Esports played a heavy part at EGX 2018. The rising popularity of professional gaming competitions has picked up a lot of fans and budding gamers, and competitions are getting bigger by the year.
Here's a breakdown of one of the fastest growing sports in the world.
What is esports?
Esports is a term used to refer to organised, competitive gaming. Just like conventional sports there are different levels of competition, from local amateur leagues to huge international tournaments.
To give you an idea of just how huge these tournaments can be, last year’s Intel Extreme Masters in Katowice welcomed more 173,000 fans over the three-week event, with over 46 million people watching online – that’s equivalent to the entire population of Spain!
What kind of games are played?
One of the great things about the current esports scene is the variety of games out there. If you’re a fan of Call of Duty then you’ll enjoy the action of games like CS:GO and Overwatch. But if those games aren’t your thing there’s more strategy-oriented titles like League of Legends and DotA (Defense of the Ancients) 2 which rely on teamwork and co-ordination.
Prefer solo competition? Then there’s games like Hearthstone, a one-on-one fantasy card game, old-school combat games like Street Fighter and sports titles like FIFA - there really is something for everyone.
Can you earn a living playing esports?
Absolutely! Professional esports stars are paid by their teams and can earn big money through tournament prizes. The surge in interest means these prizes get bigger every year.
Last year DotA 2 alone accounted for $38 million of prize money across various tournaments, however that was dwarfed this year when Epic Games put up a staggering $100 million prize fund to establish Fortnite as a competitive game.
On top of winnings the bigger stars can also get big sponsorship deals with hardware manufacturers and game publishers. This makes them incredibly valuable to their teams and sponsors, and the top players will even command transfer fees should they move to a rival team.
Where can I watch it?
Thanks to streaming platforms like Twitch and Mixer there are loads of options for watching online. If you’re feeling a little overwhelmed then ESL, the world’s biggest esports organiser, is a great place to start. They stream regular tournaments on Twitch and they also have an extensive video library of past events.
They’ve even dabbled in their own brand of gaming PC, which we saw at EGX this year in the 2018 Hearthstone Premiership Finals. Players were powered by the PC Specialist ESL Certified Gaming PC, which features an overclocked Intel® Core™ i7 processor and Nvidia GTX 1070graphics card - designed for peak esports performance.
You can also watch ESL events on digital TV on channels like GINX esports TV available on Sky and Virgin. Just like any other sport though, there’s no substitute for being there person, so keep an eye out for live events.
How easy is it to get into esports?
If you fancy your chances as a competitive gamer it’s actually very easy. ESL operates ESL Play, with regular tournaments for all the big esports titles, and some of the smaller ones. Even better, there are competitions for all skill levels, from amateur to professional. So why not get involved?
At the very least you’ll improve your skills and make a few new friends, but you never know - you could be the next big esports star!
If you’re looking to get into esports but want a PC that’s up to the task, check out our range of gaming PCs
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