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Last year, prize pools for many eSports games shot down by as much as 69% as the world fought the coronavirus pandemic. The payouts aren’t expected to bounce back to their 2019 highs, when pro-gamers battled out for over $211 million in different games, anytime soon.

Still, to be clear, playing online games professionally is a high-paying adventure. With many games paying in excess of $2 million per tournament, there’s plenty of money to be made in 2021. Below is a list of great online games to play and make money.

#1: Counter-Strike: Global Offensive

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive has consistently ranked as one of the best eSports games in the past five years. Last year, it dropped its prize pool as a result of the economic downturn caused by COVID-19.

Still, it managed to attract tons of tournaments, with players choosing to compete online for security reasons. The Valve-owned multiplayer game owes its success to many things. For starters, it has rich graphics and operates on both PC and consoles.

Secondly, CS: GO is entirely free to play. This makes it easy to learn how it works and to practice playing before you become a pro-gamer. Being one of the biggest eSports game, however, means CS: GO is highly competitive.

To ensure players compete against equally matched competitors, CS: GO uses ranks to match opponents. The levels start at Silver I, all the way to the Global Elite, the highest rank out of 18 levels.

#2: Dota 2

Dota is one of the biggest video games in eSports, especially where payouts are concerned. This Valve-owned game pays out as much as $224 million per year in competitions. It’s a team-based game whose objective is to defend bases.

Each team has five players who control powerful characters called heroes. The heroes have unique traits, so it’s essential to understand the strengths and weaknesses of your heroes. Winning involves destroying the opposing team’s base structure called an “Ancient.”

The beauty of playing Dota 2 a professional is that it has tournaments for players in many parts of the world. Pre-COVID times, event organizers would hold competitions in multiple countries throughout the years. In these tough times, however, most events are held online.

#3: Blackjack or Poker

Contrary to popular belief, you can make a lot of money playing casino games. If you’re lucky, you could hit a jackpot playing slots and win a million dollars. If you don’t want to depend on luck, learn how to play Blackjack or poker.

With Blackjack, you compete against a casino employee known as the dealer. The goal is to form a hand of 21. It can also be close to 21 as long as it beats the dealer’s hand but it can’t be higher than 21.

Poker is played against software or real people. Texas Hold’Em, the most popular version of poker, is a game of skill according to many experts. If you can perfect this game, you can make money as a professional player.

While you can play most casino games in Las Vegas, it’s more convenient to play them online. All you need is a casino that accepts your preferred payment method: Visa, PayPal, MasterCard, bank transfer, or crypto. You can also join echeck casinos: the bottom line is to access great games.

#4: Fortnite

Fortnite has been getting a bad rap lately, but that doesn’t mean it’s a terrible game. If you’ve played it before and liked the experience, consider taking things a notch higher and become a pro-gamer or a streamer.

Of course, start by perfecting your skills. Most people play Fortnite casually, so you have plenty of people to play with until you become good at it. That said, the biggest downside of Fortnite is that it doesn’t produce new content as regularly as other video games.

Another complaint is that Fortnite encourages players to hide instead of coming out to fight. This, in turn, chases away fans, something that impacts the appeal of Fortnite as an eSports game.

#5: League of Legends

Riot Games splashes over $100 million a year to support eSports. That’s the kind of news you want to hear when choosing a game to turn you into a professional. Designed by Riot Games in 2009, LOL is one of the biggest video games in the eSports scene.

The World Championship, one of LOL’s biggest tournaments attract a payout prize of up to $2.5 million. This is not only supported by Riot Games’ sponsorship but also by the 10M+ people that watch these tournaments concurrently.

For such a big eSports game, though, you can’t make it to the top until you’re fully committed to the cause. It’s a team-based game, so your practice produces the biggest results when you play with others.

#6: StarCraft II

Blizzard’s StarCraft II was once the biggest eSports game in the world. Then it lost popularity to LOL and CS: GO over time. In 2021, StarCraft II is still popular, especially in Asia, where it attracts millions of concurrent players.

Unlike many eSports game, StarCraft II features lots of single-player modes. The objective varies depending on the mode you chose. In Wings of Liberty, the goal is to beat hired mercenaries. In Wings of Liberty, it’s a race against time as lava flows to the battlefield with a threat of destroying your unit.

#7: Player Unknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG)

If you dislike Fortnite but love its Battle Royal mode, PUBG is a great alternative. It’s a highly popular game, especially among mobile gamers. In India, the game was so popular in the last five years that the government briefly banned it.

Being a multiplayer game, most professionals choose to compete in teams. That way, it’s easier to watch one another’s backs while also chasing kills. To be successful, you need to practice this game pretty much every day.

PUBG is a highly competitive game and failure to understand your tools, defend or attack efficiently can get your team taken down quicker than you should.

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