Video games are close to all of our hearts – Whether our first experience was on a GameBoy or an N64, many of us can recall fond memories of time spent gaming since childhood. I had never imagined a world where competitive gaming would be occurring on a global scale for millions of players to enjoy and share – Yet here we are: As a League of Legends player since Season 2, it has been incredible to see the rise of eSports and the amount of passion and talent showcased from all around the world. What kinds of changes will we see in the eSports industry as we move into yet another year and the competition and opportunities continue to grow?
Andrew Pallet, owner of Darevolt.com and a spirited gamer, has graciously offered some thoughts on the state of eSports. I hope you’ll take a read and listen of what he has to say and share your thoughts as well!
Depending on how old you are, your first experience of competitive gaming will be very different. It could be as simple as booting your PC and joining a game online, or it might involve lugging your whole rig round to your friend’s house and spending what seemed like forever connecting wires before getting to the good stuff. Or just playing a console, but that ruins my comparison.
Fast forward a few years (for me at least) and video games are now a huge cultural phenomenon, with eSports leading the charge.
Now more than ever it seems like people want to discuss eSports – Twitch got bought by Amazon, what does this mean? Are eSports comparable to athletic sports?
I spoke with my friend, eSports organizer and pro Hearthstone player Alex Baguley about eSports in the UK and beyond. Take a look:
We talked about a lot and you should definitely check it out (shameless plug over). I wanted to say a lot more about eSports, which I hope I’ll be able to do in future episodes, but I’ll make a start here.
As the video games industry continues to grow (let’s not forget it’s still growing – Faster than other entertainment mediums I might add), there are going to be a few key moments which define their standards over the longer term. One I like to joke about is Action/RPG characters eating a McDonald’s Big Mac to regain health instead of a generic food-looking thing.
We’ve seen from The International over the years that prize money has been able to attract more attention for DotA 2 compared to League of Legends, even though League has a much larger player base. Obviously, Valve has a bit of cash kicking around to throw at the game and the compendium was a pretty smart business move.
If money is the main driver, though, do we run the risk of eSports becoming a shouting match? Whoever can bag the advertisers with the deepest pockets wins?
Right now, I don’t think it’s that big of a deal. People are still figuring it out, dipping a toe in and waiting to see how things are going forward. It’s still a very young form of sports, let’s not forget. Adverts right now seem to be in a good place – GIF’s on player’s twitch streams don’t really distract from the gameplay, and adverts in between matches are essentially the same as watching TV. Even product placement makes more sense than it does in the music or film industries because the players actually need to use keyboards, mice and all the other peripherals to play their games.
What is my point? I don’t know. I ramble. These are just some thoughts I wanted to get out there so people can talk about them – that’s kind of the whole point of the videos I’m doing. Agree, disagree – It doesn’t matter. Open conversation will be the key to the success of eSports, as long as it’s constructive. That’s kind of a point, right?
Edited by Valkyrie – Images courtesy of the LoL eSports Flickr.