Esports has come a long way from its niche, early 2000s hotel room roots, evolving into a multi-billion dollar industry with hundreds of teams over dozens of games. While eSports such as CS:GO and League of Legends are incredibly fun to watch, they’re not friendly for new players to actually play. Thankfully, there are tons of fun games with great eSports scenes that are also beginner-friendly.
Platforms: PC, PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X and Series S, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, Android
The biggest game in the world is also one of the most accessible for new players. Fortnite’s bright, cartoony graphics and simple gun play, combined with its massive player base and solid optimization, helps beginners ease into the high skill ceiling that the game possesses. The eSports scene has near-weekly tournaments and features practically all the top eSports organizations in the world, so it’s a perfect game to latch onto from a viewing perspective.
At its highest level, Fortnite is as much a resource management and building game as it is a shooter, but lobbies full of new players rarely require building to win a match, which makes it a great introduction to the genre. Plus, you can completely wreck players while dressing up as Spider-Man, Master Chief, or Ariana Grande, which makes Fortnite worth playing on its own.
Platforms: PC, PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X and Series S, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch
“It’s like soccer but with cars.” No eSport is as instantly understandable as Rocket League. The now free-to-play title puts players in the driver’s seat of a jet-engine powered car with a single objective: put the ball in your opponent’s net more times than they put it in yours. It’s a premise that even Grandma can understand, and with a little practice, one that she can dominate some randoms in as well. Its simple premise makes it accessible for new players, but it also possesses an incredibly high skill ceiling that will make you believe that cars really can fly.
Rocket League is a solid B-tier eSport that features frequent championships and teams backed by high-profile eSports organizations like Cloud 9 and G2. While replicating pro players on a consistent basis is extremely tough, you can definitely channel them in flashes by pulling off high-flying bicycle kicks, or stutter-step dribble, and, simply put, car soccer is flippin’ awesome.
Platforms: Xbox Series X and Series S, PC
Halo is one of the original eSports franchises, with its roots dating back to the early days of packed hotel room LAN tournaments full of copious amounts of Mountain Dew. With such a long history, there’s understandable skepticism that comes with Halo’s multiplayer and eSports scene, but Halo Infinite’s arcade-y multiplayer is surprisingly new player friendly and tons of fun to boot. It’s a game where, even though you will get tea bagged often, it’s still one of the most fun shooters out there.
The multiplayer is free for the first time in series history, and it’s a refreshingly classic feeling shooter. This polish and excitement also carries into the eSports scene with Halo Infinite bringing the scene back to its glory days, and filling in the gap left by Call of Duty Vanguard’s lack of presence. From Sentinels and Navi to Cloud 9 and Envy, the game has attracted some of the biggest eSports organizations and this is only the beginning.
Platforms: Nintendo Switch
Price: $79.99 CAD
The first paid game on this list is fittingly a Nintendo game, as even with its $79.99 buy in, and it only appears on one system, Super Smash Bros: Ultimate is a fantastic game for eSports beginners. It’s a party game. It’s got mushrooms that make you taller, stars that make you unkillable, and friends like Waluigi and Shadow the Hedgehog that you can call upon to beat the snot out of your pals.
The eSports scene not only receives the least support of any game on this list, but it’s also at odds with this party game’s identity. Pro play doesn’t feature any items or helpful friends, opting instead for three-life cage matches that put players skill and ability usage to the test. But the fact that it’s still the same game makes it a great one for new players, who can get acclimated to the fun, carefree party game nature and then choose whether they want to pursue the more intense, competitive version of the game.
Platforms: PC, PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X and Series S, Xbox One,
Price: 59.99 CAD
I was as surprised as you are about this one, but hear me out. Farming Simulator 2022 is a calming game where you complete farming tasks like raising chickens and harvesting vegetables using over 400 real-world machines and tools. It’s a calming game, which makes its intense eSports scene even more endearing.
Farming Simulator eSports, pits two teams against each other in an electric clash of driving prowess, Tetris-like stacking skills, and wheat harvesting mastery. It’s a team game, set on two identical farms, with a deceptively simple objective: stack more bales of wheat and grain than your opponent to win. The high-stakes tension starts right from the equipment selection stage.
While each team has access to the same tractors at the beginning, as soon as a player claims a ride, it’s locked and unusable for the opponent. Add in bonus points for the first team to deliver a bail of wheat, exciting play-by-play and, against all odds, Farming Simulator becomes a unique and intense eSports spectacle.
Oh, and it also has tournaments with $100,000 prize pools. There’s no other game that has an eSports experience quite like Farming Simulator 2022, and it’s also the only eSport where you’ll find a team sponsored by John Deere.