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Esports Genres

While many games have competitive scenes around them, some of the most popular and enduring esports titles tend to fall within 3 genres: MOBAs, Shooters and Fighting Games.

While many games have competitive scenes around them, some of the most popular and enduring esports titles tend to fall within 3 genres: MOBAs, Shooters and Fighting Games.


MOBA stands for a multiplayer online battle arena game – a subset of the wider genre of strategy games. These games focus primarily on two teams of players competing against each other on a predefined battlefield where each player controls a single character (typically referred to as a champion, hero, legend etc) with a defined role that contributes to the team’s overall strategy. The overarching goal in these games is to destroy their opponents’ main structure (however, there can exist alternative victory conditions and objectives). The games League of Legends and Dota 2 fall into this category, leading to its continued popularity with both player counts and spectators.


Shooter games are a sub-genre of the wider action video game genre, where the focus is on using weapons to defeat enemies, wherein these weapons tend to be firearms or other long-range weapons. These games can range from large team-based to individual free-for-alls and everything in between. Both first-person and third-person shooters fall into this genre, where these games are characterised by their view-point; with first-person shooters (FPS) being from the character’s point of view, and third-person shooters displaying the player character within the surroundings of the world. First Person Games such as Halo and Call of Duty fall into this category, while games like Counter-Strike Global Offensive (CS: GO), Overwatch and Fortnite fall into more specific sub-genres (Tactical shooters, Hero Shooters and Battle Royal respectively).

Fighting Games

Fighting games are typically focused on 1v1 combat while being viewed from the side (a common trait with both 2D and 3D fighting games). These games usually focus on technical prowess, allowing players to utilize a variety of tactics, combos and psychological tactics to best their opponents. Games like Street Fighter, Tekken and the Super Smash Brothers series fall into this category.

(Optional) Check out the article Understanding the Industry – Esports Genres to see more examples of different games within these genres.

Discussion: What types of games do you have experience playing? What do you enjoy about them?

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