The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide To eSports


Whetheryou’reanavidvideogamerorit’sbeenawhilesinceyoupickedupacontroller,there’sastrongchanceyou’llatleasthaveheardtheterm‘eSports’。

AccordingtotheBBC,eSportsisbecomingsopopularthatit’ssettohittotalannualrevenuesof£1billionby2020。

Theaimofthisguideistohelpyougetuptospeedandexplainwhatallthefussisabout

WhatiseSports?

Simplyput,eSportsisthephenomenonofcompetitivevideogaming,whetherindividuallyorteam-based。

ThemoreplayersandthegreatersupportaneSporthas,thebetterthecompetitionandthebiggertheprizemoney。

MosteSportsareplayedintournamentsorleaguesand,muchliketraditionalsports,theseeventsareoftenconfinedtocertaingeographicalregions。

Thismeansthatformostoftheyear,Europeanteamsorplayersonlycompeteagainstothersintheirowncontinent。

Competitivevideogamingishardlynew。

It’sbeenaroundsincevideogamesfirstappearedinthelate1970s,whencrowdswouldformaroundanarcademachineandplacebetsonthewinneroroutcome。

Althoughcompetitiveleaguesdidspringupovertheyears,mosteventuallyfolded–predominantlythankstothembeingfairlylocaltournaments。

But40yearslater–thankstothepowerofmoderntechnologyandglobalcommunication,eSportsattractshundredsofprofessionalplayers,worldwidecompaniesandbigprizemoney。

Forexample,TheInternational2017–anenormousDota2tournamentwhichtookplaceinSeattle,hadatotalprizepoolof$24,687,919(£18,494,209),aswellasmorethanfivemillionfanviewers。

Across2017,eSportsrevenueisexpectedtoriseto£395m(upfrom£100min2012)。

PopulareSportsgames

ThetwomostpopulartypesofeSportsgamesareFirst-PersonShooters(FPS)andMultiplayerOnlineBattleArenas(MOBA)。

MOBAsarereal-timefantasystrategygameswhichinvolvetwoteamsofplayersvyingtodestroyeachother’shomebase。

Playerspickfromcharactersofvariousstrengthsandabilitieswhichdevelopoverthecourseofthegame。

Byfar,themostpopularMOBAsforeSportscompetitionareDota2andLeagueofLegends。

FPSgames,meanwhile,areprimarilymilitary-basedshootinggamesviewedfromafirst-person(orpoint-of-view)perspective。

ThemostpopularexampleofaneSportsFPSisCounterStrike:GlobalOffensive(oftenshortenedtoCS:GO),whichenjoysamassivefollowingaroundtheworld。

Theaimistouseamixofsophisticatedweapons,bruteforceandstrategytobattleyourwaythrougheachlevel,scoringpointsfordefeatingplayersoftheoppositeteam。

OutsideofMOBAsandFPSgames,sportsgamesarerapidlygrowinginpopularity。

Asyoumightexpect,thebiggesteSportssportsgameistheFIFAfootballseries–whichhasreplicateditsvastglobalsuccessinaneSportssetting。

Infact,real-lifefootballteamslikeManchesterCity,WestHamUnitedandVFLWolfsburgareevengettinginontheact,sponsoringFIFAplayerstoofficiallyrepresentthemineSportstournaments。

eSportsstars

AlthoughthereisplentyofcompetitionintheeSportsworld,thebestplayersandteamsinCounterStrike,Dota2andLeagueofLegendstournamentsearnanextremelygoodlivingasfull-timeplayers。

ThebiggestnamesineSportsinclude:

EvilGeniuses

US-basedteamEvilGeniuseswereformedbackin1999andhavesincewon$27,315,498(£20,423,798)inprizemoney。

MostfamousforplayingDota2,EvilGeniuseswonTheInternational2015andtookhomeover$6million(£4。

5million)inprizemoney。

TheteamalsoboastsprofessionalHaloexperts,aswellasStreetFighterVandStarCraftIIplayers。

Cloud9

TheCloud9teamcompetesattheveryhighestlevelinLeagueofLegends,CS:GO,Overwatch,CallofDutyandmanyothers。

Theteamisnowworthover$30million(£22。

4million)intotal。

Victor“Punk”Woodley

Atjust18-years-old,“Punk”isarelativenewcomer,butiswidelyhailedasthebestStreetFighterVplayerineSportsrightnow。

Punkburstonthescenefollowingthereleaseofthegamebackin2016,andyetbarelyayearlater,manynowseehimasthemantobeat。

Withearningsof$181,320(£135,537)fromjusteighttournaments,Punkisstillalongwayofffromearningthekindofmoneythatsomemoreexperiencedplayersdoonbiggerteams,buthe’searningfast,withplentyoftimetocatchup。

WheretowatcheSports

IfyouwanttowatcheSportstournamentsinperson,you’llhavetobuyaticketforeventsatlargevenuesliketheGfinityArenainLondon,ortheBeijingNationalStadium。

TheESPNeSportsCalendarisagreatplacetofindoutwhichtournamentsarehappeningaroundtheworld。

Mostfans,however,choosetowatcheSportsonline–asit’sfreeandsimpletodo!

Therearemanyplatforms,butYouTubeandTwitcharetheviewingchannelsofchoiceformostfansandbigtournamentsalike。

Twitchisanonlinestreamingplatformthatallowsanyonetobroadcasttheirgaming–whetheranamateurgameroreSportsprofessional。

WhatevereSportyoufancywatching,justgototwitch。

tvandclickontherelevanticon!

Gettingtogripswithgames

Tryingtofollowaleague,tournament,player,orevenasinglegamecanbeconfusingifdon’tknowhowtheywork。

Despiteourbeginnersguide,FPSgamesarequitehardtogettogripswith,andMOBAsareeventrickier。

IfyoulikethesoundofaneSports,justheadtoTwitchandwatchsomeinaction–it’sthebestwaytolearn!

There’salsoquiteabitofeSportsjargontogetyourheadaround,althoughtherearesomedecentonlinetutorialstohelpgetyoustarted。

Buttohelpyoueaseintoit,werecommendStreetFighterVorRocketLeaguearegreatplacestostart。

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