Top Gaming Competition Websites
Who Are The Top Competetive Gaming Websites?
Competitive gaming is nothing new the world of gaming. For years, professional gamers have been making a pretty decent living doing something that they love. However, with the enormous marketing monster that is "First Person Shooters", a new arena has created itself so that professional gamers can be discovered and new games can be marketed to gamers world-wide more effectively. This arena is the world of competitive gaming websites.
Competitive gaming websites are a new arena for professional and non-professional gamers alike. There are tournament ladders so that teams from all over the world can battle it out for the top spot, there are prize matches where the winner can walk away with on of the latest and greatest products in the gaming industry, and there are MILLIONS of users that are looking for the action which they provide. Something else that they provide - a direct marketing line from the gaming industry to the hard-core gamers that are always looking for the latest and greatest products and games.
Just like any other arena, there is competition. Some of the gaming sites are doing much better than others in regards to the number of current members. However, numbers sometimes lie - which is why we are going to look beyond the number of members that they have. Instead, we will evaluate them on the quality of their site, the quality of services that they provide, customer satisfaction responses, and user experience. We will also rate them on how well they are managed, and the amount of customer service that is provided for each and every match. Remember, it is the gamers we are trying to keep happy, not the websites!
Top Games Being Played on Gaming Competition Websites
These are the top games currently being played in competition. The First Person Shooters are definitely the most in-demand, and have the most marketing dollars behind them. So, if you want the glory, I suggest you pick a FPS and start practicing - the competition is extremely great! Street Fighter is still in high demand, simply because of the amount of show and skill involved with the multi-combination moves that a player can achieve against their opponent. However, the Call of Duty players are the most in demand, and are getting the most money and free products from prize matches.
To give you an idea as to which games offer the greatest earnings or prizes see the Top Games Awarding Prize Money
eSports Prize Money is Growing!
FraggedNation.com is a fairly large competitive gaming website, boasting almost 40,000 accounts. Not much you say? Well, they have managed to grow their website fairly successfully without sacrificing much of the quality of the site, or the matches. The community is small, but consists of some pretty decent gamers who take their gaming seriously. While the website does still use the honor system, coupled with the trouble-ticket system, they have began to incorporate "Ladder Refs" into some ladder matches to monitor players and to minimize cheating. All in all, a pretty decent gaming community.
- Site Quality - The site quality is pretty decent for FraggedNation, getting a 7 from us. As another community which spawned off from the success, and frustration, of MLG, FraggedNation has been controlling its growth quite well. The site is clean, and the information is easily visible and accessible. Plus, advertisements blend in with the site's format, instead of blasting you in the face so that you have to look around them for the actual site content. To a new-comer with no competitive gaming experience, it may be too complicated for them to digest however. An experienced gamer can navigate the site, and have a general understanding of what's in front of them. However, newbies may be a little over-loaded by the TONS of items in the drop down menus.
- User Quality - User quality for FraggedNation is above average. We gave them an 8. Most of the site members are frustrated ex-patriots of MLG. They left GameBattles due to their over-mounting frustration with the user quality there, and landed on FraggedNation. You'll hear no complaints from FraggedNation, as these are the users which actually care about game etiquette, and who contribute to quality game play experiences - plus the cheating occurrences are fewer amongst these users. All in all, a good and clean user community, with a few bad apples here and there.
- Customer Service - Customer service so far has been pretty good, earning a value of 8. Customer service seems to be equivalent in operation to that of GameBattles. Turn-around for trouble-tickets is much faster, with it usually occurring within 24-48 hours. However, this may be due to the fact that the user community within the site is so good. Quality users means fewer cheaters, which means fewer trouble-tickets. However, the business model seems to make for a lean customer service staff for the site.
- Match Quality - Fragged Nation match quality is pretty decent, providing them with a score of 8. Again, due to the overall quality of their users, you find very few matches where you have a poor experience. However, you are still working with un-moderated matches with the honor system. While some of their ladder matches will have "refs", Fragged Nation's version of a moderator, they are recruited from the member community and are only present for special ladder matches. There is buzz of improving this, but buzz is buzz and not reality. You will have people still mouthing off in matches and things spiraling out of control here and there - with no one present to reign them in. The potential lies within the system for abusive users to take advantage of it, which therein lies the rub.
Battlefield 4 Showdown Live Europe vs. US - Replay
GameBattles.com is the largest online destination for competitive console and PC gaming. Featuring tournaments, ladders, forums and more for all the latest and hot titles, GameBattles is home to over 3 million gamers worldwide, and over 800,000 teams looking to compete in their favorite Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC, Nintendo Wii, Nintendo DS and Sony PSP games. They were the first real competitive gaming website on scene, and were able to position themselves as the top site by obtaining some pretty good sponsors, and were the first site to sponsor their own professional players. However, first does not necessarily mean best.
- Site Quality - The site quality gets a rating of 8 from us. It is everything that we expect from a sponsor-driven competitive gaming webiste - Amazing in its quality, and COVERED with advertisements. Sometimes, you can't even scroll up the page to get away from the advertisements at the bottom of the page... they crawl up the page as you do so that you have them blasting their way into your retina, when you're simply trying to look at the gaming information on the screen. The ads are the first thing you see, instead of the actual content of the site, which is a negative.
- User Quality - The user quality, contrary to some of the die-hard MLG fan testimonies, is spotty - we gave them a 6. While there are a small percentage of the MLG user base with is of the highest of quality, professional and respectful, most of the user base of the website consists of "weekend warriors" or juveniles who are willing to yell obscenities at you that would make anyone's mother blush with shame. (Some of their obscenities may include your mother) You WILL have good gaming experiences on the site, however you will some that are so bad that they drastically over-shadow your good ones. Flinching on a competitive gaming website should come from the in-game gunfire, and not from the language and behavior of the gamers on the other team - or your team for that matter.
- Customer Service - Customer service for GameBattles seems to be just above average with a score of 7. With the honor system, pretty much all disputes over match results must be resolved with the submission of a trouble-ticket. The burden of proof lies upon the gamers, so they must submit in-game pictures or video which displays proof of their dispute. However, the results are not always the correct ones as the "in the right" team may not have video or pictures to provide showing that they are in the right. With a response time of 48 - 72 hours for trouble-tickets, timeliness is not impressive either. All in all, the presence of customer service was not a strong-point in the design for their services, probably to save money on employee costs, which results in a lower quality experience for the gaming community.
- Match Quality - GameBattles match quality is a crap shoot, providing them with a score of 7. You can have some control over who you play with, if you simply conduct challenge matches with other clans or teams that you know. However, if you choose to participate in ANY of the ladder matches, be prepared to deal with lesser quality gamers - and I don't mean "quality" as in gaming skill. You will be playing with players who are probably up past their bed-time, and whose in-game language and behavior are juvenile at best - and this bodes for of the adult players as well. Be sure to be skilled at muting players at a rapid pace, because you will otherwise find yourself being tortured by the obscene ramblings of a 13 year-old from Kentucky whose mother is no-where in ear shot and he is taking advantage of it! You will have good experiences as well, as some of their user base is professional, or at least they display good sportsmanship and courtesy when it comes to in-match behavior. That being said, they have a wide variety of match types and selections, which is expected from the "big dog" on the block with the most sponsor funding.
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A Glimpse Into The Future of Gaming - Mobile Devices
Playstation gave us a glimpse into the future of online gaming, with the announced release of its latest contribution to online gaming since the release of the PS3. Teaming up with Verizon, Sony announced the release of the Xperia (TM) PLAY, the new PlayStation (TM) smartphone. This is the very first mobile device that will have the capability of supporting the playing of PlayStation Suite games. There will be other PlayStation certified Android phones, but the Xperia will be the pinnacle of the release.
If you're a Verizon customer, then you can immediately buy the Xperia and start gaming - Phone Release is scheduled for May 26th! If not, then you will have to switch over to Verizon to have access to this phone, at least for now. It's reasonably priced at $199.99, and may be even cheaper through existing Verizon account holders via the "account upgrade" option that all carriers have. I'm looking forward to giving it a test-drive here soon!
Handheld Gaming Devices - GameBoy to Nintendo 3DS XL
Nintendo has been making handheld portable devices since GameBoy. However, the Nintendo DS has destroyed GameBoy in regards to sales numbers, game titles, popularity, as well as age brackets of those who play them. Players from the ages of 8 to 30+ are playing Nintendo DS titles, taking their DS handhelds on road-trips, flights, bus-rides, and everywhere they want to play where they can't take their consoles with them. Plus, the devices have evolved from black & white pixelated graphics and binary audio to color and 3D graphics displays, built-in WiFi, and surround sound quality audio.
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