Updated: Aug 20
If you are constantly on the internet and like to play games, you’ve probably heard about Esports already, and if you didn’t then well, I’ve probably got you curious now, right? The term can be a little bit confusing for some people and its meaning is still not quite clear to everyone! But don’t worry! In this post right here, I’ll be explaining the world of Esports and how it works!
Esports comes from the term electronic sports and it is used to describe competitions using video games. It’s not the same as just competing with friends or other normal players while playing a random game. Esports tournaments are competitive (human vs. human) and it usually has an audience, just like traditional sports.
How does it work?
Esports often takes the form of organized, multiplayer video game competitions, particularly between professional players/gamers, individually or as teams, where their skill and professionalism are celebrated. They are just like professional athletes and know exactly what to do in their respective fields, in this case, in their respective games. The rules and strategies can differ depending on the game in question.
For you to have an idea how things can get serious, professional teams usually have coaches, analysts and even managers who will help the team to grow, get the most out of them and also organise strategies.
One of the things most people love about Esports is that unlike other sports, where men’s and women’s are usually in different teams or tournaments, Esports is technically mixed, having males, females and gender non-conforming players. It is also open to all, regardless of physical ability.
What are the games played?
Esports are very open and can be associated with many different games, but the most common video game genres that are part of esports are multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA), battle royale and real-time strategy (RTS), first-person shooter (FPS), fighting, and card games.
When it comes about popular Esport franchises, this includes some games like League of Legends, Dota, Valorant, Overwatch, Street Fighter, Counter-Strike, Super Smash Bros. and StarCraft, among many others.
Some games are played on consoles, but others are played using PCs.
How and where do they happen?
Matches can happen online over the internet, and in that case, can be viewed via streaming platforms like Twitch, for example, that broadcast the games in real time online. The increasing availability of online streaming media platforms, particularly YouTube and Twitch, have become central to the growth of esports tournaments.
But some matches can happen at a physical event, over a local area network or LAN, and when it happens like that, spectators can buy their tickets and watch it as a football fan would watch a football match. Usually grand finals happen as physical events, which can be huge and very exciting for those who are there.
The popularity and recognition of Esports first took place in Asia, where we can see a significant growth in China and especially in South Korea, but outside of Asia, Esports are also popular in the Americas and in Europe, with both regional and international events taking place in those regions. In 2015, the first Esports Arena was launched in Santa Ana, California.
These events can be and are watched by millions of fans every year, and those numbers are just growing as time passes.
What are the prizes?
Esports usually offer a cash prize, but not just a small amount of money is involved. We are talking about a lot of money in prizes. To give you an example of the scale of esports, some of the biggest tournaments offer millions in prizes.
Some of the tournaments with the biggest prize pools in history are the Dota 2 International (2019) with $34m, and even the Fortnite World Cup Finals 2019 (Solo) that offered $30m.
Professional players can also make a decent salary, but when it comes to them, it depends a lot on the team, the game and even the player themselves. Some of the top professional players make hundreds of thousands per year, and this is not even considering things like sponsorship deals and streaming donations.
How can I be part of Esports?
If you are interested in getting a career in Esports, you need to keep in mind that there are a lot of different roles in it, like a professional player, a shoutcaster/host, or even coach/analyst and so many more.
There are several ways to start going after a career in Esports. Firstly, the good news is there are more jobs in Esports than ever before, which means it’s easier now to get involved, but at the same time, it requires a lot of hard work, dedication, passion and patience, since it can get pretty competitive.
You can always focus on your work experience since that is a great way to start anything! You can try to reach out to teams, organizations, broadcasters and others. When it comes about getting some experience, contacts are everything, so try to contact respected companies and friendly individuals who can help you develop your skills and give you an insight of the Esports world.
Becoming a volunteer is also an alternative that might help you. There are some companies that are often on the lookout for paid-for and unpaid volunteer positions! You could volunteer as event staff, sit on reception, offer tech support, or even assist visitors. Keep an eye on the positions available! This is something that can put you inside this world and can help you understand more about it, learn new skills, gain valuable experience, and also know people that can help you in the future.
And of course! If you want to be a professional player, don’t let your dream be just a dream. Start working on it! Put the practice in and try to join a local team to start with. Find your niche, learn more about the game you are interested in and develop your skills in it. Make sure to find out your best abilities and don’t get afraid of using them!
The Esports world is growing and fast! More people are interested, that being as spectators or even as professional players. It’s always important to search and learn more about the best opportunities and what Esports can bring to the online game sphere.
In the next years it is certain that this niche will grow even more and we can’t wait to see everything that can happen.
Keep believing in yourself, Streamer! Keep fighting!
With lots of love and wishing you all the luck,
StreamSpell Team 💙