Explanation of all the different eSports game genres and abbreviations.
Today’s eSporting world is filled with all different types of PC and console video games. Everything from tower defense, to first-person shooters, to racing and athletic sports games. Every game that qualifies as an eSport can be classified into one of many genres. Today, we’ll explain what those genres are, how they work, what their abbreviations stand for (where applicable), and which games fall into each category.
eSports Game Genres & Abbreviations Explained
We’ll get started with a basic list of abbreviations and what they mean. From there, we’ll get into the specific genres of eSports video games; most of which involve one or more of the abbreviations defined below.
- CCG = Collectible Card Game
- FGC = Fighting Game Community
- FPS = First-Person Shooter
- MOBA = Mass Online Battle Arena
- MMO = Mass Multi-Player Online
- RTS = Real-Time Strategy
- TBS = Turn-Based Strategy
- TPS = Third-Person Shooter
eSports Video Game Classifications
There are many different ways to classify today’s most prominent eSports video gaming titles. Some of them even fall into multiple categories, although I try to keep them to just one when plausible, placing each in the best possible category to avoid any confusion.
For instance, you’ll notice the lack of an MMO category because almost every game played today is an MMO. It’s critical to know what MMO means, but not important to create a whole list for it; one that would inevitably be a recycling of the majority of game titles on this page.
That being said, here is an alphabetical list of all eSports genre classifications you’ll find detailed below. Click on any one to learn more about it and the games it encompasses.
CCG – Collectible Card eSports Games
Collectible Card Games (a.k.a. Trading Card Game / TCG) fall into one of the smallest categories, mostly because CCGs just don’t attract a large audience in live streams. CCGs are games in which players collect cards for use in one-on-one battles. Each card has a property to assist in the battle, generally as a support, attack or defense card.
Anyone familiar with the physical card trading games would expect to find Magic: The Gathering, or at least Pokemon, on this list, but they continue to hover just outside the mark. Yu-Gi-Oh!, on the other hand has fashioned itself a small, niche market eSports championship series, but to this day, only one CCG has managed to reach eSports stardom, and that’s Hearthstone.
FGC – eSports Fighting Games
One of the first eSports genres to become popular in the late 1990s, FGC games are one-on-one battles between two video game fighters. They could be anything from boxers and MMA fighters, to street fighters, and popular anime characters. However, it’s the animated street-fighting variety that gets most of the attention in eSports communities.
Common fighting game series include:
- Killer Instinct
- Marvel vs. Capcom
- Street Fighter
- Super Smash Bros.
FPS – eSports Shooting Games
A first-person shooter is a video game in which you see the field through the eyes of your character. Your point of view usually include your hands and weapon, although you may be able to adjust the viewpoint to see your character’s full body. These games are team-based MMOs, offering a variety of missions, objectives and/or winning conditions.
Popular MMO-FPS games include:
MOBA – eSports Battle Arena Games
Mass online battle arena games are becoming more and more popular these days. They are the evolution of RTS games, designed to accommodate team play. Everyone is tossed into a single map with an objective, where teams of 4 to 6 players usually compete against one another.
Mass Online Battle Arena eSports titles include:
Racing Games in eSports
Next on our list – and with no abbreviation required – are racing style games. This shouldn’t require much explanation. Any video game that involves racing on some type of course, from a start to finish line, against other real players, falls into this category. Whether you’re speeding through outer space in a hovercraft, barreling down the speeding on a nitros powered motorcycle, or dropping bananas in your wake from a go-kart, racing is racing.
Popular racing games include:
- Gran Turismo Sport: GT World Tour
- Mario Kart
- NASCAR Heat
- NASCAR iRacing
- Project CARS
RTS – eSports Real-Time Strategy Games
Real-time strategy games were the inevitable evolution of turn-based strategies, wherein a player’s experience, skill and speed can gain them an advantage. RTS titles are usually (but not always) single-player affairs, pitting two competitors in a progressive, heads-up battle. The object of most RTS games is to gather resources, amass an army, and wipe out the enemy’s base. Building a solid defense to ensure the enemy doesn’t destroy you first is also pretty important.
Note that the majority of eSports games could fall under the RTS classification. However, multi-player games tend to fall more appropriately into other genres, especially MOBA and FPS, therefore we reserve the title of RTS eSports for single-player variety.
The most famous RTS eSports games include:
Sports Video Games
What would eSports be without some traditional sports video games in the mix? Basketball, football, soccer, and everything in between, has been produced time and again for every video game console on the market. Some of them have become so popular, fans look forward to celebrating the annual release of the next edition.
Some of today’s most common eSports sports games include:
TPS – Third Person Shooter Games
These are essentially the same thing as first-person shooters (FPS), except that the player’s perspective comes from behind the character. This just means you’ll see your entire character’s body as you move around.
Prominent TPS eSports games include:
- Gears of War
- Battleground (PUBG)
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