Mobile cybersports are no longer the future, but the present

Mobile cybersports are no longer the future, but the present

Can't make it as a pro-gamer in PC games? Try your hand at mobile cybersports!

The mobile games market is developing at a tremendous pace, as evidenced by actual data. As of May 2018, analysts were predicting a 13.3% growth in the games market (PC and mobile) compared to 2017 - the total revenue should be about $137.8 billion. That said, a large segment of the market is specifically mobile games, with revenues expected to be about $70.3 billion, which is about 51% of all revenues. At the same time, computer games take up 19% of the market. Thus, mobile games are much more attractive in terms of profitability than PC or console games. Obviously, in this case, mobile cybersport is the next step in the development of the industry

The main positive features of mobile games

  1. Accessibility. Usually they are made for several devices at once, both for smartphones and tablets, plus there is almost always synchronization between devices to save progress.
  2. Casualty. Intuitive controls and ease of learning allow different gender and age groups to play with equal success. At the same time in computer games there are much greater requirements for personal skill.
  3. Short game sessions. Unlike computer games, in mobile games the game session takes 3-5 minutes, except for some AAA titles. With the current speeds of modern life, this factor is one of the main pluses.

Types of mobile eSports games


We are talking about titles that can be played equally from your phone and computer. There are very few of them, because it is impossible to achieve the same control with taps (screen presses) and third-party controls (mouse + keyboard or joystick). The most popular cross-platform game is Hearthstone. It is available on PCs, tablets, and smartphones. Less popular is another KKI. Magic the Gathering. By the way, Hearthstone can be called a representative of mobile cybersport - at some tournaments in between games pro-players practice on tablets.

Here's a video from TechRadar comparing the PC and tablet versions:


These are, as a rule, games that are created in the image and likeness of computer games. The most popular ones are:

PUBG Mobile. It is a ported game for mobile devices, the peculiarity of which is the fact that PC players cannot get into it. This is because of the controls - aiming with taps is much harder than with a mouse, and even the coolest players in PUBG Mobile will lose to an average player who will play with a combination of mouse + keyboard.

Even the mobile version of PUBG manages to play with external controllers - it is clear that this spoils the game as a discipline, and such players are immediately banned. This is what it looks like:

The second option is to run the game through an emulator. The consequences for such "gamers" are similar - they also get banned. As told by the developers, the system controls the speed of aiming, shooting quality and performance, and if the player shows some prohibitive level of skill, but at the same time is in low positions, he immediately begins to cause suspicion. Then his game begins to be monitored by specialists, who come to the conclusion that either he is another cheater, or such a player should be urgently signed to a professional team.

Speaking about the impact of PUBG Mobile on mobile eSports, there has already been a big tournament for the game with a prize pool of $600,000 in Dubai. This is a very serious achievement and more to come!

Fortnite. It's a ported game for mobile devices, but it's not quite clear about the players. Apparently, the mobile version will always be played by mobile players, but PC users have the ability to invite mobile players into cooperative modes. The information is unverified, but Fortnite on mobile devices is significantly more popular than PUBG.

Fortnite has automatic aiming, which simplifies gameplay, but turns it into a bit of a lottery, in which the one who saw the enemy earlier and who has a more powerful weapon wins. But the gameplay is set up in such a way that the game does not descend into constant action - most of the time we still have to wander around the island in search of loot, so you can't die from a stray bullet at first, even if you want to.


The largest stratum of mobile games on which cybersport events are held.

Vainglory. The analogue of DOTA2 and LOL in mobile eSports. Developers of the game are from Blizzard and RIOT Games, they are also engaged in the development and production. By Vainglory conducted independent championships and leagues (similar splits in LoL), on Twitch at the peak of the final World Cup watched by 56,000 spectators. Available on smartphones and tablets.

As of today Vainglory - is one of the biggest mobile eSports titles, and the championships are organized as well as similar MOBAs for PC. All controls are implemented on tap, with some pro players who play farming characters using a stylus for a more accurate touch. With the advent of the new 5x5 mode (before the game allowed you to play 3x3), Vainglory has become even closer to PC games.

Now many of the top teams have their own Vainglory lineups, but some of the really strong teams are independent teams.

Clash Royale. The most popular and easiest mobile eSports discipline, which has no computer counterpart. In 2017, the ESWC qualifiers (and the ESWC itself) were held on it. Then, in 2017, the Crown Championship World Finals 2017 was held with a prize pool of $400,000. The peak broadcast was watched by just over 270,000 people. Available on smartphones and tablets.

Clash Royale can be considered almost the ideal mobile eSports discipline, as it lends itself to the definition of "easy to learn, difficult to master" (incidentally, Blizzard's slogan). The fact is that it is possible to win tournaments even with ordinary cards (without using legendary ones, for example), and it depends not only on the state of the meta, but also on the player's personal skill and understanding of the game mechanics. In order to level out the difference in card levels, so-called "tournament rules" are used - there is a certain allowable level of cards, less than the maximum, so that players do not have an unnecessary advantage.

All in all, Supercell has created a great competitive discipline that has an incredibly low entry threshold and very high skill requirements. This is exactly what a cybersports game should be.

Unfortunately, mobile game developers have never been able to come up with a decent strategy that has a competitive element. The problem is in control - strategies (especially RTSs) are very demanding in terms of micro- and macro-control, which is very difficult to implement on touch screens.

Another game (also by the way, from Supercell) has the potential to become a cyber sports discipline - Brawl Stars. We wrote a detailed review about it, so we recommend that you follow this link.

It is also worth noting that a great option for cyber sports discipline would be racing - for example, in 2010 at WCG third place was taken by Russian player Missuri on the game Asphalt 5. For unknown reasons, Gameloft stopped supporting the competitive component of races and launched simple campaigns, as a result the gaming community lost a full-fledged competitive discipline. The policy of EA mobile division is also very questionable - they prefer not to make competitive games, but to take money from the players with the help of donation. You have to play there with bots, which is not very interesting.

Ultimately, it has to be said that mobile cyber sports is a very promising market segment that has already started to develop, and it will definitely be popular in a few years. So if you want to try to become a cyber athlete, mobile games have a much better chance of becoming one right now.

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