Competitive Gaming Explained
Competitive gaming, also known as e-sports (electronic sports), is, basically put, the gaming equivalent of a traditional sport like football or basketball. Titles such as League of Legends, Starcraft and Fifa allow people to compete against each other within the parameters of a game. As such, the gaming scene has developed over the years to produce teams and players that have fans and followers from all over the world, not unlike sportsmen and women in traditional sports.
The competitive element in gaming has always been there – since the 1970s, in fact – but the increasing pervasiveness of the internet has allowed millions of people around the world to connect online and compete against each other on various games and platforms like never before, thus fuelling the demand for competitions that pit teams and players against each other for prize money at events and online.
The Difference between E-sports and Traditional Sports
While both competitive gaming and traditional sports share common features such as famous personalities, well-known teams and a huge following, there are significant differences that separate the two, not counting the fact that traditional sports take place in real life while competitive gaming is entirely within the confines of a computer.
The first is that unlike associations such as the NBA and FIFA, governing bodies of their respective sports, competitive gaming doesn’t have any such representative bodies. The organisations in charge in competitive gaming are the ones that arrange the events and set up the leagues, and they usually oversee more than one game at a time. In Europe, the largest and most prolific is the Electronic Sports League (ESL), a company that sets up events and organises league and tournament competitions regularly, across a variety of games. Major League Gaming (MLG) is most recognised as the number one company for competitive gaming in America.
Also significant to the difference between the two types of sport is that traditional sports remain the same no matter what, in that the players compete under the same rules and conditions throughout their careers. Because there are new games and sequels being released all the time, players in competitive gaming will often have to adapt to new titles as they become popular and are introduced by MLG or ESL to their events. Call of Duty is the prime example of this, as Activision, the makes of this franchise, usually release a new incarnation every few years, with new maps, weapons and physics for the players to learn and get used too.