In just a few short years, Esports has exploded onto the scene and taken the world by storm. From a niche hobby to a booming billion-dollar industry, Esports has captured the hearts and minds of millions of players worldwide. With top titles like League of Legends, Fortnite, Dota 2, and CS:GO, the Esports community is constantly growing and thriving. Professional players from all corners of the globe now number in the tens of thousands, and the debate over which country consistently produces the best competitive gamers continues to rage on. Let’s take a look at the top 5 countries set to dominate Esports in 2023.
1. South Korea: South Korea is a true trailblazer in the world of Esports. Regarded as the birthplace of the Esports phenomenon, this nation has consistently produced some of the best competitive gaming stars the world has ever seen. From the legendary Starcraft, to the all-time classic League of Legends, and the popular battle royale game PUBG, Korea produces Esports legends on a routine basis.
One of the biggest names in Esports, “Faker” is a South Korean gaming star who has won over $1.2 million in prize money. Other notable South Korean stars like “Bang” and “Wolf” have made their mark in the gaming world, both competing in League of Legends and earning nearly a million dollars in prize money. The Korean players have also dominated the Starcraft 2 scene, with stars like Rogue and Maru earning more than a million dollars each. The success of these players is a big reason for the popularity of games like League of Legends and has earned Korean players a significant amount of prize money. The country has been broadcasting Esports on public television for nearly 20 years and has government-supported academies for professional gamers to ensure its continued success in the industry. South Korea stands firmly atop the Esports standings, committed to maintaining its position as a leader in the world of Esports.
2. China: The Chinese government’s formal recognition of esports in 2019 has set the stage for the country to become a major player in the industry. Predictions indicated that China would soon become the second-largest esports market after the US, and with its commitment to developing the next generation of competitive gaming talent, the country is well on its way to reaching that goal. China has established a dedicated esports town in Hangzhou and other cities like Shanghai, Wuhan, and Guangzhou have followed suit, setting up their own esports support programs.
With the world’s largest gaming industry by number of gamers, China is poised for further growth in the esports space. Nearly 600 million people in the country play games on phone, PC, or console, and the country has a diverse esports ecosystem with players competing in both global and locally developed games. Dota 2 player “Somnus” has almost reached prize winnings of $3 million, while League of Legends superstar “Uzi” has earned over $545,000 in prize money. While some of the wealthiest LoL players are still predominantly South Korean, Chinese players “JackeyLove” and “Ning” have made a name for themselves, ranking among the top ten players with the highest earnings. The future is bright for the Chinese esports industry, and the country is poised to continue its upward trajectory.
3. Denmark: Denmark is known for its thriving esports scene and has been attracting fans from all over the world. The country is home to some of the most talented esports players and has produced unmatched talent in the industry. Danish players are renowned for their victories across various esports, including CS:GO, League of Legends, and Dota 2.
One of the most notable Danish esports teams is Astralis, a CS:GO team that has won consecutive majors, including the Berlin Major 2019. Danish League of Legends players like Bjergsen, Broxax, Caps, and Wunder are legends in the scene and Dota 2 players like N0tail, Cr1t, and MiSeRy are some of the highest earning and most recognizable in the industry.
The Danish government started supporting the esports scene in 2019 and has been making efforts to further nurture the industry. The country is committed to growing its esports scene and producing future legends, as it recognizes the potential of esports in the country. With a thriving esports community and a history of producing successful and well-known esports stars, Denmark is poised to continue making waves in the industry.
4. USA: The United States of America has a strong and thriving Esports scene that attracts players and fans from all around the world. With prominent figures like multi-millionaire celebrity Fortnite gamer “Ninja” and League of Legends player “Sneaky,” the USA has proven to be a hotbed for top-tier Esports talent.
US gamers like UNIVERSE, ppd, and Fear have made a huge impact in the Dota 2 community, rising up the highest earnings list and cementing their place as some of the best players in the world. The country also holds multiple significant Esports titles to date, including Bugha’s record-breaking win in the Fortnite World Cup Solo in 2019. Despite not always having the best environment for Esports development, players from the USA often venture to Europe for bootcamps to face stronger rivals, further solidifying their commitment to excellence in the Esports scene. With a diverse and supportive community, the future of Esports in the USA looks bright, with many top performers and promising players emerging every day.
5. Sweden: Sweden’s influence in the European esports scene cannot be underestimated. As the host of the DreamHack esports tournament in Jönköping, the country has been at the forefront of the industry since the 90s. Sweden’s commitment to nurturing its esports talent is evident in the numerous players who have made their presence felt across the globe.
Dota 2 talents like s4 and ZAi, as well as CS:GO players like Olofmeister, f0rest, and KRiMZ, are testament to Sweden’s strength in esports. The country is not limited to just a few games, as demonstrated by the stunning performances of “Armada” in Super Smash Bros and the skills of “Toxjqs” in Quake 4. It’s easy to see why Sweden is quickly emerging as an esports superpower.
Sweden has a thriving esports scene, with players renowned for their skills and achievements. The DreamHack tournament has produced some of the most memorable esports moments and is a testament to Sweden’s commitment to the industry. With a rich history of nurturing talent, the future of esports in Sweden looks bright and the country will continue to play a leading role in the European esports scene.