World of Warcraft, World of Tanks and War Thunder – the three W’s of esports you might say – are three of the biggest MMOs in the esports world and yes, you can make real money by playing these games or even betting on them.
World of Warcraft
Blizzard’s MMO classic World of Warcraft has an interesting history with esports. The game was released at a time when esports was not as popular, or as lucrative, as it is today. After dropping in 2004 the game did not have a real ‘player vs player’ aspect which made the transition to esports a tougher one for the team at Blizzard.
However in the next few years with the inclusion of Arena Battles, Battlegrounds, Warsong Gulch (Capture the Flag), Alterac Valley (a large scale PvP/PvE hybrid) and a new honour system the stage was set to make WoW a platform where the pros could compete and the fans could bet – for real money.
In 2007, Blizzard hosted BlizzCon and the first-ever WoW esports tournament with a $40,000 purse for the winners. Fast forward nearly 15 years and today WoW is undoubtedly the biggest MMO in the esports world with the annual Arena World Championships the Mythic Dungeon International (prize pools up to $200,000) being the biggest World of Warcraft events for players and esports bettors alike.
World of Tanks
World of Tanks is an armoured warfare MMO centred around 1930s to 1960s era battle tanks and is one of the more unique esports in the competitive gaming scene. In its short ten-year history, the franchise has built an impressive community of players that now number over 60 million.
When it comes to WoT esports, the wargaming.net League is by far the biggest and most talked-about WoT event on the calendar with a prize pool of over $350,000. Punters can of course also get amongst the spectacle with all of the best esports betting sites offering odds for World of Tanks.
War Thunder is another vehicular combat game and was officially released in 2016. Today it boasts a Steam following of over 25,000 concurrent players which has also helped it to become one of the most popular MMOs for esports players.
Various War Thunder tournaments exist on platforms like Discord but prize pools are still relatively small (a few thousand dollars if you’re lucky). Due to its inconsequential following when compared to non-MMO esports, betting on WT is not widely available, however, it can still be done at some esports bookmakers.
So there you have it, three of the biggest MMOs in the esports world – World of Warcraft, World of Tanks and War Thunder. While War Thunder may never reach the popularity of WoW or the prize money of WoT, its following is growing and it may just be a matter of time before we start to see thousands of dollars handed out to the top War Thunders players around the world.
Of course, if dedicating your life to these MMOs is not for you then the option of betting on them still as and if you know what you are doing, it can be more lucrative than competing yourself.