How to understand eSport in 5 minutes
Cybersport, computer sport, eSports – video game competition. Its history goes back to the 80s. In the 90s, cyber-sports evolved from a simple arcade ride into a competition between two teams or players. It is considered the fastest-growing entertainment industry.
Cybersports have many elements of traditional sports.
Teams, also known as clubs, are organizations that recruit players and work with them through contracts.
Coaches – prepare teams for competition, help to level up skills.
Managers – solve organizational and administrative issues.
Boot Camp – Cyber training camps where players get together and train until they turn blue.
Tournaments are tournaments by discipline, by game. Popular genres and games include:
First-person shooters – CS:GO, Overwatch;
Multiplayer Online Battle Arena (MOBA) – Dota 2, League of Legends;
Royal battles – Fortnite, PUBG;
Real-time strategies – StarCraft;
Collection card games – Gwent, Hearthstone;
Fighting games – Super Smash Bros., Street Fighter;
Racing simulators and arcades – Gran Turismo, Project CARS.
Matches – battles that take place online and in the real field. Virtual sport is popular and attracts the attention of major companies. It’s easy to join the action – just connect to the Internet to watch the broadcast.
How’s it going?
The professional scene is controlled by two sides: game publishers and tournament operators. Publishers develop and promote the game, and if necessary, they start servers and interact with operators. Operators are responsible for the competition. They find a platform in the network or in real life, invite teams, form rules, sell the rights to broadcast and pay prizes.
But the industry will not survive without cyber athletes. Teams influence both sides: they advise to improve the balance in the game, offer changes for the tournament rules.
So what are the competition seasons and tournaments?
The calendar of virtual competitions is divided into seasons. As a rule, one season lasts a year. Dota 2, League of Legends, Overwatch and many other games keep this division. The world champion is determined by the results of each season. Most often it happens at the LAN-tournament, which is held with the support of the publisher of the game.
Tournaments are held online or offline. There are qualifying rounds, long leagues or small regular competitions online. Because of the risks associated with their existence, much depends on the organizers. Online tournaments are faced with:
- The use of software to bypass the rules;
- Team departure
- Technical problems.
LAN tournaments are the main events in the game calendar. They are held on the local network, from which they are named. All participants are gathered in the same room, which immediately removes the risk of possible escape of the team. Technical problems will be solved by experts, unfair players are caught by the referees, and the risk that the communication will be minimized.
Who’s paying for this?
There are a lot of sources of money for the tournament:
- Sale of tickets and broadcasting rights;
- Advertising platforms;
- Contributions from sponsors;
- Publisher support. However, these are main sponsors who help the tournament operator in exchange for advertising.
Most often, large electronics companies are interested in sponsorship. LG Electronics has sponsored iBUYPOWER Masters IV on CS:GO with a prize fund of $200,000, and Intel is hosting its series of tournaments, the Intel Extreme Masters.
Becoming a title sponsor or just one of the main sponsors is not a bad idea. The company’s logo will be shown dozens of times on broadcasts due to its duration. LAN-tournaments last several days and are held from morning to evening, during this time there are dozens of matches. There will be a lot of players among the spectators. The ideal hit in the target audience is an example of a situation in which each side remains with the benefit. Companies receive advertising, teams, and organizers receive funding, and viewers see with their own eyes the awesomeness of technology that the company promotes.
At the same time, it is not necessary to hold large-scale events. Very often companies sponsor tournaments for young players, and the range of interested corporations is very wide. For example, CS:GO tournaments for non-top teams are sponsored by Kalashnikov.
How to watch and understand?
Broadcasts for home viewing are conducted on special streaming services, such as Twitch, Youtube or Mixer. As in the big sport, all matches are commented by specially trained people who know how to inflame at the right moments or actively cheer up after beautiful game situations.
In rare cases, you can find broadcasts for beginners, where, in addition to comments, explain the basic rules of the game. There are few such broadcasts, so the best way to understand what is happening in the match is to play yourself. If you don’t have time to play, it’s enough to remember the conditions of victory. In shooters and fighting games – it’s killing the enemy, in MOBA and strategies – the destruction of his base, and the racer just come to the finish line first.
Can I become a cybersportsman?
Yes, and in theory, it is even easier than in ordinary sports. For a successful career in traditional sports you need to attend a specialized training section from childhood, or better, a school with a team, or to get caught in the eyes of a scout and hope for good luck.
In a cybersportsman’s career, it is easier with this. Most games have a built-in rating system that sifts out players by skills. It is enough to climb to the top, or as close to it as possible to get into the game with a pro. And even if the scouts don’t notice, you can assemble your team and try your luck in the open qualification to the nearest major tournament.
In words, it’s easy to do, but in practice, you need to enter the 0.1% of the game base. It’s not a trivial task, but it’s worth remembering that almost all the new stars of recent years, such as Miracle from Dota 2 or Ropz from CS:GO, got into cybersports just like that.