What will be the next big Esport?
Esports have been growing and gaining global appeal at a rapid pace these last few years. As the industry continues to grow and more games try to adapt and reach the top of the industry alongside the likes of Dota, League of Legends, Counter Strike: Global Offensive, and more, which game is actually cut out to become the next big esport?
Overwatch is one of the obvious first choices, as the game has been growing at a phenomenal pace these past few months due to its publicity and public appeal, even giving League of Legends a run for its money in South Korean Internet cafes, which have reported rapid rises in playtime over League of Legends these past few months. Yet, it's worth waiting to see how things pan out. We do not want to believe the game is based on hype alone and its long-term sustainability is still yet to be seen.
We ourselves at GAMURS have started to give Overwatch a lot more love, looking at the current meta and even going into an in-depth look at the game. So, on a personal note, I myself am hoping to see this trend to continue and hope to see Overwatch get more love in its future.
Gears of War 4
It has been a long time coming, but with the release of Gears of War 4, the series seems to slowly be coming back into the spotlight with Microsoft so willing to push it into the esports scene, offering huge cash prizes for its recently revealed pro-circuit and even going as far as to hype up its returning scene.
It will be interesting to see if the community takes a liking to the newly-formed pro-circuit and if the game can offer fans and players accessibility. With the game not being out at the time of writing this article, there are still a lot of questions hanging over its overall gameplay, mechanics, and sustainability, but it is something that people should keep an eye on for the foreseeable future.
Yes, it is already out in arcades.
Yes, Evo already had a tournament for it and it was hype.
Yes, Japan can already play it.
But as a game, it is still not readily available to the masses and the majority of the players at the recent EVO 2016 were mostly from Asia, as only a few Europeans and Americans represented their regions in the tournament. Looking forward as a fighting game esport, Tekken 7 could become huge if it is dealt with correctly. The game could prove to be the next big fighting game. The roster in-game is looking ever impressive, the mechanics are as tight as they have ever been and, if the game continues to have regular updates based on solid, fair and competitive play, we could be looking at a masterpiece that could bring Tekken back into the limelight in a fighting game esports scene which has been prominently held by Capcom these past few years with Street Fighter, Marvel vs. Capcom, etc.
Pokémon Sun and Moon
The Pokémon company has always pushed its Pokémon brand to the extremes when it comes to the international stage. To say Sun and Moon also won't be pushed in the same way would be untrue for all the right reasons. The game seems to expand on an ever-present competitive scene, bringing in new ways to play and new methods that will be sure to excite and frustrate the competitive side as a whole as they look to prepare themselves to relearn the game all over again.
The game is sure to follow the traditional trend in the Pokémon Company's own international championships, being hosted beside Pokken Tournament (another recent fighting game to hit the scene) and, of course, its internationally recognised card game. The Pokémon side of things has always had a very loyal and hardcore following, and I imagine that with the success of Pokémon Go we may see this following expand in due time.