Esports is an industry made up of electronic games, which focus on the competitive playing of video games for both public recognition and cash prizes.
All over the world, many thousands of professional players compete in numerous tournaments, often for huge sums of prize money, and their matches are enjoyed
A Modern Development Of An Old Idea
Although esports have only really established themselves over the last decade or so, they have their roots in video game competitions that have been around since the dawn of the games themselves.
Back in the day when video games were exclusively housed in arcade cabinets (think Space Invaders and Pac Man), various organisations used to stage local competitions to find the best players.
Of course, the internet wasn’t around in those days, and so the competitive scene was fairly small and catered to a niche audience.
Today, thanks to the internet, we live in a world which is much better connected, and it is possible for people to communicate and interact in real time no matter how far apart they might be, geographically speaking.
This has helped competitive gaming to explode in popularity, and the modern eSports phenomenon is the natural result.
For it to succeed as an eSport, a video game needs to be one that meets certain criteria. To begin with, it needs to be a game in which the outcome is determined by the skill and ability of the players involved, rather than by luck or chance.
The game also needs to be suited to the tournament format so that a large number of initial entrants can be whittled down, round by round, to a couple of finalists. Last, but not least, the game needs to be one that is just as entertaining to watch as a spectator as it is to play as a competitor.
Given these criteria, esports tournaments tend to focus on games that belong to one of several broad genres, as follows:
- Shooters are games in which a large part of the action involves an individual or team of players eliminating their opponents with weapons. Games can be described as first-person or third-person shooters, depending on the visual perspective which is adopted for the game, with first-person shooters being the most common. Notable games in this genre include Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) and Overwatch (OW).
- Real-time Strategy games are those in which strategy plays the most important role in determining the outcome, with strategic decisions being made by players in real time. Examples of games in this genre include Warcraft III and StarCraft II.
- Multiplayer Online Battle Arena (MOBA) games have their roots in the real-time strategy genre, but also include other popular gaming elements, such as action and role-playing. Popular eSports games in this genre are Dota 2 and League of Legends.
- Sports games are those which realistically portray an established sport such as football, basketball and motor racing. Like their real-life counterparts, these video games usually involve elements of both action and strategy, and examples include FIFA Football titles and NBA 2K. Whilst video games of other genres are also featured in eSports events, the four genres described here tend to dominate the scene and are most popular with those who like to watch eSports matches as spectators.
You can find all the most famous esports games, the schedule of the matches and watch players playing the games in real time on esportguide.com.
Are eSports Really Sports?
Some people argue about whether or not playing video games is really a sport, because it doesn’t involve as much physical exertion as sports like football or tennis.
However, eSports proponents and participants are keen to point out that the activity requires just as much skill, talent and dedication as other less physical sports such as darts and snooker.
On that basis, the competitive playing of video games can indeed be viewed as a sport, and even the International Olympic Committee has started looking at ways of making eSports an Olympic event in the future.
How To Watch eSports
ESports tournaments attract large numbers of spectators who attend the events in person and watch matches being played on multiple big screens by some of the best players in the world.
That said, the majority of fans tend to watch eSports matches from the comfort of their own homes via online streaming services. The best-known streaming services for eSports matches are Twitch and Mixer, but many other services also have eSports channels.
Start Watching eSports Today
The fact that you are reading these words on a computer screen means that you already have everything you need to start enjoying the thrills and spills offered by eSports, so visit esportsguide.com and you could be watching your first eSports match in a matter of minutes.
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