot Games is held, competitive gamers are incredibly hyped for this new release, which is aiming to drop sometime in 2020.
As with “Diabotical”, this seems like a ready-made home run for fans of FPS games in esports circles, and this game should get quite a bit of attention once it’s finally released.
The Counterstrike franchise has had a monolithic presence in the industry, and this spiritual successor looks like it just might be taking that crown in the near future!
Let’s see if it makes it on to the most popular esports games list!
Warcraft III: Reforged
“Warcraft III: Reforged” is a remastered edition of the classic real-time strategy game “Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos”. It was developed and published by Blizzard Entertainment and released in late January of 2020.
“Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos” has remained in the heart of gamers for close to 20 years now, so fans are understandably excited that this newly remastered version is allowing for a renewed interest in the franchise when it comes competitive gaming.
The gameplay is by and large the same formula that made the original one of the greatest RTS of all time, but with some minor tweaks to balance the multiplayer mode that should make this iteration of Warcraft a bigger hit than competitions of the past.
Blizzard has partnered with ESL to hold global competitions for this newly remastered gem throughout 2020, which will come to a head at a championship match taking place at the end of the year!
You can find a copy at Blizzard.
“Brawlhalla” is an epic platform-fighter-game that appeals to fans of the Super Smash Bros franchise, specifically the “Super Smash Bros: Melee” iteration.
It was rolled out over 2017/18, and is available to ‘cross-play’ on the Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, PS4 and Steam, for up to 8 players locally or online.
Like Super Smash Bro’s, “Brawlhalla” features many popular and beloved characters that you can choose to battle-it-out as, however this differs as they are predominantly from the Ubisoft franchises instead of those found at Nintendo.
Competitive players of the game love the ‘chaotic’ melee-style gameplay with a twist, and the ability to play as characters from outside franchises, such as Hellboy and Adventure Time.
Brawlhalla itself an esports favourite in both minor and major tournaments alike. There have been four open-entry World Championships to date, and it seems like this annual ritual is far from running its course!
Click here to play Brawlhalla for free.
“Clash Royale”, is a real-time strategy game that is set in the Clash Universe. It was first released by publisher Supercell in 2016, and was developed primarily for mobile devices.
Gameplay-wise, it’s a head-to-head variant of the ‘Tower Rush’ genre, however it also includes a card mechanic that lets you summon troops and forces.
Like other freemium games, such as “League of Legends” – “Clash Royale” has taken off in a similar obsessive way, and is praised by players who find the game to be a perfect outlet for their competitive edge.
The game has produced several note-worthy competitive “Clash Royale” leagues and is still very active in esports circles to this day. Teams from their respected leagues hope to compete in the yearly competition, the “Clash Royale League Challenge” that is hosted by Supercell.
Many players are still being drawn to this real-time strategy tower rush game, and it continues to look promising for the future.
You can install the Clash Royale app from Google play.
Gwent: The Witcher Card Game
“Gwent: The Witcher Card Game” takes three things that are incredibly popular in eSports circles: the Witcher franchise, freemium games, and card games, and blends them all together into one unique package that has had Witcher fans obsessing since its release in late 2018.
Developed and published by CD Projekt, this freemium game utilizes the Witcher IP nicely with deep card-based gameplay that is perfect for fans of trading card games, such as: Magic: the Gathering and Pokémon.
Like those popular trading card games, “Gwent: The Witcher Card Game” has seen its popularity soar in competition, with many players working tirelessly to master this game and get a competitive edge over others.
“Gwent: The Witcher Card Game” is currently in its esports season for 2020, and has drawn the attention of many competitive players around the globe.
Click here to play Gwent.
TrackMania is set in the ultimate arcade-racing universe, where everything is about reaching the perfect race time.
There have been many iterations of the franchise, with the most recent entry “TrackMania: Lagoon” having been released in 2017.
“TrackMania” offers many unique and customizable aspects that make it stand out from other racing games in the eSports field. Some of these include: the ability to build your own tracks, double-driver racing mode, and even skins to decorate your cars.
The gameplay is also stunt-oriented, which means that you are able to increase their score by performing insane tricks and stunts on the track.
The TrackMania franchise has seen its fair share of exposure in eSports circles since its inception, and upcoming events include the TrackMania Grand League Winter 2020.
For fans of racing games looking to get into esports, you can’t do much better than this beloved franchise as far as popularity and range of competition!
We hope you enjoyed this post on the top upcoming esports games!