StarCraft 2 reigns supreme in the eSports world as the quintessential benchmark for real-time strategy (RTS) brilliance, blending riveting tactical play with profound strategic depth, necessitating both nimble cognition and extensive foresight. Despite the distinctiveness of the RTS domain, a plethora of games spanning various genres encapsulate the strategic profundity and competitive zeal akin to StarCraft 2. Delve into the elite quintet of eSports phenomena that echo the intricate strategic fabric and towering eSports stature of StarCraft 2.

League of Legends (LoL)

League of Legends stands tall in the MOBA world, packing a strategic punch on par with StarCraft 2. It’s all about those lightning-fast choices and the big game plans, mixing solo prowess with team sync. With a rich variety of champions and ever-evolving gameplay, every match is a fresh adventure, oozing strategic depth that hooks players and viewers alike. The global eSports circuit for LoL is colossal, with epic showdowns like the World Championship pulling in hordes of fans, spotlighting the game’s strategic brilliance in all its glory.

Key features

  • Diverse roster of champions
  • Team-based gameplay
  • Varied game modes, including 5v5 and ARAM
  • Extensive eSports infrastructure
  • Regular updates with new content
  • Competitive ranked ladder system
  • Strategic in-game economy management
  • Wide range of cosmetic customizations
Release DateOctober 27, 2009
GenreMultiplayer Online Battle Arena (MOBA)
DeveloperRiot Games

Dota 2

Dota 2 towers like a giant in the eSports arena, famed for its complex mechanics and challenging learning path. Echoing the strategic depth of StarCraft 2, it demands top-notch strategic smarts, pushing players to get a grip on both the nuances of individual heroes and the broader team play and match phases. The International, Dota 2’s yearly extravaganza, throws the spotlight on the game’s intricate nature and the strategic prowess of its players, turning it into a high-stakes showcase of strategic wizardry.

Key features

  • Large roster of heroes
  • Deep strategic gameplay
  • All heroes free to play
  • Complex item system
  • High skill ceiling
  • Regular updates and balance changes
  • Integrated eSports scene
  • In-game voice communication
  • Custom game modes and mod support
  • Rich lore and universe
Release DateJuly 9, 2013
GenreMultiplayer Online Battle Arena (MOBA)
DeveloperValve Corporation

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO)

CS:GO, at its core a first-person shooter, boasts a strategic depth that rivals RTS giants like StarCraft 2. In the heat of battle, teams need to pull off intricate strategies and pivot with the game’s shifting tides. It’s all about dominating the map, managing resources smartly, and nailing the tactical teamwork. The crème de la crème of players shine with their snappy reactions and sharp strategic thinking. The game’s lasting fame in the eSports world speaks volumes about its complexity and the thriving competitive community it’s nurtured.

Key features

  • Team-based gameplay
  • Tactical shooter mechanics
  • Diverse map pool
  • Competitive matchmaking
  • Extensive arsenal of weapons and equipment
  • Economy system within matches
  • Community-driven custom content
  • Professional eSports scene
  • Regular updates and events
  • Skins and cosmetic customization
Release DateAugust 21, 2012
GenreFirst-Person Shooter (FPS)
DeveloperValve Corporation and Hidden Path Entertainment

Warcraft III

Warcraft III, the forerunner of StarCraft 2 in Blizzard’s RTS saga, boasts a legendary eSports lineage. Merging RTS gameplay with RPG flair, it crafts a distinct strategic experience, challenging players to juggle grandiose conflicts and hero progression. Although its competitive landscape has contracted since its peak, the game still showcases the strategic intricacy and tactical skill that define Blizzard’s RTS masterpieces.

Key features

  • Four distinct races: Humans, Orcs, Night Elves, and Undead
  • Hero units with special abilities and leveling system
  • Resource management and base building
  • Varied single-player campaign
  • Multiplayer mode with ladder and matchmaking
  • Map editor for custom scenarios
  • Blending of RTS and RPG elements
  • Rich lore and narrative
  • Creep camps and neutral buildings
  • Support for mods and custom games
Release DateJuly 3, 2002
GenreReal-Time Strategy (RTS)
DeveloperBlizzard Entertainment

Age of Empires II

Age of Empires II, an RTS icon, has seen a resurgence in the eSports realm, rejuvenated by its definitive edition and vibrant community. Mirroring the strategic rigors of StarCraft 2, it tests players on resource management, army building, and outmaneuvering foes with savvy strategy and tactics. The game’s tournaments highlight its enduring strategic charm, captivating both loyal fans and hardcore competitors.

Key features

  • Historical civilization-based gameplay
  • Resource management and economic development
  • Base building and fortification
  • Technological advancements through Ages
  • Diverse units and military strategies
  • Campaigns based on historical events
  • Multiplayer support with competitive play
  • Map editor for custom scenarios
  • Expansion packs with additional content
  • Active modding community and updates
Release DateSeptember 30, 1999
GenreReal-Time Strategy (RTS)
DeveloperEnsemble Studios


StarCraft 2 really raised the bar for strategic play in the eSports world, but these five games showcase the variety and depth of the competitive scene. Each one brings its own flavor of strategy and rivalry, delivering an electrifying show for eSports fans and a demanding battleground for players across the globe.