Esports are not a new phenomenon. They have been around for as long as video games have existed, but it has taken several decades for them to become mainstream. The last five years has seen a surge in their accessibility and popularity. So if this is your first time hearing about esports, you’re not alone. This article is an introduction, a beginner’s guide to esports.
Electronic sports, or esports, are competitive computer games. These games often feature skilled players who compete for real money and rewards.
Esports are somewhat similar to traditional sports in that the best players are rewarded for their skill and expertise at a game. Esport competitions are organized in the form of tournaments where players from an eligible region can attend to compete.
Games hardly start as esports, and those that try right off the bat fail hard. So what separates esports games like League of Legends from others which fail to become esports?
Before a game can become an esport, it needs to become and remain popular. The stickiness factor of a game manifests in its ability to keep current players entertained while attracting new players. Game developers keep their games interesting by adding new content and adopting changes recommended by most community members. Building a loyal community around a game also contributes to its stickiness factor.
The design of player vs player games naturally facilitates competition. Story-based role-play games hardly ever become esports because their format does not lend itself to competition. Battle Royale, First Person Shooters, Real-time Strategy, Trading Card Games, and Multiplayer Online Battle Arena (MOBI) video games are more likely to become esports as they are designed as competitive games.
Fortnite, League of Legends, CS: GO, Overwatch, Hearthstone, and StarCraft 2 are examples of popular esports that meet these criteria.
In addition to popularity and game style, games that become esports have a strong foundation that allows the natural progression to a competitive game with real rewards. This includes building competitiveness into the structure of a game.
For a video game to succeed as an esport, it must have rules and guidelines for competitive and non-competitive play. This ensures that players understand the rules for game play allow.
Esports need the support of players, fans, and investors to keep the game going as an esport. Accordingly, losing the support, especially of fans and investors, means the game cannot succeed in this sector.
Like traditional competitive games, esports bring together pro players from different parts of the world. These players are the best in their respective games and make a living from playing them competitively. In a tournament, the players play against each other in teams or individually, often for high financial prizes.
The players are also contracted by other organizations to play on their behalf, as happens in sports like basketball or football.
Esports are competitive. Therefore, to get to the professional level, players must spend a great deal of time practicing their game of interest.
Esports have come a long way and will continue to become popular as more people show interest in gaming as a hobby or profession.