Following the trend of many other popular modern multiplayer games, some Minecraft servers have developed custom game modes that are designed with the notion of stiff competition in mind.
This phenomenon is mainly due to the advent of ELO-based matchmaking systems becoming more and more prevalent in the gaming scene. Ultimately, this has led to the adoption of special skill-based ranked matchmaking to be seen in some of the leading Minecraft server game modes.
What skill-based matchmaking means for players is that they will only be playing with other players that are skilled similarly to them, meaning that every single match encountered should, in theory, be a challenge.
Note: This list is solely based on the opinions of the author. The opinions of others may differ substantially.
Top 5 competitive Minecraft servers suitable for experts
#5 - Minemen Club IP: minemen.club
Minemen Club is among one of the most popular OG PvP Minecraft servers. It stays true to the classic 1.8 PvP mechanics, which much of the community is still deeply entrenched with.
Minemen Club isn't the new kid on the block anymore. And it documents itself as a PvP server powerhouse, with thousands of the best Minecraft PvPers trusting Minemen Club as their designated place for PvP practice on a daily basis.
#4 - Viper MC IP: vipermc.com
Viper MC currently dominates the Minecraft hardcore factions scene, with most of the community classing Viper MC as the current home of the unforgiving game mode.
For those unaware, hardcore factions is similar to regular factions. However, everything is designed to be much more competitive than the standard counterpart. If players die, they will be banned from the server for a period of time and won't be able to rejoin.
Owned by the same team that masterminded much of the once hugely popular VeltPvP server, many of the highest skilled Minecraft PvPers feel at home playing Viper MC.
#3 - The Archon IP: archon.ddns.net
The Archon is primarily a high-stakes, high-payout factions server. Players typically flock here due to the huge real-life money payouts offered by the server.
Every season, the server will pay out thousands of real-life dollars to the members of the winning faction at the end of the said season. With so much money on the line, it's no wonder things are extremely competitive here, with only the absolute best of the best Minecrafters having a remote chance at succeeding.
#2 - Invaded Lands IP: invadedlands.net
Invaded Lands is a popular Minecraft server network that many players will be familiar with due to its public association with the massively popular Minecraft YouTuber known by fans as Skeppy.
Invaded Lands is also known within the community as one of the best-dedicated networks to enjoy the kit-pvp game mode. For those unaware, Minecraft kit-pvp servers are vastly popular among more experienced players. This is likely due to their skill-demanding nature, leaving little room for error.
#1 - Hypixel IP: hypixel.net
Hypixel is by far the biggest Minecraft server to exist, with hundreds of thousands of concurrent players at peak times.
Part of the server's success in recent times can be attributed somewhat to the introduction of competitively ranked matchmaking versions of some of the most popular game modes, including bedwars.
Leaderboards displaying players' rankings are also shown publicly, adding to the pressure of performing well in ranked play.