A Beginner’s Guide To eSports

A Beginner’s Guide To eSports

It’s no shame to admit that you don’t actually understand what the term “eSports” refers to.  After all, it’s a word that’s only recently buzzed onto the online gaming and sports scene.  Chances are that you’ve heard of the word, though.  The easiest definition of eSports would be to say that it involves competitive gaming at a professional level.  Gaming, you say?  Yes, you know, the type that we used to indulge in as kids making use of a controller (that we used to bicker about) and a television set.  Admittedly, the gaming scene has changed ever so slightly since then.  Also, there’s money to be made.  In fact, prize pools of up to $24 million dollars serving a single eSports event.

eSports may be applied to any game where there is a winner and a loser (much like traditional sports). The bigger the player base and the more support enjoyed by the game, the more suited the game will be to the eSports arena.  Add the team-factor into the mix and you end up with a sure-fire winner.  The majority of eSports games are team-based and are played in leagues throughout a specific time period, generally a year, eventually culminating in one major, final event.  Think World Cup, if you will.

Popular eSports Games Regularly Played

There are two main variants of games played in major eSports competitions.  The first one is the first-person shooter game, and the second is referred to as “MOBA”, i.e. Multiplayer Online Battle Arena.  In summary, MOBAs are two teams playing against one another with the aim of defeating the other, and gaining an advantage by reaching their home base on the other side of the game map.  By killing your opponent, gold and experience are gained that may be applied to grow and develop your own strengths and team character.

Chances are that if you’ve heard of eSports, you’ve heard of Dota 2 and League of Legends.  These are the two most popular MOBA games in the world today.  MOBA games have a signature top-down perspective.

First person shooter games, on the other hand, have a first person perspective.  Views may be switched to a flying camera when spectating a wider area around the first person shooter.  Counter Strike: Global Offensive is arguably the most popular first person (FPS) shooter game around and enjoys a worldwide following of players as well as fans.  The goal is a straightforward one: simply wipe out the opponent by using brute force and sophisticated weaponry and strategy.

Other games include traditional sports games such as FIFA.  The FIFA football series of games are growing in popularity at an alarming speed, with major traditional football clubs like West Ham buying and sponsoring their own representative players.

NBA champion Rick Fox (Los Angeles Lakers) owns Echo Fox, an eSports franchise.   Echo Fox is the owner of League of Legends as well as Counter Strike: Global Offensive teams.

The Venues

So where do I go if I want to witness a  live eSports tournament?  The tournaments are generally held at large arenas such as London’s Gfinity Arena.  The League of Legends World Championships will be held at the Beijing National Stadium in November of this year.  The stadium has a 91,000 person capacity.

You can also do your eSports viewing online as there are many platforms. Twitch and YouTube are usually the platforms of choice for eSports.  The BBC and ESPN often broadcast the major events on television and ESPN has a dedicated online channel on their sports site where you can follow all notable eSports news and events.

Catching The Drift Can Be Tricky

Trying to follow a tournament or even a single game can be tricky business, especially if you’re not really familiar with the game.  A great place to start is to follow simple tournaments and eSports events at first.  Examples are Rocket League and Street Fighter V.  Rocket League is very similar to football, except its played in miniature rocket cars.  The outcome very much depends on the driving ability.

Street Fighter V is also ideal as a learning curve.  There can be only one winner and the battle is fought until such time as one fighter is defeated by the other.

First person fighter games and MOBA’s are slightly trickier to get the hang of, especially if you’re not a player yourself.  The agenda’s may be difficult to understand simply by spectating.  A bit of research about the goings on in the teams and their signature strategies goes a long way towards gaining a better understanding.

There’s simply no denying it, eSports is the way of the future for gaming as well as sports betting.  It’s on the cards and it’s in the stars.  May the best team win!

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