One of the most anticipated StarCraft 2 tournaments is just around the corner, with the world's best players getting ready to fight for their share of $500,000 in prize money.
A legendary esports event, the Intel Extreme Masters (IEM) Katowice is a CS:GO tournament held in Poland. In this guide, we'll go over all the participating teams, details about the schedule, as well as everything you need to know about IEM CS:GO betting!
The Dota Pro Circuit is in full flow. The next big tournament in this seasonal circuit is the PGL Arlington Major. Texas is the location, Esports Stadium Arlington is the venue of choice, and seventeen brilliant Dota 2 teams will be eyeing their chances here.
The LEC (League of Legends European Championship) is entering a new decade starting with the inaugural Winter split. From team rosters to an all-new tournament format, the league will be seeing much more competition.
Through the years Esports games have continued to develop into multiple genres. Nowadays, most esports titles have grown massively, and that is due to the fact that there are dozens of such games that are free to play. Thanks to how the current gaming ecosystem runs, most of the top Esports games are free and do not require any type of purchase to access the game. In this article, we will be taking a look at the most popular free Esports games out there.
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It may come as a surprise that Esports events that offer the highest prize money are based on free-to-play Esports games. In fact, the top three Esports games are free to play. Many mobile Esports games are free as well, with events themed around the latter offering huge prize pools and even rivaling PC or console games in terms of overall popularity.
While you still have to pay for the regular version of CoD, you can download the mobile game for free in the Google Apps store. Call of Duty is already an established Esports game with many countries having team representatives in competitive tournaments that offer millions in prize money.
In 2020, the Call of Duty: Mobile World Championship burst onto the Esports scene, with the partnership between Activision Blizzard and Sony Mobile resulting in a total prize pool of over $1 million. All players ranked veteran or higher were eligible to participate.
2021 marked an increase in prize pool money with the 2021 Call of Duty: Mobile World Championship now featuring $2,000,000 in the bank. However, it was split into two events – the East and West Finals.
2022 will see a series of Call of Duty Mobile tournaments take place, some with sizeable prizes attached. If you’re interested in betting on CoD Mobile, make sure to read our full guide to CoD betting. And, if you just want to watch, then watching a live stream of a tournament is a great idea.
Arena of Valor is already a mainstay within the Asian Esports scene, making up the bulk of the free-to-play Esports games that are popular in Asia. As such, it is a vital component of the SEA Games; an Esports tournament that sees Southeast Asian teams participate against each other.
The 2021 edition of the Arena of Valor International Championship saw the best AoV gamers in China, Thailand, Vietnam, and Indonesia battle it out for a slice of the $1,000,000 prize pool.
AoV is free to download on Google Play (note that a slightly different version of AoV is known in Asia as King of Glory).
Wild Rift was released in 2020 and has been increasing in popularity ever since. It was created by the same company that created League of Legends – Riot Games. Virtually the entire game is the same as LoL, with slight changes due to it being a mobile game.
Although young, Wild Rift has already experienced the Esports side of things, with a couple of Esports tournaments being held since release until now. By all accounts, the game and its popularity will keep growing, which provides opportunities for everyone – including Esports bettors.
As for now, the largest Wild Rift tournament was the Horizon Cup 2021 which featured a $500,000 prize pool. The tournament was won by DKG.
If you want to download free games (in this case Wild Rift), simply go to the App Store on your respective device and wait for it to finish downloading.
VALORANT is one of the youngest Esports games around. Launched in 2020, the game has already taken the gaming and Esports world by storm. Riot Games is trying to turn it into the next major Esports game and a potential rival to Valve’s CS:GO and they seem to have had some success in doing so.
The 2021 VALORANT Champions event featured 16 teams from various regions around the globe. These 16 teams fought for their share of $1,000,000, all ultimately aiming to win. However, there can be only one winner. Acend won the event and took home $350,000 in the process.
To play VALORANT for free, head to playvalorant.com, create a Riot account and download the client. Read our full guide to VALORANT betting and VALORANT Champions Tour betting for more information.
Apex Legends is another free-to-play Esports game. It enjoyed excellent 2020 and 2021 seasons even in spite of the pandemic. The 2021 ALGS Championship was split into 5 regional ones – North America, EMEA, APAC North, South America, and APAC South.
The combined prize pool of these 5 events is slightly above $2,650,000. We can expect many a great tournament in 2022 as Apex Legends keeps expanding and improving.
You can download the game free at the EA website, or through Steam, PlayStation, Xbox, or Nintendo Switch.
PUBG is available on various platforms, such as Windows and Xbox One. However, they have gone all out in promoting their mobile Esports league. For example, PUBG Mobile Global Championship 2021: Grand Finals concluded at the end of January with Nova Esports beating Natus Vincere to first place. The tournament featured a $3,490,000 prize pool and Nova took home $1,530,000.
The game itself is almost the same as the PC/Xbox One version of PUBG; however, it is being developed somewhat independently from the main game.
PUBG Mobile is available for free at Apple App Store or the PUBG Mobile website. Read our full guide to PUBG Mobile betting here.
There are few – if any – gamers who have not yet heard of Fortnite. The game is ultra-popular on Mobile, PC, PlayStation, Nintendo Switch, and Xbox, and allows for cross-platform competition. It is free to download from the Epic Games Website.
Many major tournaments took place in 2021, such as the $1,351,000 FNCS Grand Finals: Europe, and 2022 will seemingly be the same. Any player with a 30+ account level and two-step verification enabled is welcome to qualify.
Fortnite, while not in the top 3, still features plenty of Esports tournaments throughout the year. Tier 1 tournaments regularly feature prize pools in the hundred-thousands which provides extra incentive for competitors to be consistent and competitive.
In terms of Esports Counter-Strike needs no introduction, having been around for over 20 years throughout which we have seen various updates being introduced. The pinnacle of these updates was CS:GO – still going strong today.
It has given us some of the most legendary players, wildly popular teams, and some of the greatest moments in Esports. CS:GO tournaments such as IEM Katowice or BLAST Premier draw millions of viewers and offer millions in prize money every year.
While previous versions had to be paid for, the game has been free to download on Steam since 2018. This move may have singlehandedly offered new life into CS:GO which is still actively growing, both in terms of players and the game itself.
League of Legends is one of the most popular free-to-play Esports MOBA games in the world. It’s also one of the oldest too, having been around since 2009. League of Legends also has one of the largest player bases out of all Esports games – around 150 million (125 million of which are active monthly users).
This means that tournaments like LCK, LEC, and LCS draw millions of viewers each year and are responsible for some of the richest pro gamers in the world. League of Legends has reached the status of a real pro sport in terms of earnings. LoL betting has never been easier and more accessible, with virtually all bookies supporting it. There are even LoL fantasy betting sites.
You can download League of Legends by visiting Riot Games’ website and going through the installation process.
Dota 2 has been one of the most popular free Esports games since the game was launched in 2011 (the full release was in 2013).
Constant updates have ensured that it has not lost any of its popularity, keeping things fresh and interesting for players. The game is responsible for the biggest tournaments in terms of prize money, and some of the richest pro gamers.
Events like the WePlay AniMajor, ESL One, and most importantly – The International – draw in huge amounts of players and offer prize pools worth millions. Dota 2 is free to play on Steam.
There’s no doubt that Esports is comprised of many smaller pieces. Esports games can be either paid or free, depending on the type and the publisher. Nonetheless, it is the free Esports games that lead the Esports world, including League of Legends, Dota 2, and CSGO.
They’re also more accessible to people since the only thing they pay for is cosmetics (usually at least). Certain games have gone through the process of becoming free-to-play at a later date (CSGO is a prime example of this) and it is evident that these decisions are wholeheartedly welcomed by the gaming community.
So, if you want to get in on the action, it’s as easy as visiting the game’s website and downloading it. Good luck and have fun!
Two of the world’s top Esports games, CS:GO and Dota 2, are free to download on Steam.
The following 10 games are free to download from various platforms.
You’ve plenty of options when it comes to choosing a platform to play free Esports games. However, each game is usually available on only one or two platforms so choose carefully. Some of the most popular platforms for playing free games are Steam, Riot Games Launcher, and Origin.
Yes! In fact, all of the three top Esports games, such as Dota 2, LoL, and CS:GO are both free to download and free to play!
Most free Esports games use the freemium model. This means you can download and play the games for free, but you may need to pay extra for skins, special weapons, abilities, new heroes, or other upgrades. The good news is that these games are not pay-to-win as there’s a larger focus on making money off cosmetics.