It must be the dream of any gamer: download free-to-play esports games, become a pro, make millions and have lots of fun along the way. While this sounds difficult to achieve, it has actually become a reality for many pro esports players. To play free esports games, you only need two things: a gaming PC (or a decent quality mobile device) and a good internet connection.
In this article, we will go through the most popular free esports games out there.
The Top 10 Free-to-Play Esports Games
It may come as a surprise that esports events which offer the highest prize money are based on free-download games. In fact, the top three esport games overall are free to play. Many mobile esports games are free too, with events themed around the latter offering huge prize pools and even rivalling PC or console games in terms of overall popularity.
10. Call of Duty Mobile
While you still have to pay for the regular version of CoD, you can download the mobile game for free at the Google app store. Call of Duty is already an established esport, offering millions in prize money.
In 2020, the Call of Duty: Mobile World Championship burst onto the esports scene, with 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 will see a series of Call of Duty Mobile tournaments take place, some with sizeable prizes attached.
Read our full guide to CoD betting here.
Where to Bet on Call of Duty
9. Arena of Valor / King of Glory
Arena of Valor is already a mainstay within the Asian esports scene, with this free-to-play mobile esport even forming part of the SEA games. The 2020 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 $500K 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).
Where to bet on King of Glory
8. Garena Free Fire
Garena Free Fire is another mobile game that has been elevated to esports status, and is free to download on Google Play. The game is most popular in India, Southeast Asia and Latin America, though there are plenty of European and Middle Eastern players as well. The Free Fire World Series will return April and November 2021, with a total prize pool of $2 million! Meanwhile, its Brazilian division, Liga Brasileira de Free Fire 2021 Series A, managed to attract 449,565 viewers in January. Read our detailed guide to battle royale esports games to find out more.
Where to bet on Garena Free Fire
Valorant has given birth to one of the youngest esports 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 esport and potential rival to Valve’s CS:GO, and they seem to be succeeding in doing so. The 2021 Valorant Champions Tour will feature regional teams at three levels: Challengers, Masters, and Champions. The winning team of the first stage will receive $60,000, while the overall prize pool for the year is yet to be announced. To play Valorant for free, head to playvalorant.com, create a Riot account, and download the client.
Where to Bet on Valorant
6. Apex Legends
Apex Legends is another free-to-play esports game. It enjoyed an excellent season even in spite of the pandemic which began in 2020, while 2021 will see the Apex Legends Global Series continue. Any ranked player will have the chance to win a slice of the $3 million prize pool, and the year is already off to a good start, with the Winter Circuit Playoffs 2021 offering a total prize pool of $503K.
You can download the game free at the EA website, or through Steam, PlayStation, Xbox or Nintendo Switch.
Read our guide to Apex Legends betting to find out more.
Where to Bet on Apex Legends
5. PUBG Mobile
PUBG is available on various platforms, such as Windows, Xbox One and Google Stadia. However, they have gone all out in promoting their mobile esports league. For example, the PMCO Spring Split 2021 will see teams from South Asia, Pakistan, Nepal and Bangladesh compete for a total prize pool of $1.17 million. Similar esports tournaments will be organised in Vietnam, Indonesia and Europe, leading up to the PUBG Mobile Global Esports finals that are set to be held at the beginning of 2022. PUBG Mobile is available for free at Apple App Store or the PUBG Mobile website.
Read our full guide to PUBG betting here.
Where to Bet on PUBG
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 2020, such as the $1 million Marvel Super Cup, and 2021 will look forward to more of the same. Any player with a 30+ account level and two-step verification enabled is welcome to qualify.
Read our full guide to Fortnite betting here.
Where to bet on Fortnite
3. Counter Strike: Global Offensive
In terms of esports, CS:GO needs no introduction, having been around for over 20 years which have seen various updates being introduced. 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 Dreamhack Masters 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.
Read our full guide to CSGO betting here.
Where to Bet on CS:GO
2. League of Legends (LoL)
League of Legends is one of the most popular MOBA games in the world, having also given rise to an ultra-popular esport and recognised as one of the top games in terms of earnings. Tournaments like LoL LCK, LEC LoL and LoL 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, with LoL betting is available at most mainstream bookies – there are even LoL fantasy betting sites. The game has recently launched a mobile version as well, with its own mobile esports leagues.
LoL used to be on Steam, but is now free to download for Windows and Mac at the LoL website.
Where to Bet on LoL
1. Dota 2
Dota 2 has been one of the most popular esports since the game launched 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 are Dota players. Events like the Dota Singapore Major, DreamHack Dream League, or StarLadder Dota draw in huge amounts of players and offer prize pools worth millions. Dota 2 is free to play on Steam.
Read our full guide to Dota 2 betting here.
Where to Bet on Dota 2
Free Esports Games FAQs
Which free esports games can I find on Steam?
Two of the world’s top esports games, CS:GO and Dota 2, are free to download on Steam.
Which esports games are free to download?
The following 10 games are free to download from various platforms, though the most common platforms for free esports are PC and mobile.
- Dota 2
- League of Legends
- Counter Strike: Global Offensive
- PUBG Mobile
- Apex Legends
- Garena Free Fire
- Arena of Valor
- Call of Duty Mobile
How can I find free-to-play esports games?
Above, we have included download links for the 10 most popular and high paying esports games in each of their relevant sections.
Can I play esports games online for free?
Yes! In fact, all of the three top esports games, such as Dota 2, LoL and CS:GO are free to download!
How do free esports games make money?
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.