Could Digital Card Games Ever Become a Viable Esport?

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Digital card games are hugely popular and many people enjoy playing the games online. Will digital card games ever become viable as an esport? Esports are competitive gaming tournaments, often with massive prize money at stake. Can digital card games enter the esports industry and be successful?

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The Biggest Esports Games

Counter-Strike, PUBG: Battlegrounds, DOTA 2, Fortnite, League of Legends, Rocket League, and Call of Duty are some of the most popular esports games. There are massive tournaments organised annually for these games and they attract millions of viewers across the world. There are many things these online games have in common but cards is not one of them. When playing the games competitively, there is no card collection or card use involved. There are plenty of betting opportunities and it possible to bet onlinelink outside website live during esports events. However, none of these esports events are based on digital card games.


Digital Card Game Esports

Digital card games have featured at esports in the past, with Magic: The Gathering Arenalink outside website and Hearthstone being two good examples. If we go back to November 2013, Blizzard, the developer of Hearthstone, launched an exhibition tournament. One year later and the first Hearthstone World Championship took place with a total prize pool of $250,000. Such has been the success of the Hearthstone World Championship that it continues to this day and the 2024 event will have a $350,000 prize fund, up $100,000 when compared to 10 years ago.

In 2019, Wizards of the Coast, the team behind Magic: The Gathering Arena, hosted a tournament with a $10 million prize pool that included an esports competition for the first time. Known as the Magic World Championship, the tournament in 2024 will be the 30th Magic World Championship and it will take place in October. Anyone can compete for a place in the big Magic: The Gathering Arena esports events by ranking up in online games. It is not easy but the beauty of esports is that with practice and dedication, anyone can reach the top.

The Future of Digital Card Games as Esports

It is fair to say the biggest esports games are not based on card games. However, the rise of Magic: The Gathering Arena and Hearthstone as esports show it is possible for digital card games to become esports. There are limits to what is possible when playing online card games competitively and that is why digital card games have not exploded onto the esports scene. Traditional card games will continue to thrive online and that is expected to continue with the improvements in technology. Online poker, blackjack, and baccarat are three examples of cards games that are played competitively online for big sums of money. There have been some huge wins in online poker tournaments and it will be interesting to see what happens when virtual reality digital card games become more commonplace. Blockchain technology will also play a role in the future of competitive digital card games and make it easier to create fair competitions.