2020 was a remarkable year for video games and its very own corner in the entertainment industry. Whilst it was already well on its way to becoming a serious behemoth in its own right, the lockdowns around the world in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic allowed for its popularity and subsequent value to soar thanks to the increased amount of time people had on their hands whilst stuck at home.
According to the latest estimates, the video game sector is now worth more than the film and music industries put together.
With the industry beginning to really expand and bloom, more and more avenues of turning passions to cold hard cash have begun to crop up. The professional scene of video gaming, known as ‘Esports’ in the industry is set to become worth over a billion dollars in 2021 thanks to the influx of high profile sponsors and partnerships with some of the world’s heaviest hitters.
Unikrn have established themselves as one of the finest examples of these new opportunities coming to life, revolutionizing the online wagering scene by offering users the best collection of odds and markets for professional matches right across the Esports world. On top of that, they’ve also developed a unique player vs. house skill gaming mode that lets users back themselves in real money earning games and potentially turn their wins in the server into wins for their wallets too.
Here are some of the most popular games available for players to back themselves in and live the life of an Esports pro.
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive
Valve Corporation’s flagship FPS series began life as a mod made for their Half-Life game, but soon developed into its own series using the Source engine. Counter-Strike: Global Offensive was first released in 2012, but has undergone huge graphical and gameplay improvements over the years that has helped it develop into arguably the biggest Esport on the planet.
The game revolves around short bursts of reflex-heavy action and emphasises the need for strategy, planning and communication with a team. Utility, budget and weaponry management are key, but the skill ceiling allows users to sink hundreds of hours into and ensure that the hard yards well and truly pay off.
UMode allows users to bet on themselves in CS:GO’s official competitive game modes, meaning that toxic teammates don’t have to ruin their experience. The Blockchain-powered backend synchs up to a user’s personal gaming account and ensures that the very next official matchmaking game they hop into, be it official defusal modes or simply a solo deathmatch, counts towards your bet.
Perhaps the most influential and impactful video game released over the last decade or so, Epic Games’ Fortnite series has been hugely successful in bringing the widespread appeal of video games front and centre to the mainstream. With everyone from Hollywood A-Listers to real world sports stars setting up live streams and references to show their appreciation for the game off, Fortnite has bridged the gap between commercial success and competitively viable Esport in ways once thought impossible.
UMode allows users to back themselves in both Fortnite and Fortnite: Arena, showcasing the potential for players of all styles and skill levels to earn rewards from their passion.
League of Legends
With a player base of over 250 million active accounts and competitive pro leagues in Korea, China, Europe and North America, there’s no denying the impact and legacy of League of Legends as an Esport. The game boasts one of the biggest spectacles in the industry with its annual Worlds series, which often blurs the line between huge entertainment event and the culmination of a hyper-competitive professional season, and the continued success of the Riot Games title even a decade on from its initial release shows just how lucrative of a game League of Legends can be for those who master it.
The leading light of the MOBA scene (don’t worry, fans of Dota 2 can still bet on themselves with UMode), League of Legends is a game that revolves around the tower defence format from games of old, and rely on players utilising their own set of skills to level up and help dismantle the enemy side’s Nexus before they do.
Again, it’s a game that revolves around strategy and teamwork, however there’s ample opportunity for players to stick to their style and ensure they win big by doing what they do best in the server.