Esports are a big business and it should come as no surprise that an increasing number of mobile game developers are trying to capitalize on their rise. Mobile esports games have not risen to the same level as their PC & console counterparts but there are still a number of titles with active competitive scenes.
The mobile esports games on this list have to go beyond just offering competition, they have to be a part of organized competitive events or tournaments. This goes beyond just leagues and rankings present in just about every mobile game out there.
The best Android esports games as of May 2018
Though Vainglory might not be the most popular mobile MOBA game, it does offer a unique experience thanks to its tap based control scheme and focus on fair play. That, along with a strong effort from developer Super Evil Megacorp have helped push Vainglory as a legitimate mobile esport title. There have been multiple Vainglory championships, tournaments, and the game is even part of Alisports’ World Electronic Sports Games (WESG). As far as mobile games that have put an emphasis on esports, Vainglory is at the top of the list. The game now offers both 3 vs 3 and 5 vs 5 modes that are played on different maps, dozens of heroes to choose from, and no pay to win elements in the game’s main mode.
Also part of WESG, Blizzard’s hugely popular card game has an active esports scene with tournaments and events held frequently both online and offline throughout the world. Users can play the game on their phone, a tablet, or PC against players around the world and on any device, and can then take their data with them seamlessly if they switch devices. The game is constantly being updated with new cards and expansions which keep players on their toes as they formulate new decks and strategies.
A surprising entry on this list given that people often think of it as a pay to win game, Clash Royale has a very active esports community. This is thanks to the game’s tournament mode. The mode allows players to compete against each other on a (mostly) level playing field by putting a cap on player and unit levels. Players are even able to host their own tournaments and competition. Further adding to the esports feel of the game, players can spectate tournament and friendly matches to scout the competition or learn some new tricks. Those looking beyond the strategy game’s core mode can also enjoy a number of other modes that while not as balanced, still offer a lot of fun.
Arena of Valor
Tencent’s PUBG Mobile might be more popular (at least outside of China), but Arena of Valor offers a more competitive environment that is better suited for tournament play. AoV, also known as Strike of Kings in certain regions, is a fairly traditional mobile MOBA experience with using a virtual joystick and attack buttons . There are numerous heroes to master, including some DC Comics characters, and take into battle in 5 on 5 matches on a typical 3 lane MOBA map. Compared to PC MOBAs Arena of Valor provides a faster game experience that’s better suited for the platform (though not nearly as quick as Paladins Strike).
Gacha games are not often associated with competitive play because they tend to give significant advantages to players who spend money on the game. So while it might be surprising to see one of the biggest gacha games around, Com2uS has developed a surprisingly active esports community around Summoners War’s World Arena mode. World Arena is a real-time PVP mode that lets players choose their team of heroes go head-to-head against their opponent. The mode has its own rules that bar the use of duplicate heroes or using the same heroes as your opponent, making team building a key part of the game. It also has a high barrier to entry as players without strong units will not be able to compete using skill alone. That, combined with a fair bit of luck playing a role in how matches play out make Summoners War a hard game to include on the list. However popularity, an active community, and an esports push from Com2uS means it makes the list.