RTS Rules: Top Real-Time Strategy Games That Could Have Been Esport Titles

Real-Time Strategy Games That Could Have Been Esport Titles image

📖 Published on: May 23rd, 2024

✍️ Updated: May 27th, 2024

⏳ 10 mins read


Esports is a dominant scene in today’s gaming world. It cannot be denied that there are a lot of known games that have made an impact in the industry. Titular games such as Dota 2, Counter-Strike, VALORANT, League of Legends, and even Call of Duty are all known for bringing the impressive esports action that many fans are looking for over the years. However, only a few of these titles in the esports industry is actually a real-time strategy game.


What are Real-Time Strategy Games?


More known as RTS, real-time strategy games are considered a sub-genre of a video game that allows players to play games simultaneously – a cross product of turn-based strategy games, where players need to take turns to play. So far, RTS games are put in a position where they manage certain structures while also handling multiple units in the area of the map to destroy their opponents’ own structures and units. Most of the known RTS games also rely on a resource-generation sequence, which serves as a goal for players to accumulate the necessary amount to produce their units en masse and further improve their structures, and more.


Real-time strategy games made players think on the fly image


There are various winning conditions in an RTS game as they vary in different game spaces, such as old-world combat, mythical settings, and even modern settings. This is why RTS games have a norm of having resource-gathering, base-building, technological development, and destroying all bases, and certain games even have complex user interfaces to complement the need to manage multiple facets of a given RTS title. RTS games deal with various gameplay elements, such as micromanagement, real-time tactics, and many other known skills in gaming. With a lot of assets in a single game, it is easy to overlook that RTS games are the most difficult games to play, requiring a lot of skills to come up with a win in each scenario played.


Is the RTS Genre Dead?


Real-time strategy games, however, have started to decline over the 2010s, with no more less than new games being released in the 2020s. The classic RTS games have become less prominent and known. StarCraft II is the only classic RTS game that has managed to sneak its way into the esports world. No, we’re not considering the likes of Dota 2 and League of Legends as RTS games since they only control a certain hero and not a whole lot of things to managed compared to real RTS games.


Company of Heroes was probably the last surviving RTS game image


It is also worth noting that RTS games are way different from god games, such as city-building games, construction and management simulations, and real-time tactics games. These are different in a way that they don’t provide much context as to what a traditional RTS game would. So far, the latest RTS games that we have seen in the market in the past few years are Halo Wars 2 (2017), Steel Division 2 (2019), Company of Heroes 3 (2023), and Last Train Home (2023) – all of which retain the classic look and feel of classic RTS games over the years, which is why it is safe to say that the genre is not yet dead, but close to it at the very least, like a dying breed in gaming.


What are the Top RTS Games that have Esports Potential?


While StarCraft II is the sole surviving RTS game that has made its way to the esports scene, it cannot be denied that there are a lot of titles that have a strong potential to become included in the industry, had it become popular or have enough marketing and fan following to be considered a competitive game. So far, the esports titles today only became popular because many gamers played them in a competitive scene, which shows how the following games lacked that at the end of the day.


Here are the top RTS games that have esports potential:

Command and Conquer: Generals

Command and Conquer: Generals image


While it cannot be denied that Red Alert is the most popular game among the Command and Conquer franchise of games, Generals brings a promising scene for an RTS title. The game focuses on a war-on-terror phase involving the United States and China fighting against the Global Liberation Army or GLA. Released in 2003, Generals became a promising title with its unique unit and structure composition. The feature of Generals Powers – bonuses that can be used when players get promoted for scoring wins over their enemies will give them a chance to gain support powers, even exotic units that aren’t available to begin with. An expansion was released in the same year, adding more generals with unique specialties to each faction. The game, however, can only be played on multiplayer via the local area network (LAN) or GameSpy servers online, with the latter shut down in 2014.


Battle Realms

Battle Realms image


Long before Ubisoft became known for Assassin’s Creed and other popular titles, their first shot was Battle Realms, in partnership with Crave Entertainment. This game is set in a mythical world with four clans, the Dragon, Serpent, Wolf, and Lotus. These are factions with different specialties – differing in unit composition and special assets from one faction to another. It is worth noting that this has the most balanced roster of assets available compared to other RTS games. The game focuses on the Yin/Yang system, which can be obtained in combat with a different rate depending on the distance to the base, success in combat, and many other factors. An expansion, the Winter of the Wolf, was released a year after its title launch, tackling the story of the Wolf Clan before the events of Battle Realms itself.


Rome: Total War

Rome Total War image


While there are many people who consider Total War games are turn-based titles instead of a true RTS, Rome: Total War still offers the experience of real-time strategy in its battles. The game is set in the Imperial Roman Empire’s days from 270 BC to 14 AD, with the map spanning from most of Europe, North Africa and the Near East. Players are given the task of managing their faction’s economy, government, diplomacy, and military. On the battlefield, players control different cards of each soldier group and deploy tactics to defeat their enemies. Over the years, Rome: Total War has been hailed as one of the greatest video games of all time, leading to expansion packs in Barbarian Invasion and Alexander. The lack of appreciation for long strides of competitive games led to the big snub that could have made Rome: Total War a promising game in the esports scene today, along with its late migration to Steamworks after GameSpy was shut down.


Supreme Commander

Supreme Commander image


One of the most popular RTS titles in video gaming is SupCom, or Supreme Commander to those faithful players. It is the spiritual successor to Total Annihilation and Spring. The goal of the game is to destroy the Armored Command Unit or ACU, which is the titular Supreme Commander. However, skirmishes can be modified to create a set of victory conditions. The game has been praised for its innovative AI and is split between three factions, the United Earth Federation, Cybran Nation, and the Aeon Illuminate. An expansion, Forged Alliance, was released in the same year as its launch, adding a fourth and new faction, the Seraphim. The game enjoyed years of popularity prior to the 2010s, with Supreme Commander 2 taking over and establishing a competitive community of players and the launch of Forged Alliance Forever as a multiplayer client for players.



Stellaris image


Launched in 2016, Stellaris is a futuristic real-time strategy game that concerns exploring, colonizing, and engaging in diplomacy, trade, and warfare. This is one of the RTS titles that followed the trend of having random events unfold in a single session, affecting the balance of power in the game or even giving new advantages to various areas around the universe. It is one of the 4X hybrid RTS games that focuses on being the last man standing in the game. The success of the game saw it emerge with 20 expansion packs as of the time of writing. However, the setup of the game having based on maintaining an active community of players as opposed to bringing competitive atmospheres, which led to its failure to appeal as an esport.


Enjoy Betting on Esports Games Today!


Explore the big esport titles in the industry today with a lot of promising games to look out for! Watch out for the competitive events that will unfold through 2024, which is why you should place your wagers on the fiery tournaments that brings the best players in the world together.


But don’t fret if you’re feeling overwhelmed! GambleSpot provides you with the latest happenings in the esports world! From news, blogs, game predictions, tournament previews, game analyses, betting guides, and many other sports-related content, you can use all of these to come up with a promising informed wager that can help you win big prizes!

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