In the past few years, esports has taken Europe and North America by storm. However, it has been a relatively slow grind than the juggernaut of the esports scene in Korea. As the world continues to fill the gap, Korea is still the breeding ground for esports.
It is known for hosting the richest and most significant esports events in history. Not to forget, it is also the country that began to consider professional players as athletes. Essentially, esports here is treated as a national pastime. In this article, we talk about some of the most trending esports in Korea.
5 Most Trending Esports in Korea – 2020
1. League of Legends
League of Legends, also commonly referred to as LoL, is the most trending esports in South Korea. It saw spectacular growth in the last few years as the developer of the game (Riot Games) expanded aggressively in the country.
The MOBA game allows players to control “champions” with unique abilities. Their purpose is to destroy the main base or “Nexus” of the other team. Experience and kills help increase the strength level of the “champion.”
League of Legends has a fifty percent play rate and is the most-played video game at PC bangs. So if you walk into a random Korean PC bang, you will find half the people playing LoL.
There was a time when PUBG used to be on top of the list for first-person shooter video games in Korea. But now, Overwatch has worked its way up the ladder. The “hero shooter” video game was developed in 2016 by Blizzard.
Players form two teams, and each team has six players. Every player can select a character from over thirty different heroes. Working together, the team must defend and secure control points shown on the map.
The globally acclaimed game was a huge hit even during its beta-testing phase. It generated more than one billion dollars during the first year. Currently, it has more than forty million players.
PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, or “PUBG” is a battle royale multiplayer game inspired by a Japanese film called “Battle Royale.” It is essentially Fortnite- but the Korean version. Over a hundred players are left on an island. They are required to look for weapons, kill other players, and defend themselves. The last team or player standing is the winner.
Starcraft continues to be a popular video game in the country. It is broadcasted on TV. Not to forget, some of Korea’s most famous esports athletes such as Jaedong come from this game.
Some even consider Starcraft to be the game that started the Esports fad altogether. It gave birth to pro players, professional leagues and matches televised on cable.
In the 90s, the game was launched by Blizzard. At that time, Korea was already equipped with fast internet and a robust online infrastructure. PC bangs sprung up throughout Seoul. This helped in introducing youngsters to the world of online gaming.
FIFA 4 Online, as the name suggests, is an online multiplayer football video game. EA’s previous game in the series (FIFA 3) was also a massive hit in the country. It was considered the number one sports game online according to revenue and traffic.
The esports or gaming industry has been booming in Korea for the past decade. Koreans have embraced esports with open arms. Just take a walk in Seoul’s streets, and you will see PC bangs at every nook and cranny. The industry will continue growing as more and more world-class tournaments are held in the country.