Say Hello To Esports: A Beginner’s Guide

Say Hello To Esports: A Beginner’s Guide
  • Matt Hempstead

What is an eSport? To put it simply, it’s a multi-player video game played competitively and they’re quickly gaining traction. To some, the concept of watching people play video games is a tough one to wrap your head around. Why should I watch someone play a video game when I can just play it myself? Well, it’s the same as in professional sports. You want to see it played at the highest level. If you don’t know anything about eSports or how to go about watching it, no fret. This beginner’s guide will walk you through it.

A good starting game is CounterStrike: Global Offensive, and it might be the most popular after the ELEAGUE Atlanta Major reached 1 million viewers on Twitch.

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CS:GO is a 5v5 first-person shooter. Team’s take turns playing on the Terrorist side (T-side) and the Counter-Terrorist side (CT side). The goal for the T-side is to plant the bomb at specified locations, or to kill all members of the other team. The C-T side needs to stop this from happening. Each team gets 15 rounds on each side and the first team to win 16 rounds takes the match. Those are the basics. Once you understand the objective you can start to pick up the strategies. What guns do I buy, where do I throw grenades, which bomb-site should we go to. Not only is it a very mechanical game that requires precise accuracy and focus, there’s also a very intense strategical aspect to it.

Another massive and growing eSport is League of Legends which is a little more difficult to understand.

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Once again, the overall concept is simple. It’s a 5v5 MOBA (Multi-player Online Battle Arena) in which each team tries to destroy the other team’s nexus. Now it get’s complicated but stick with me. The game features over 130 unique champions that have unique skills and abilities. Prior to the game, teams have a pick-ban phase to decide which champions will be played in the game (obviously some champions are better than others and are highly contested). With that decided, the teams take to the Rift. Gold is earned by killing neutral minions, killing enemy champions or by taking enemy turrets which guard the path to the nexus. With gold you can buy items to make your champion stronger. The larger the gold differential, the easier it is to win fights against the other team. The difficulty is understanding what each champion does but that can only be picked up by checking out some League of Legends matches on Twitch. Now’s as good a time as ever as the Spring Split is currently underway.

DOTA 2 is similar to League of Legends as it to is a 5v5 MOBA. The goal is to destroy the other team’s Ancient as opposed to the Nexus but the concept is largely the same. It takes time to learn what each Hero does but it’s only a matter of time until you grasp what’s happening.

To finish off, fighting games are super easy to pick up and wildly entertaining.

ESPN 2 televised a Street Fighter V tournament back in July and it brought it a large audience that had never watched SFV or eSports before. Whether it’s Super Smash Bros, Street Fighter, Mortal Kombat, etc, they’re all pretty straight forward. Beat your opponent in a 1v1 duel.

Esports may be daunting at first but they’re quickly growing into the spotlight. Sports teams such as the Philadelphia 76ers and the Boston Bruins have already branched into eSports. Live tournaments have sold out arenas such as Madison Square Garden and the Air Canada Centre. They’re a big deal and have a massive following with certain teams having overwhelming fan bases. If you’re not familiar with the TSM chants, you will be soon.

So get into eSports, it’s not that bad.