The Green Wave Gazette

Are You Familiar with eSports?

An Overview of Virtual Games and Competitions

Xavier Curney

Lidia Vidal, Contributor

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An eSport is a multiplayer video game played competitively for spectators, typically by professional gamers. The competitions are held regionally, nationally, and across the world, and teams must qualify to participate. Although eSports are similar to typical sport competitions, the difference is that they are virtual.

There is a variety of different eSport games played, but the most popular ones typically fall under one of the following categories: first-person shooters (FPS), such as Overwatch, real time strategy (RTS), such as Warcraft III, and multiplayer online battle arenas (MOBA), which includes League of Legends. 

Although E-sports are similar to typical sport competitions, the difference is that they are virtual. ”

— Lidia Vidal

In addition to these three, there are also sport games, such as the Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) series and racing, which includes games like Trackmania. And there are games like Hearthstone that does not fit into the above categories. 

But are eSports professional sports?

Most eSport competitions involve prize money, which can range extensively. Some competitions award their winners with far more money than others. According to the online site E-Sport Earnings, at the Dota 2 International of 2017, the overall prize pool was around $25 million. This figure beat their own previous record from 2016, when the Dota 2 International “set a remarkable record of $18,429,613 with the price pool for its biggest annual tournament, The International,” according to Vlad Savov in The Verge. In fact, no other game has even come close to that prize pool amount. The closest was the League of Legend’s 2016 world championships with around $5 million.

Esport tournaments happen yearly during specific seasons. Every region across the world follows the same format. The year starts with a spring split. From there, a cross regional tournament is held, called Mid-Season Invitational (MSI), where the top teams from the past split compete. After MSI, the second half of the season starts with the Summer Split. The teams that finish in the top three for the summer split may join the rest of the world for the final competition of the year, called Worlds.

Some people argue that eSports are not a sport because they do not require physical skill. Although that is true, eSports do require reaction speeds, teamwork, and strategy just like any other qualified sport. In fact, the schedules for eSports tournaments can be found on ESPN’s website, right alongside other sports such as The NBA and The NFL.

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Like other better-known sports such as basketball and football, eSports hold big competitions and also award competitors with large money prizes. In addition, many fans attend, follow, and talk about eSport competitions, just as football fans follow the Super Bowl.

According to Forbes Magazine’s Mar 16, 2017 issue, at the The Intel Extreme Masters World Championship 2017, “more than 46 million watched [the] live e-sport event.” The article also says that at the finale of the 2017 World Championship held in Poland, the live attendance was “more than 173,000 attendees – that’s about 100,000 more than the Superbowl last [2016] year.”

So is it time that eSports get the same respect as other major league sports?

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