What are eSports games? A guide for beginner’s to competitive gaming
With all the mainstream media platforms discussing and covering the video gaming world in 2021, you must have definitely bumped onto the term eSports here or there. If you felt a bit puzzled when you first heard the term, we got you covered.
eSports is an umbrella term employed to describe any video game that is being played in a competitive fashion at a professional level. In each eSport niche, there are specific teams that include world-renowned players that make thousands or even millions out of competitions and tournaments.
The concept of competitive gaming is definitely not something that first appeared in 2021, as people in the Western hemisphere have been making a living through eSports for over 10 years now. If you are interested in learning all the basic ideas surrounding eSports, such as what exactly eSports are, keep reading to find answers on the following topics:
- What is eSports?
- When does a game become eSport?
- How to watch eSports yourself
- How to enter eSports competitions
- eSports challenges in 2020
- Gambling and eSports games
- The biggest eSports games across the world
What is eSports?
To start simply, eSports is gaming at a competitive level. It includes exclusive teams, which compete with other professional teams in order to win big sums of prizes routinely. The best teams and players in the world have contracts with different companies, both from and outside the gaming realm, similarly to traditional sports teams.
The number of tournaments and events that occur each year vary from one eSport game to another; for instance, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and Call of Duty tend to have multiple tournaments in different formats. Don’t rush, however, to assume that only shooter games are considered eSports, but more on that later on.
The popularity of eSports has resulted in the formulation of companies and organisations that have more than one single team to compete across various eSports. Take for instance Fnatic, which was founded in 2020 and today it has their own teams competing in more than 10 different games. These include amongst others:
- Fortnite eSports
- League of Legends
Other similar organisations with high profile teams include G2 eSports, Team SoloMid and Team Liquid.
When does a game become eSport?
Any game that can be played in a multiplayer mode has the potential to become an eSport. However, it is important that this game is truly entertaining, otherwise it is very unlikely that it will draw enough attention to itself to reach that high level of viewers and players. As long as a game is entertaining, it will eventually turn into a competitive sport due to players striving for victories and continuing work by the developers behind it.
The main two other elements that are essential for a game to become an eSport is enjoyability and balanced gameplay. The first is pretty self-explanatory; if a game is not fun and exciting, then people are not going to really bother to reach the best possible level of gameplay. Moreover, eSports require viewers, so if a game is not really fun to watch – it won’t become an eSport, even if it has a few very successful and fanatic players.
Balance is also key in eSports games. Let’s say that you play a first-person shooter video game and the one weapon is much superior to the rest; this would automatically secure advantage of one player over the other or of one team over the opposing one. A great example of a balanced game is League of Legends. Here, every player starts at the exact same level and the only factors that can lead the one team to win over the other are skill, team-work and expertise of the game.
How to watch eSports yourself
There is no single platform that will guarantee availability in terms of all eSports viewership. Nonetheless, Twitch appears as the place to be for those into watching eSports. Another great tool to catch up to all the great eSports events taking place is the eSports Calendar. It doesn’t cover all the eSports games available, but it offers detailed information about the events of the most popular ones. Keep in mind that every big eSport event will be streamed lived and will be available on at least one social media platform, so just stay tuned with forums and the above tool.
Besides live-streaming on Twitch or eSports Calendar, you can also google the game name and eSports to find links to live-streams of the event you are interested in. Some eSports that might be challenging to livestream include:
- Street Fighter
- Apex Legends
- Rocket League
- Rainbow Six Siege
How to enter eSports competitions
From watching eSports live to actually competing in these games there is a huge gap that you will need to cover.
Nonetheless, you can start by playing on ranked modes on your favourite eSport; through these, a form of matchmaking takes place that will have you compete against other eSports teams online. Keep in mind that in ranked games there might be some different rules than the normal mode, but the gameplay won’t be completely different than what you have been playing.
When you have reached a point that you are winning frequently on ranked games, then it is probably the time to step-up your game. Some eSports offer themselves a place for the top teams to compete with each other through the platform that they have already been playing; an example of the above is Fortnite’s tournament system.
Third-Party eSports Tournament Providers
However, when it comes to other eSports title, like Call of Duty and Rocket League – players who want to compete at a professional level have to rely on outside platforms for services. Some popular examples include FACEIT, ESL and Gamebattles; all of these provide tournaments and leagues that players can compete against each other. These operate differently from each other, but any tech-savvy user won’t struggle using them effectively. Main steps to compete on one of these include:
- Link your online ID (PSN, PC or Xbox Live)
- Registering on the site
- Searching for matches
Some of these leagues might require commitment in terms of hours and days you will be competing, but others are more chilled, and players compete at random times. At most of these tournaments and events there are some cash prizes involved; to end up competing in top LAN competitions, you will first have to perform strongly on one of the above platforms.
After LAN events, teams or individual competitors can register on open qualifiers. These are very organized, following certain time and day schedules for each match up. Most of the qualifiers take place online, with a few exceptions where big live events take place instead. An example of these is the Call of Duty City Circuit; on this event, anyone can represent various franchises and compete for a spot in the next tournament.
Keep in mind though, that each individual eSports game has its own set of rules, tournaments and ways to move up the ladder to the top leagues. You will need to research a lot on your own, but if you are a skilled player and deserve it – then it is very likely that you will end up competing with the best teams in the world. Discover more on how to get into eSports here.
What challenges do eSports face in 2020?
eSports games biggest challenge today, which remains since their early days, is respectability. Most people outside the eSports realm don’t actually see athletes, rather they see kids playing video games. There have been instances of sports commentators criticizing newspapers dedicated to sports for running pieces about eSports.
An obvious advantage of eSport players over traditional sport players in terms of fanbase is the ability to engage with their fans on a daily basis. Sports events, on the other hand, take place more sporadically. The latter, though, have an established fanbase that is building up for years and attracts prime time on all major TV networks.
A good way forward for eSports would be to establish an effective way for viewers to watch the action as it takes place. Poker glass was added on the tables for this exact same reason. If the industry keeps moving in the right direction, there won’t be long until eSports and sports compete with each other for the prime time position.
Another area where eSports seem to be catching up to traditional sports is their connection with gambling. Most online bookmakers have added a section which is dedicated to eSports. Obviously, eSports betting is still far off in terms of revenue compared to the betting amounts placed on traditional sports online, but it is remarkable that eSports have already been incorporated so unilaterally by online bookmakers.
Similarly to sports betting, eSports betting is also very skill-based, unlike most gambling games that are based purely on luck. Having in-depth knowledge in regards to the eSport you are betting on and teams competing is a prerequisite to have high winning chances. Without the required knowledge, it is fair to say that betting on eSports and gambling are identical.
A concern in relation to eSports and gambling is its link to underaged gambling, as most of the eSports fans are under the age of 18. This is very likely to cause future problems in terms of licensing for eSports, which could eventually even lead up to legislation against eSports.
For someone to bet on their favourite eSports games, there are a few essential steps to follow first:
- Find a bookmaker that offers a variety of eSports bets
- Compare the odds with other bookmakers, who offer the same betting lines
- Sign up on the site and complete the KYC procedure to confirm your personal information
- Deposit at least enough money to cover the minimum deposit limit
- Start placing your bets and live-stream the action as it unfolds
- If you have guessed correctly, you will then be able to withdraw your funds
Below, we will be exploring some of the most popular eSports games in the world; these are ideal for building a career, watching, playing at an amateur level or even betting.
The biggest eSports games across the world
With a 250 million people watching worldwide, there is no shortage of eSports games to cover here. New games are being launched every year, but only a very select few amongst all eSports deserve to be listed here.
To be able to compile this list, we didn’t take into account their popularity globally or regionally, rather the tournament prizes size based on the data provided by eSports earnings site. Check below for more details on each amongst the top eSports games in the world.
With over $224 million awarded across all tournaments so far, Dota 2 takes the leading position. Top players in this team game include Johan Sudstein, Jesse Vainikka and Anathan Pham.
Developed by Valve Corporation, the action here evolves in an arena, where two 5×5 teams are competing with each other to capture the opponents’ base.
Counter Strike: Global Offensive
Although it was only released in 2012, $96 million have already been awarded across tournaments in CSGO. The eLeague and the World Electronic Sports Games tournament are seeing players like Andreas Hojleth, Nicolai Reedtz and Peter Rasmussen reaching the top places year after year.
Valve Corporation is also the developer of this eSport game, which is completely different from Dota 2 though. It is a first-person shooter game, with the terrorists and counter-terrorists competing against each other to either rescue or kill the hostages.
Although it was only released in 2017, Fortnite prizes have already reach $89 million. The Fortnite World Cup and the Fortnite Summer Skirmish Series are gaining huge traction every year, and only more accomplishments are to be expected from the players of this eSports title.
The Epic Games company is the pioneer behind this creation, which offers three different gameplay modes. ‘Save the World’ involves players fighting against zombies for survival, while ‘Battle Royale’ sees players competing against each other. Lastly, the ‘Creative’ mode allows players to take control over how the game will unfold.
League of Legends (LOL)
Many readers would probably expect LOL to be closer to the first place, but only $75 million have been awarded in League of Legends eSports tournaments since its release year in 2009. LOL World Championship has huge viewership though, whereby Sang Hyeok Lee, Ho Seong Lee and Jun Sik Bae tend to steal the spotlight every year.
This is a purely strategic, multiplayer eSports title, developed by Riot Games. Two different teams compete with each other on a 3×3 or 5×5 format, trying to conquer the enemy base by sequentially defeating the enemy protective towers. It is similar to Dota in terms of gameplay, but the animations and characters vary greatly.
Released in 2010, StarCraft’s II WCS Global Finals, amongst other top rated tournaments, have awarded $33 million to the contestants. Developed by Blizzard, it is the first real-time strategy game that we have touched upon here.
The scenario is a sci-fi one, which features three different species. The game is divided in three parts, involving a different race at each part.
Getting Started with eSports Games
If you feel ready to go after a professional career on any of the aforementioned games, then there are some preliminary steps that can boost your chances for success.
To become recognised, besides skill, you will also need some form of online presence. Incorporating wordpress themes into a professional gaming site to showcase your skill, organise your team, find enemies to compete with and also establish a community – is probably the best starting point for your eSports career.
Besides picking one of the best Skywarrior premium themes, you should also join Twitch and build professional social media accounts; preferably Facebook and YouTube. You can start by uploading videos of your gameplay on YouTube, tutorials for beginners and more. Facebook is ideal for finding a huge community of other eSports fans to communicate and build your reputation.
These steps are essential to get noticed, receive sponsorship offers and even get a fair chance into an eSports career. None of the above will guarantee a career, but they tend to be elements that all eSports professional athletes capitalised on early in their careers.
Before we close, do you think that we missed any basic point related to eSports games? Let us know what you think in the comments below.