Introduction to Esports Games
If you’ve visited an online sportsbook in the past year or so you may notice there’s a new addition to the sidebar on the site – something called eSports. In a nutshell eSports, or electronic sports, could best be described as professional video game playing. These aren’t just a couple friends playing Donkey Kong however, this is a highly competitive industry where the best gamers are really held in the same regard as LeBron James or Tom Brady within this culture.
To begin, it must be noted that eSports aren’t for everybody. You may not consider these gamers ‘athletes’ in the traditional sense and what viewing the competition boils down to is essentially watching somebody play video games. If you’re familiar with the games however, you know just how impressive the talent level is for these competitors. Plus, it never hurts to have the ability to wager on the outcome.
What is eSports?
Electronic sports is the new culture of basically people getting together to play video games. It has become popular for both adults and children, with more types of games being added into the mix continually. Electronic sports can be played as an individual, or as part of a team taking on a different group of players.
Esports tournaments are also now taking place in huge arenas in front of thousands of people. Gamers earn sponsorships as well as financial ‘tips’ from their fans when playing on their own streaming channels. A tournament called ‘The International’ features 16 teams from around the globe and features a prize pool that tops $20 million.
The popularity of modern eSports dates back to right around the year 2000. Of course, people have been playing video games against each other since Pong came out in 1972. This familiarity with the gaming is what has made eSports so popular – with people of all ages. Of course, today’s games are much more advanced than a two dimensional table tennis game.
What Makes a Game an eSport?
OK so the term ‘sport’ is not agreed on by everyone when discussing electronic sports. Are eSports the most physical activity out there? Not at all but when you’re playing first person shooter games with thousands of people watching you there is a definite skill that is needed. By practice, by natural ability, or by a little of both – the elite eSport players are the best in the world at what they do.
Another great thing about eSports is that they are so wide-versed. There are fighting games, shooting games, sports games, and more that fall under the label of eSports. There have been Pokemon tournaments. Amazon held an eSports tournament for casual games found in their app store such as Pac-Man and Disney Crossy Road (with a prize pool of over $100,000).
Why Are eSports So Popular?
No matter how much some of us love football, the odds of us playing in the Premier League someday are pretty slim. Whether it be due to physical limitations, location issues, lack of funds for training, etc. all but a select few of us are resigned to the fate of paying our bills with a 9-5 job instead of scoring goals on Saturday. That’s not the case with eSports however. Anybody with even a little hand-eye coordination can play video games to a certain degree. You can practice on your own time, in any weather, in any location with a computer. With an Internet connection you can become a global star, attracting sponsorships and getting ‘paid to play’ by major gaming companies.
This is why eSports have become so popular. We watch professional sports such as the NFL or NBA in awe because the players were granted immense physical talents by the grace of God. Esports players are by and large ‘everyday dudes (and dude-ettes)’. They are great at what they do, but they’ve gotten there through countless hours of practice. It’s not too far-fetched that with the right determination and work ethic, anybody could become the next “Messi of eSports”.
Top Esport Games
Although there are many, many different types of eSport games to play, by and large the most popular are the first person shooting or battle games such as Call of Duty or League of Legends. There is a Call of Duty Championship as well as qualifying leagues such as the Call of Duty World League. One of the flagship eSport tournaments is the League of Legends World Championship – playing the game most recently recognized as the most played in the world. 43 million people watched the 2016 League of Legends World Championship which proves its popularity.
Some other popular eSport games include Starcraft II, Super Smash Bros, Killer Instinct, and Injustice: Gods Among Us. World of Tanks has an eSport tournament associated with it as does FIFA and many more.
Wagering on eSports
One of the reasons so many viewers tuned into tournaments such as the League of Legends World Championships is because the action is exciting and it’s a game millions of other people play. There’s another aspect that shouldn’t be overlooked which is the fact that people can bet on the outcomes of these tournaments.
Any reputable online casino these days will offer some sort of eSport wagering. You bet on eSports just like you would other team sports, laying odds on a certain team to defeat the other. There are prop bets on what player has the most kills and you can enter into side bets of player A vs. player B. With the popularity of eSports on the rise, the amount of wagering options offered will only continue to grow.
The best way to get interested in eSports is to actually start playing the different games yourself. Once you know the basics of the game you’ll see just how impressive the professional players really are. After that you’ll soon be able to enter into eSports tournaments yourself – or at least place a bet on them.