Top mobile esports titles to look out for in 2019
2019 looks to be a great year for mobile gaming with many exciting adventure, racing and battle royale titles in the pipeline. Whilst upcoming potential mobile hits like Stardew Valley, Hamsterdam and Bad North look like they will be a great option for casual gamers, there remains the question of which of 2019’s mobile games will break through into the esports realm?
2018 was an excellent year for mobile competitive gaming. Although much of the attention still went on PC and console based esports like League of Legends, Counter Strike Global Offensive and Dota 2, a new wave of mobile esports tournaments like the Clash Royale League World Finals showed that competitive gaming can work well on a small screen.
The Clash Royale League World Finals 2018 managed to attract 708,000 peak viewers in December, and it showed that mobile gaming can command massive audiences. But which mobile games being released in 2019 are looking to take things up a level?
Could H1Z1 mobile become a world-beater?
In the past few years we have seen battle royale titles like Fortnite and Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds become huge hits in the esports domain. However, the majority of competitive gamers play these titles on PC or console, which means that they cannot be considered to be true mobile esports games.
But with the news that NantWorks has teamed up with Daybreak to produce a mobile version of H1Z1, there are many people speculating that that this game could be a breakthrough hit for mobile esports. No release date has been set for the mobile version of H1Z1 yet, but it’s thought that it will offer the same gameplay format of landing in a mystery location, searching for guns and supplies, and then taking out your competitors in a bid to be the last person standing.
A mobile version of H1Z1 could be particularly well-placed for the competitive gaming world. Whilst many older gamers shun the likes of Fortnite as a result of its cartoon-style graphics and younger fanbase, H1Z1 revels in enough gruesome bloodbaths to make it appeal to the more mature demographic. Similarly, whilst PUBG has often been accused of being a little boring, H1Z1 features a increasingly smaller playzone that makes sure that there’s always plenty of action. And by being free-to-play, we can expect many mobile gamers to push H1Z1 to potentially be one
of the breakthrough mobile esports hits of 2019.
Big things expected from The Elder Scrolls: Blades
Bethesda Softworks have a fantastic reputation for titles like Wolfenstein and Fallout. Whilst the company spent much of 2018 deflecting criticism for the Fallout 76 fiasco, they will be hoping that their upcoming mobile release, The Elder Scrolls: Blades, could help them push things forward.
Bethesda has yet to release a game that’s gone massive in the esports world, but with The Elder Scrolls: Legends Masters Series being a big hit at QuakeCon 2018, we’re hoping that their new first-person RPG could further their cause in the competitive gaming domain.
The Elder Scrolls: Blades is expected to be released in early 2019, and a recently released trailer showed that the graphics look particularly impressive. The gameplay focuses on first-player roleplay as you have to rescue your hometown by picking up weapons, armour and special abilities to battle against rivals. It remains to be seen whether Bethesda have any esports ambitions for this mobile spin-off, but there’s enough hunger in the Elder Scrolls community to see this title hit big in 2019.
Could Asia spearhead the mobile esports breakthrough?
Whilst mobile esports has found limited success in the west, you only have to look across to the Asian gaming scene to realise the full potential of competitive gaming on a smaller screen. The Clash Royale League World Finals was held in Japan, and with the 2019 SEA Games in the Philippines featuring mobile games like Mobile Legends: Bang Bang as a medal sport, it shows that some of 2019’s biggest mobile hits could come from Asia.
In the west, it’s titles like Clash Royale and Summoners War that are getting the greatest amount of attention in the esports realm. But if you are a mobile gamer in a country like China, then there’s a greater chance that you will be playing titles like Honor of Kings or even Battle of Balls.
Giant Interactive’s Battle of Balls has become a runaway success in many Asian nations, and whilst its gameplay may look a little casual, it has already clocked up millions of hours of viewership in China’s gaming tournaments. This is thanks to Giant E-Sports building up a strong infrastructure around titles like Battle of Balls, Vainglory and Streetball, and so we can expect these games to push mobile esports forward throughout 2019.