What is E-Sports (Electronic Sports)
Characteristics of a Sport
When we think of the term sports, the first things that come to our mind are Football, Soccer, or Basketball, which happen to be the most common televised sports, but we rarely give thought about what these sports have in common.
In a sport, players assemble to participate in a competitive game against each other, demonstrating their skill and understanding of the game. Players dedicate lots of time into practicing and honing their skills, in hopes of outmaneuvering the opponents and earning the victory.
How does this relate to E-Sports
Just like in normal sports, E-Sports is when players gather to compete in video games. This may sound a bit ridiculous, but I assure you that there are many video games out in today's market which require a lot of skills to play competitively.
Take a shooter game, like Call of Duty or Counter-Strike, for example, where it is critical for players to have the ability to aim (and shoot) at their target quickly, precisely and accurately, in order to stay alive and defeat the opponents. To gain these skills, the the teams (also known as clans) needs get together often and practice game after game after game to coordinate their teamwork and skills.
There are a number of leagues (more and more are popping out as the E-Sports community to grow) which host these games. One of the biggest league in America at the moment is the Major League Gaming (MLG), which happens every 1 to 2 months, and hosts a variety of games. Players and viewers gather from all over the world to attend these events. Other examples include the Intel Extreme Masters (IEM) and the IGN Pro League (IPL), which also sponsor popular competitive games such as Starcraft II.
Games in E-Sports
At the moment, Starcraft II is gaining very fast momentum as a popular E-Sport. It's a Real-Time Strategy game, which involves lightning-quick decision making and precise control of the player's units (virtual army) in order to strategically outmaneuver the opponent.
Other games that are currently played as an E-Sport include:
- League of Legends - A team strategy game born from a popular Warcraft 3 map called DotA (Defense of the Ancients)
- Warcraft III - Another Real Time Strategy game similar to Starcraft.
- Halo - A First Person Shooter game played on consoles.
- Call of Duty - A First Person Shooter game played on the PC and consoles.
- Street Fighter - A popular Fighting Game where players execute special moves and attacks to knock out the opponent.