Direct showdowns, merging geographies and level playing field, what makes Esports unique

During the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, we have seen a slowdown or halting of all sporting events, however, Esports has continued to have events take place over online platforms.

Anand Krishnaswamy June 17, 2020 13:25:49 IST
Direct showdowns, merging geographies and level playing field, what makes Esports unique

Esports and video games are often confused with each other. Many people refer to Esports as video games because the difference between the two is not very well known.

The basic factor that distinguishes the two is that Esports is competitive while video games are not. This is not to say that there is no competition in the latter. In the case of video games, the competitions are not through online multiplayer games or through live matches. The competition is through high scores. Video gamers compete by comparing their high scores or their scores for a round rather than a direct competition.

Direct showdowns merging geographies and level playing field what makes Esports unique

Representational image of an ESports game in progress.

In Esports, players play against each other in direct showdowns, making it far more exciting for spectators. This brings about the second major distinction between the two disciplines.

Esports has a live audience. The competition can be live cast for spectators on a large screen at a venue or even streamed for viewing on smaller personal devices. Many Esports events today are also streamed online for fans who are not able to attend it at the venue.

Today, Esports is a massive market, and given current trends, it is only likely to grow. According to a report published in Business Insider, towards the end of 2019, the Esports industry will be worth more than $1.5 billion even according to the most conservative estimates. This is a market size that can no longer be overlooked.

This brings up the question of why an industry that is digital in nature, where people do not interact physically with each other is gaining so much popularity.

There are several factors that can be responsible for this. In the world of Esports, there are fantasy scenarios that are unlikely to occur in real life, and they can be used for competition.

Esports such as Counter-Strike: Global Offensive pits two teams against each other in bomb defusing and hostage rescue scenarios with one team playing terrorist and the other as a counter-terrorist. Esports such as Dota 2 takes players into realms of fantasy where the characters they control have skills and abilities that are super-human. These special worlds or scenarios add to the excitement for the players and fans, who are looking for something outside of the ordinary.

Esports has become more popular recently due to technological advancements. Unlike regular sports, there is a far lesser need for space to play or practice. All that is required is an appropriate device (PC, laptops, mobiles, or consoles) along with comfortable seating while playing.

Today, technology also allows for Esports to take place over the internet, with players or teams competing against each other while being in different locations.

During the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, we have seen a slowdown or halting of all sporting events, however, Esports has continued to have events take place over online platforms. This ability to play with people sitting far away also attracts casual players as they can play with friends who are in a different location from the comfort of their own homes.

Another large contributor to popularity is that Esports is a truly fair world for all its competitors. Traditional sports are a domain of physically gifted athletes. Most basketball players, for instance, playing in the NBA today are taller than the average populace and basketball is a game that naturally favours the tall. This height advantage disqualifies many people who would otherwise love to play the sport professionally.

The world of Esports has had players who find daily tasks difficult due to disabilities, yet they are playing at the highest levels. The best example of such a player is found in Kuro 'KuroKy' Salehi Takhasomi. He was born with a disability in his legs and would struggle to use them. He has stated that this very weakness of his is what attracted him to video games, which in turn led him into Esports.

Today, aged 27, 'KuroKy' is the sixth richest Esports professional in the world with his total earning from tournaments having crossed $5 Million. As a Dota 2 player, he is one of the few players who has the achievement of winning 'The International.'

Among the fans of Dota 2, he is also one of the most popular players today. In traditional sports, it is unheard of for a person who finds it difficult to use their legs be able to compete with regular athletes. This has led to people with disabilities only competing with those who also have disabilities, an issue that Esports overcomes.

As new technologies emerge and break new frontiers in the world of Esports, the popularity will only increase as perseverance with a will to improve is the only advantage players have and need in this world.

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