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2018 showed us that the old dogs of Esports are still strong and kicking, but also that the new kids on the block are important as well. The Top 10 most popular Esports games in 2018 list may shock you, although the results are almost as expected. If you’ve been following the Esports scene this year, you probably already have an idea on what game will appear here and in which position.

Nonetheless, 2018 wasn’t just a huge year for many of these games; it was a huge year for Esports as a whole too. Esports is now the center of attention for many gamers; they follow tournaments, have favorite teams and players, and eagerly await the culmination of the competitive scene. Playing Esports has never been so fun before!

So, with that in mind, which were the top 10 most watched Esports games in 2018?

Top 10 Most Popular Esports Games in 2018

Well, it wouldn’t be a proper countdown list without actually starting with number 10 – Rocket League. So here’s something about the first entry in our top 10 most popular Esports Games in 2018 list!

Number 10 – Rocket League

It might be surprising to even see Rocket League on this list but the game has been going strong since it was released. Arguably, the viewership numbers for 2018 aren’t as good as they can be. This is simply down to lack of interest. Which is a shame, really, because Rocket League is fun in and of itself, but mesmerizing when you’re spectating a tournament. Still, this is pretty good result considering.

Total 2018 Viewership Number: 13 Million Hours

Number 9 – PUBG


PlayerUnknown’s BattleGrounds was a game generally considered more realistic and fun than Fortnite. Some things changed and this opinion changed. People still love playing PUBG and many of the most popular streamers on Twitch do as well, but it just couldn’t do any better. PUBG was still miles ahead of Call of Duty, so hey – not everything is bleak!

Total 2018 Viewership Number: 14 Million Hours

Number 8 – Rainbow Six Siege

r6 siege

One of the best FPS shooters in the modern gaming era, Rainbow 6 Siege has managed quite a lot over the few years it existed. This isn’t your simple pick-and-shoot-em-up FPS game; it involves swathes of tactics and superior strategy know-it-all to win. Who thought that such a complicated game would be so rewarding?

I’m joking of course. Rainbow Six Siege was great from the start and people quickly picked it up, but mastering it is another story. Hence the viewership numbers:

Total 2018 Viewership Number: 14.5 Million Hours

Related: Upcoming Rainbow 6 Siege Season Changes

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Number 7 – StarCraft 2

Once the undisputed king of Esports, StarCraft 2 has fallen down the ranks. But for what it’s worth, it’s still going strong! It’s number 7 on this list for crying out loud! The viewership number proves that this game is relevant in the gaming community even today. Which is great for a game from 2010 (and an RTS game at that). If you’d tune in to a StarCraft 2 tournament today, you’d experiene madness; players playing the game like it’s nothing. Who knew?

Total 2018 Viewership Number: 17.5 Million Hours

Number 6 – Heroes of the Storm

Heroes of the Storm

Heroes of the Storm is Blizzards attempt at creating a MOBA. And boy, did they do a good job with it. Of course, it still contains some bugs which isn’t unusual for a game of this magnitude. It’s still nothing close to the likes of Dota 2 and especially League of Legends, but a valiant effort nonetheless.

Heroes of the Storm is pretty fun as well; no complicated shop systems – all heroes are stock and you fight with them. Non-stop action. What more could you want! Oh, and Esports betting also made its way to HotS (along with the rest of the titles on this list; go figure)

Total 2018 Viewership Number: 19.5 Million Hours

Number 5 – Hearthstone


Ring ring ring! The first entry in the Top 5 most popular Esports games in 2018 is here! Do people really watch 1 player play a card game against another one? The answer is yes; yes they do. And there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that!

Hearthstone has been gaining traction since release and, compared to a couple of years ago, is filled to the brim with content. There are so many ways to play your cards right (pun intended) it’s incredible. Even moreso when you’re watching the pros pull out a new gimmick! Taz’Dingo!

Total 2018 Viewership Number: 43 Million Hours

Number 4 – Overwatch

We’re nearing number 1 but skipping games is not an option (if you’re impatient just scroll to the bottom, we won’t mind). Anyway – back to the topic at hand!

Overwatch. The Massively-Multiplayer concoction of FPS and MOBA. It works well, no doubt about it, but damn, does it work well. 

It’s easy to pick up and play, action is swift and merciless (pun unintended this time), and you’ll feel the adrenaline pumping through you. The same can be said for watching the tournaments. Overwatch is also looking to expand even more in the Esports business so you can be sure that in the following years, it might seriously be a contender for the number 1 most popular game spot!

Total 2018 Viewership Number: 96 Million Hours

Related: Overwatch Hero Bans

Number 3 – Dota 2

The direct successor to the original Defence of the Ancients, Dota 2’s popularity may have dwindled a bit. Compared to League of Legends, they’re just a bit behind. However, if you ever watched The International… You’ll know exactly how good this game is. The action is unparallaled to anything else out there. So much chaos and destruction…

Bad memories from an Anti-Mage a few years ago.

What more to say? Dota 2 is home to some of the most successful teams in Esports such as Na’Vi, IG, and many others. If you tune in to any bigger tournament, there’ll already be thousands of spectators watching what’s happening on their screens. Can’t get much better than that… Or can it?

Total 2018 Viewership Number: 180 Million Hours

Number 2 – Counter-Strike: Global Offensive

With Astralis becoming the most dominant force in the CSGO Esports scene, viewership number skyrocketed. And it’s not just about Astralis being the best; it’s about other teams being so good. This year was an exceptional one for CSGO. So many amazing plays, moments, games, encounters, fights, kills, you name it.

Some of the most memorable Esports moments in general have happened this year in CSGO. Just visit Youtube and search for it – you won’t be disappointed with what you find.

CSGO is currently moving the boundaries for Multiplayer FPS games from all corners of the gaming market. Look at how well Rainbow 6 Siege is doing. Even Fortnite and Overwatch are at the top of their game.

But CSGO’s 2018 year was something else.

Total 2018 Viewership Number: 212 Million Hours

Related: HLTV Announces Best Teams in 2018

Number 1 – League of Legends

You knew it would appear at some point but it might be surprising to some Esports fans that it is in first place. Discussions were ongoing about how League of Legends is losing its flair and that it can no longer provide the quality entertainment it once did.

Well, the haters have been proven wrong! 

League of Legends’ viewership number for 2018 is just insane. So many people have followed and watched the LoL Esports competitive season that it’s difficult seeing any other game come close to it (Fortnite may be an exception but we just don’t know yet).

Worlds 2018 was a resounding success (apart from a couple of empty seats) but online it was a different story. A story that the viewership numbers describe perfectly:

Total 2018 Viewership Number: 240 Million Hours

And so, that concludes our Top 10 Most Popular Esports Games in 2018 list. Were you surprised or was this something you expect? Leave a comment below with your thoughts!

*Note: The viewership data collected was from Youtube and Twitch streaming only. Facebook has an exclusivity deal with ESL so CSGO and Dota 2 may fare better with that in mind.

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