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13 New Esports Games With a Massive Prize Pool in 2023

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13 New Esports Games With a Massive Prize Pool in 2023


It does not matter how awesome you are in PvP battles against other players or how many in-game trophies you have won if others do not know about it. This is why esports tournaments exist, as they allow you to stand out from your competition and let others testify to your skills! Below are some of the new esports games in 2023 that you must check out and prove your worth! And these are not the age-old games that made esports famous but are new ones showing us how the industry is evolving and responding to change.


Table of Contents
  1. Pokemon Scarlet and Violet (Role-playing Game)
  2. Omega Strikers (Sports & Action Game)
  3. Shadowverse CCG (Card Game)
  4. Mobile Suit Gundam: Extreme Vs. Maxi Boost ON (Action Game)
  5. Guilty Gear Strive (Fighting Game)
  6. Pokemon Unite (Action Role-playing Game)
  7. BlazBlue: Central Fiction (Fighting Game)
  8. Persona 4 Arena Ultimax (Fighting Game)
  9. Dragon Ball FigterZ (Fighting Game)
  10. Melty Blood: Type Lumina (Fighting Game)
  11. DNF Duel (Fighting Game)
  12. Eternal Return (MOBA Game)
  13. Granblue: Fantasy Versus (Fighting Game)


Pokemon Scarlet and Violet (Role-playing Game)


[Image: pokemon_scarlet_and_violet-1.jpg]
Figure 1-1. Pokemon Scarlet and Violet Box Legendaries

It might seem strange to many that a childish game about monster catching would harbor one of the most competitive esports communities known to man. Pokemon first came out in the 90s and, since then, has changed very little compared to other legacy franchises, but its changes have transformed the competitive scene considerably. Pokemon Scarlet and Violet, the latest entries, are shaping up to be the most significant change to the franchise since the special physical split. These games take us to the region of Paldea, a fully open world, a first for the series. Battering is also changing as we now battle wild Pokemon where we encounter them meaning the terrain will affect the battle. Battles are also faster-paced and more challenging as the AI has been changed to give a real challenge to the players, something the fans have wanted for ages. The new Pokemon are also of higher quality both in design and mechanics.

[Image: pokemon_scarlet_and_violet-gameplay-1.jpg]
Figure 1-2. New Battle Mechanic

Pokemon also has created a healthy and active esports scene centered around battling using the connectivity features of the game. This community is also quite stories as it was created when the internet was in its infancy and has evolved into one of the most hardcore communities. It also helps that Nintendo and GameFreak help facilitate its growth. Most tournaments are based on the rules set by the smogon tier list, which bans particular Pokemon and playstyles. There are many different Pokemon tournaments, from the regional to the national level, where the best duke it out for the title of Pokemon Master. One of the most famous tournaments is Pokemon VCG, which has rules based on the most recent Pokemon game and smogon. It also had a massive prize pool of $28,500 in the North American Regional Championship, which is a part of the VCG.

[Image: pokemon_scarlet_and_violet-tournament-1.jpg]
Figure 1-3. Pokemon VCG Banner


Omega Strikers (Sports & Action Game)


[Image: omega_strikers-1.jpg]
Figure 3-1. Omega Strikers

It is easy to see how the esports industry has grown recently, from a simple gathering of fans to official events hosted by organizations where the best of the best compete. But this has undoubtedly driven off the more casual people who see the complexity of games and how easily the top players dominate them and think they have no chance. This is the exact market Omega Strikers wants, as it is based on a MOBA style reminiscent of League of Legends but intentionally reduces the complexity to make it more accessible for newer people. But the reduction does not hamper the fun as it has some of the most balanced and fun combat seen in a MOBA in recent years.

[Image: omega_strikers-gameplay-1.jpg]
Figure 2-2. Omega Strikers Gameplay

Omega Strikers is a character-based game where you can select from a curated cast that is evolving and growing as the community grows. Each character has unique abilities that cater to a specific playstyle, such as a tank or DPS. One of its major selling points is that it does not ban the use of two similar characters, meaning you could have a team full of tanks which makes the matches so much fun. Better yet, you can also play with your friends as the net connectivity is solid, resulting in smooth games with zero latency. It also has used this to host many different esports events ranging from simple player faceoffs to full tournaments sponsored by official companies. One of the most famous tournaments was the Omega Strikers Cup which hosted official matches weekly for months with a prize pool of $500! Moreover, Wisdom Gaming, an entertainment product company, organizes the NA Collegiate Cup event. They organized collegiate-position esports competitions. It's combined with over 128 colleges and universities in North America. This tournament event's base prize pool was $25,000 in academic scholarships awarded to the top four esports teams. The first prize was $15,000, the second prize was $5000, the third prize was $3000, and lastly the fourth prize was $2000.

[Image: omega_strikers-tournament-1.jpg]
Figure 2-3. Omega Strikers Esports Tournament


Shadowverse CCG (Card Game)


[Image: shadowverse-1.jpg]
Figure 3-1. Shadowverse CCG

When one talks about esports, it is mainly about the FPS genre or MOBAs, which is valid as these were responsible for making esports what it is today. But just as gaming has evolved from simple platformers, so has esports grown with the addition of different genres, such as strategy and card battlers. Card battlers specifically are now more common than ever due to their mass appeal and easy-to-learn mechanics. One of the most famous esports titles for the Asian market is Shadowverse CCG, a game created by Cygames and backed by them to become a massive franchise with enough lore to rival fantasy novels.

[Image: shadowverse-gameplay-1.jpg]
Figure 3-2. Shadowverse Gameplay

Shadowverse, compared to its competitors, offers one of the best UI. This might seem like a moot point, but everything matters when you’re in the midst of a competitive battle. It also has some of the best card artwork, and with the evolution feature, you can see the artist genuinely shine. The evolution mechanic is when you use certain points to make your existing unit stronger. This helps not only give your team a boost but may also give passive boosts. The card availability and usage are also quite good, as no card is useless, and you get new cards on timely bases. Also, the cards bought with cash are not allowed in certain tournaments to maintain a sense of fairness, and most of them are purely cosmetic and only serve to enrich the lore. Shadowverse has many tournaments, including the famous Rage Shadowverse cup and the Shadowverse Grand Prix, which had a massive prize pool of $2,293,296.

Figure 3-3. Rage Shadowverse Pro League


Mobile Suit Gundam: Extreme Vs. Maxi Boost ON (Action Game)


[Image: mobile_suit%20gundam_extreme_vs_maxi_boost_on-1.jpg]
Figure 4-1. Mobile Suit Gundam: Extreme Vs. Maxi Boost ON

Gundam is a franchise that is known by many and beloved by its fans. This is because of the deep philosophical questions it asks about the nature of man and war and because it has giant robots fighting other giant robots. This premise and narrative lend themselves perfectly to games, and one of the most beloved Gundam games is the Vs games which have you take control of a Gundam and fight other people and their Gundams. The newest entry Mobile Suit Gundam: Extreme Vs. Maxi Boost ON tries to merge all the aspects of the previous games into one cohesive game, which results in one of the best Gundam games to date.

[Image: mobile_suit%20gundam_extreme_vs_maxi_boost...ster-1.jpg]
Figure 4-2. Gundam Vs. Maxi Boost Roster

It features nearly 180 different Gundams from the series ranging from the classics to the new-age ones. And all of these Gundams have a different playstyle meaning you are bound to find a Gundam which suits you. Combat requires you to pay attention to many different things, such as ammo and teammate health, as the game can turn in a matter of seconds if you lose focus. This is also why many players play the game ranked and attend tournaments such as the Climax of Night Type-4: [arising!], which has a pool starting from $4,610.

[Image: mobile_suit%20gundam_extreme_vs_maxi_boost...ment-1.jpg]
Figure 4-3. Climax of Night Type-4: [arising!]


Guilty Gear Strive (Fighting Game)


[Image: guilty_gear_strive-1.jpg]
Figure 5-1. Guilty Gear Strive

Esports has changed the landscape for many franchises by bringing obscure games out of the shadows into the light in front of a mainstream audience. Guilty Gear is one such franchise; by all accords, it has one of the most absurd story and lore of any game mentioned here. But due to it being developed by Arc System Works, it had a solid foundation and some of the best combat in the genre. This resulted in it continuing to have more games added to the series, which all led up to the release of Guilty Gear Strive. Strive is, in a sense, the finale of the main story as it sees the departure of the main protagonist of the previous games Sol Badguy. And it also sets up the plot for the newer and younger characters to take center stage.

[Image: guilty_gear_strive-gameplay-1.jpg]
Figure 5-2. Guilty Gear Strive Gameplay

Gameplay-wise, it is the amalgamation of everything that has made the series special for many people, from the great combat, which feels responsive with every attack feeling like it has weight. The roster also sees the return of some fan-favorite characters and the addition of new ones. And all of these characters are beautifully animated and balanced, which is a mighty task for any developer, especially one that makes esports titles. It has also had some significant tournaments in recent years, the major of which is the EVO Championship, with a prize pool of $21,580. But due to its massive popularity in Japan, it has also had many regional tournaments. Arcs System works, without a doubt, has done a fantastic job bringing the end to the first half of this Saga, and fans can’t wait to see what’s in store for the future.

[Image: guilty_gear_strive-tournament-1.jpg]
Figure 5-3. Guilty Gear Strive EVO Championship


Pokemon Unite (Action Role-playing Game)


[Image: pokemon_unite-1.jpg]
Figure 6-1. Pokemon Unite

Switching genre for video games is not new, but it is a considerable risk when it is an established franchise with multiple games of the exact nature. This is precisely what Nintendo did with Pokemon and the release of Pokemon Unite, a free-to-start MOBA with the characters and Pokemon from the pre-established series. It might seem weird to see Pokemon in a MOBA-style arena, but you will be surprised by how easily they fit into the archetypes of a MOBA, and the unique mechanics of the franchise help provide something new in this age-old genre.

[Image: pokemon_unite-gameplay-1.jpg]
Figure 6-2. Pokemon Unite Gameplay

Firstly when you start the game and get into a match, the first thing you are bound to notice is the UI which is designed as close to perfection as possible. What I mean to say is that the UI is easy to read and not intrusive at the same time, two things that MOBA very rarely accomplishes. Combat is also quite interesting as it can almost perfectly merge the basics of MOBA with Pokemon. Each of the 21 Pokemon available at the game's launch has move sets to a specific playstyle. The evolution of Pokemon also plays a role, as you can evolve midway through battles to gain a considerable advantage. Regular enemy Pokemon also provides the characters with the resources to continue to push forward. Depending on the map, a certain legendary will spawn near the end, which can turn the tide of the battle in seconds. It also has tournaments, such as the Championship series Europe which had a massive prize pool of $50,000.

[Image: pokemon_unite-tournament-1.jpg]
Figure 6-3. Pokemon Unite Championship Banner


BlazBlue: Central Fiction (Fighting Game)


[Image: blazblue_central_fiction-1.jpg]
Figure 7-1. BlazBlue: Central Fiction

Few games can claim to be a narrative end for a franchise, and even fewer can call themselves good. BlazBlue Central Fiction is one of those games. It is the end of the BlazBlue franchise, and it does that perfectly by tying up all the loose story threads and ensuring the characters reach the end of their journey. Fans of the franchise also loved it because it was one of the best ways the developer Arc System Works could have ended the franchise. It also helped that the combat was the amalgamation of the best aspects of the previous games, with newer mechanics added to make the game feel fresh for veteran players and accessible for newer ones.

[Image: blazblue_central_fiction-roster-1.jpg]
Figure 7-2. BlazBlue Central Fiction Roster

The base of the combat is a simple three-attack system, light, medium, and heavy, each of which can be chained into one another to execute combos. Drive attacks also help change up the repetitiveness by introducing character-exclusive abilities for the massive roster, which require patience to master and will allow you to execute some of the bigger combos. It also stands to mention that BlazBlue Central Fiction has one of the best tutorials of any fighting game as it teaches you to step by step all of the character’s special moves and the more advanced fighting game mechanics as precision blocks and jump cancels. This is probably why it has retained such an intense esports scene despite being a bit older than some of the games here, but with the switch port, you can rest assured that you are getting the best version possible. One of the most recent tournaments held for it was CEOtaku 2022, which had a prize pool of $22,075.

[Image: blazblue_central_fiction-tournament-1.jpg]
Figure 7-3. CEOtaku Banner


Persona 4 Arena Ultimax (Fighting Game)


[Image: persona_4_arena_ultimax-1.jpg]
Figure 8-1. Persona 4 Arena Ultimax

Persona is a series that has gained critical acclaim in recent years due to the massive success of Persona 5, but due to this success, many have forgotten what made the series so good in the first place. Persona 4 other the other hand, is beloved by many as it was able to strike a balance between the seriousness of Persona 3 and the slice-of-life aspect, which would go on to dominate Persona 5. But it always lacked a proper conclusion to the character arcs for the main cast. That is where Persona 4 Arena Ultimax comes into play. It is a continuation of the narrative of Persona 4 and features the main cast alongside new characters, which help them grow and finally finish their stories.

[Image: persona_4_arena_ultimax-gameplay-1.jpg]
Figure 8-2. Persona 4 Arena Ultimax Gameplay

It also features a different combat system than the mainline series as it is a fighting game and a good one at that, as it is able to adapt the characters and their persona abilities perfectly. This results in fights that are authentic to the source material and are genuinely fun to play. The roster is also quite varied as it gives us a chance to even play as the main villain of the Persona 4 story. All of this combines to provide the persona fans with one of the best fighting game of the series to date while also having a loyal esports fanbase who love the combat and the character design. It even has tournaments, such as the CEOtaku 2022 event, with a prize pool of $22,075 for Persona 4 Arena Ultimax.

[Image: persona_4_arena_ultimax-tournament-1.jpg]
Figure 8-3. CEOtaku Banner


Dragon Ball FigterZ (Fighting Game)


[Image: dragon_ball_fighterz-1.jpg]
Figure 9-1. Dragon Ball FigterZ

When it comes to pre existing franchises or series, it is tough to adapt them to a new or different medium. Still, in the case of Dragon Ball, it seems it was made to convert into a game, as the central core of the series fits in perfectly with fighting games. It has had some of the best fighting games ever made, but all of them pale compared to the masterpiece crafted by Arcs System Works. This can blend the series perfectly with the gaming medium and create one of the best esports titles to come out in recent years.

[Image: dragon_ball_fighterz-roster-1.jpg]
Figure 9-2. Dragon Ball FighterZ Roster

Dragon Ball FIghterZ features a robust cast of 40+ characters from the main series, which have had their iconic signature moves recreated to a T, which might seem weird to some. Still, fans loved it, and the fact that the developers made sure that the game would stay as balanced as possible is nothing short of a miracle. Combat is easy to learn and challenging to master. You can easily play the beautifully written story, but you must improve to take on the online ranked and competitive players. The art style is also gorgeous, as it maintains the authenticity of the source material with cell shading. Arc System Works combined these different factors and created the best esports title in years, shown plainly by the number of tournaments it has had. Some of the major ones include the EVO championship, which had a prize pool of $11,350, and it has also held official world tournaments for players from all parts of the world to come and show their skills.

[Image: dragon_ball_fighterz-tournament-1.jpg]
Figure 9-3. Dragon Ball FihgterZ EVO


Melty Blood: Type Lumina (Fighting Game)


[Image: melty_blood_type_lumina-1.jpg]
Figure 10-1. Melty Blood: Type Lumina

Developed by French-Bread, Melty Blood: Type Lumina is a 2021 hit masterpiece video game that takes 2D fighting to a whole new level! It is available on Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch. Melty Blood: Type Lumina delivers state-of-the-art gameplay visuals that render a whole immersive gaming experience for players. Flashy displays of lethal blows and fierce combos instantly excite the eSport stage battles! While maintaining the combat features from the previous Melty Blood series, Type Lumina also introduces two new fighting mechanics!

[Image: melty_blood_type_lumina-roster-1.jpg]
Figure 10-2. Melty Blood: Type Lumina Roster

The decent 20-character roster of Melty Blood: Type Lumina comprises unique characters in terms of their abilities and skills. Mastering the art of all their fighting gives players an edge in Type Lumina eSport tournaments! Furthermore, two new characters are soon to join this fighting club. EVO 2022 recently held a $4,110 prize Melty Blood tournament. Can you claim the victory crown in this classic esports video game?

[Image: melty_blood_type_lumina-tournament-1.jpg]
Figure 10-3. Melty Blood: Type Lumina EVO


DNF Duel (Fighting Game)


[Image: dnf_duel-1.jpg]
Figure 11-1. DNF Duel

When the top brains of Arc System Works, Eighting, and Neople come together, you get a one-of-a-kind action-fighting video game, DNF Duel! It is a 2D fighting eSport game available on Windows, PlayStation 4, and PlayStation 5. Gameplay visuals are spectacularly aesthetic and simply gorgeous. The realistic combat of DNF Duels provides an immersive gaming experience for players. Mind gaming and lightning-fast reflexes are a prerequisite here. DNF Duel’s eSport tournaments are in a league of their own. Its current Arc World Tour 2022 is in the active phase. The final round is all set to start in March 2023. This iconic video game redefines traditional fighting games you commonly come across with.

[Image: dnf_duel-gameplay-1.jpg]
Figure 11-2. DNF Duel Gameplay

DNF Duel majestically simplifies its combat system yet further intensifies its battle showdowns! It’s a perfect candidate for fighting players who tend to use more straightforward controls. Moreover, DNF Duel features a legendary roster of 16 distinct characters. It may appear small, but as you get used to each character, you will know exactly how much there is to each character! Every DNF Duel character has unique signature moves and strengths that, combined with their Awakening Effects, take traditional fighting to unprecedented levels higher. Just recently, in December 2022, Acrevo Japan held an approximate $14,902 DNF Duel tournament!

[Image: dnf_duel-tournament-1.jpg]
Figure 11-3. DNF Duel Tournament Banner


Eternal Return (MOBA Game)


[Image: eternal_return-1.jpg]
Figure 12-1. Eternal Return

Yet another new eSport video game but a lot different than the other mentioned in the article above. Eternal Return is a 2020 top-down perspective survival battle royale video game developed by Nimble Neuron, exclusively for Windows. The game delivers cutting-edge visuals and a seamless gameplay experience. Where most esports titles feature 1v1 tournaments, Eternal Return brings something unique to the party. It features eSport tournaments between 18 players set on a mysterious Lumia Island.

[Image: eternal_return-gameplay-2.jpg]
Figure 12-2. Eternal Return Gameplay

The island of Lumia, ravaged by wild animals, consists of 16 sub-areas. To make things strategic, each area houses different sets of craftable items. Like traditional battle royales, Eternal Return also limits its battle area by periodically restricting areas. Moreover, Eternal Return features a gigantic cast of 61+ characters, all unique in their abilities, strengths, and weaknesses. Its crafting mechanism is a crucial component in its eSport matches. Although each character has unique capabilities and attributes, crafting allows you to equip your character with supplies and upgraded weapons. If 1v1 eSport tournaments do not excite you, an eSport battle royale of Eternal Return will allow you to unleash hell on your opponents! A summer Collegiate Cup worth $3,000 for Eternal Return was held recently. Moreover, the 2023 Eternal Return Masters Open #10 starts on January 20, 2023, it has a massive prize pool of 3,000,000 KRW!

[Image: eternal_return-tournament-1.jpg]
Figure 12-3. 2023 Eternal Return Masters Open #10


Granblue Fantasy: Versus (Fighting Game)


[Image: granblue_fantasy_versus-1.jpg]
Figure 13-1. Granblue Fantasy: Versus

Granblue Fantasy Versus is a fighting game developed and published by Arc System Works, grounded on the popular mobile game Granblue Fantasy. The game was released in Japan in 2020. Gamers in Granblue Fantasy Versus has a selection of characters to pick from, each with special chops and gameplay preferences. Granblue Fantasy Versus is a 2D fighting game with 3D plates that are made to be playable by all skill situations and offers a variety of tutorials and training options.

[Image: granblue_fantasy_versus-gameplay-1.jpg]
Figure 13-2. Granblue Fantasy: Versus Gameplay

Granblue Fantasy Versus is a well-known fighting game that has numerous events held across numerous different countries. The Granblue Fantasy Versus Frosty Faustings XIV Tournament Series is one of the most famed competitions in the game, organized by Frosty Faustings in the USA with a pool prize of $1,492.50 USD in 2022. Granblue Fantasy Versus has entered substantially favorable reviews from pundits and players, who have praised the game's character designs, gameplay mechanics, and general availability.

[Image: granblue_fantasy_versus-tournament-1.jpg]
Figure 13-3. Frosty Faustings XIV - GBVS


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