Game Over

maxresdefault.jpg

Hello readers and welcome back to the final edition of esportsonline 2017. Today’s edition will be covering the commencement of this blog. I would first like to start with thanking any and all of my readers for coming and learning about esports as I learn to share my passion with others. The journey that I have gone through sharing my passion for esports along with the journey esports has gone through in the last few years has been quite the experience. I never thought that an assignment I received for a class was going to turn out to be something I looked forward to doing. As my blog developed though I realized that if you really love something you that you need to share it with the same love that you have for it. In this instance, it is my love for esports and what they have brought for our generation that I love sharing now because I want others to learn to love them too.

Now, esports have gone through a journey of their own within the last say 8 years. I just want to recap what has happened within this time briefly. Esports have come from nothing to something in this time period. Games used to have small tournaments with some nice monetary payouts, but no way to make this your life unless you consistently win these events. Now, players are receiving salaries that are only growing every year. Another big change is the idea of going to watch these events and some events that are hosted sell out far in advance of the event, and when at these events they are bumping with people that are screaming for their favorite teams and players. If you asked anyone 10 years ago if they would expect the Los Angeles Lakers stadium to be completely sold out for a video game even they would have told you to stop dreaming, and now this is an absolute reality.

Now, a little about my journey along this blog. I have found that I never really enjoyed conventional sports like football or baseball or soccer like many people did and would rather play videogames as a kid, and when twitch.com came out you betcha I was spending more time watching streamers than TV from then on as this was what I found entertaining. For me I am an average gamer that wants to be the best, but I promise you I will never be its just fun to dream sometimes.

Well, I guess this is goodbye readers and I hope that you all grew to love esports as much as I do along this adventure of a blog. Goodbye and I hope to see you in a game someday that I inspired you to play.

 

Advertisements

Smiting the Competition

1000px-Smite-game-info

Hello readers and welcome back to another edition of esportsonline 2017. On today’s edition, we will be looking at a game like LoL and DOTA 2, but carries its own unique characteristic. The game is Smite as you may have guessed by the picture above. Smite is unique in the fact that it is played like LoL or DOTA 2, but was designed to be able to be played not just on PC but on console as well. Smite may very well have been the first of its kind to hit the console market and has received much praise from that community. Smite has an account list of over 20 million players, but no way to tell how many players per month. The game is a MOBA/RTS game as you would expect with it being similar in structure to LoL and DOTA 2, but has slightly more simplicity for it to be able to be played on a console without difficulties.

  • Why do people play Smite?

People play Smite for all the reasons that they would play LoL or DOTA 2, with the added feature of it being on console so it has access to a larger potential player pool. Another unique feature of this game is that all the characters in the game are a god from some culture and the developers try to capture the essence of the god from that religion and make them a playable character. Playing as a god just feels so satisfying in this game as you really feel like you are harnessing their powers to destroy your enemies. Now, this did get them in some trouble with the Hindu community as they though the developers made their gods too scary and not the way they were supposed to be portrayed yet many people felt they got them right, and did not make a mistake.

 

  • What makes Smite an esport?

Smite as an esport has not excelled as much in the PC area as much as LoL and DOTA 2, but they took the idea of the console gaming and ran with it and many people now can play competitively from console. I have personally played this game for a while and find it to be a very fun and refreshing game to just jump on the Xbox and play for a while.

  • About the esport

The game has had a professional scene since 2014 since the games release on PC. They had a 2.6 million dollar prize pool in their first “worlds” tournament which at the time was ranking number 3 in the world for prize pools in esports. The game has recently embraced their console gamers and made a specifically console gaming esports for those that don’t play on pc but still want to play competitively.

Overall, Smite is a very unique game that is best when played on console in my opinion as on PC there are other options that might be better, but on console there is hardly any competition and this game is so much fun to play it on. I think anyone that wants to play a game like LoL, but doesn’t want to have to get a PC to play it should give this game a try on their console.

 

Heroes of Esports

heroes-facebook-preview

Hello readers and welcome back to another edition of esportsonline 2017. On today’s edition, we will be looking at another Blizzard Entertainment game, but this one is in competition with LoL and DOTA 2.  The game of this edition in Heroes of the Storm or HoTs for short. For anyone that has played a Blizzard game before many of the characters within this game should be very noticeable as they took iconic characters from all of their games and made them playable within a multiplayer online battlefield arena or MOBA. Estimates for how many people are playing this game at any given point are hard to find, but one person has done some math and used statistics to determine that around 250k people are playing this game at any given time across all its servers. So, there are always people on to play with, but compared to games such as LoL and DOTA 2 its numbers are very small.

  • Why do people play Heroes of the Storm?

I think a lot of gamers enjoy HoTs due to its simplicity as it is very much like playing a game of League of Legends, but without all the technical things like itemization and rune pages and is instead just hopping into a game picking your character and getting at it. Another thing people like is the nostalgia involved by playing a character you know from a game that you love such as the Lich King from WoW or Diablo from Diablo and many other iconic characters. It also doesn’t hurt the game that it is free to play and has Blizzard backing it with all their big dollars for advertisement and promotion. The game does have a competitive ladder that people can compete at, but if you really want to prove yourself in a game that is a MOBA RTS you will find your time better spent playing LoL or DOTA 2 which require more skill to climb.

  • What Makes Heroes of the Storm an esport?

The biggest part of this game being an esport is its team aspect and Blizzard’s backing. As you may have noticed any game that is made by Blizzard that has potential to be an esport is an esport quite quickly after release so that the game gets more attention thrown at it for Blizzard to make more money. Now, I’m not saying this is a bad thing as the game can be fun to watch and is very simple to pick up and understand and Blizzard has done a fantastic job at pushing esports into a reality whether that was their intention or not. Along with the same characteristics of LoL and DOTA 2 the game requires teamwork to overcome the other team and achieve victory which is always something people are wanting to watch that enjoy watching esports. Single player esports are a fun occasional thing to watch, but we always end up back at the team games which have another level of competition you just can’t get as a 1v1 style game.

The video below really shows the backing for the game and how it has evolved into a college atmosphere as well.

 

 

  • About the esport

The game has many tournament promotions that are generally hosted by Blizzard at events such as Blizzcon and others. Once again many of the matches can be found on twitch.tv and a few other streaming services. Now, the game as an esport hasn’t taken off as well as some of the others talked about, but as a college esport it is a real hit as you can see from the video above with Blizzards collegiate series called Heroes of the Dorm. They have been very receptive to a college atmosphere in picking up and allowing teams to form at these colleges without necessarily being “collegiate’ and are just a group of friends to teamed up to do it.

Overall, the game is a large hit, but falls into a market already dominated by 2 large powerhouses that aren’t going anywhere soon so the game is mostly played for its simplicity and nostalgia associated. The game is worth a try to see if you would enjoy it, but if you really want to get competitive then it’s not the right one to get into.

 

Crafting an Esport

starcraft2

Greetings readers and welcome back to another edition of esportsonline 2017. In today’s post, we are looking at another game that is played in a 1v1 manner called Starcraft 2 by Blizzard entertainment. This game in its first year sold over 4.5 million copies and some estimates include it being torrented over 2.3 million times in the first year as well (for those of you that do not know torrenting is an illegal way of acquiring games and other stuff via a download). Starcraft 2 is an immensely popular real time strategy game and truly pits you in a 1v1 fashion that leaves only the best at the top of the game. The game is only available on PC, but would not be as easy to perform at if it was a console game so this trait makes sense.

  • Why do people play Starcraft 2?

Starcraft 2 from what little gameplay I have played of it to me is like an incredibly fast paced game of civilization where you are trying to gather resources and build up your base to eventually take out your enemy. Although this game is different in the fact that there are no turns and you are constantly trying to perform actions to gather resources and make troops. The fast-paced portion of this game makes it very fun and at the same time very skill based. The skill based part of this game is what gathers people to the game as a quick wit is what gets you ahead many times along with expertise mechanical movements to utilize your mouse and keyboard to get the maximum actions per minute to overtake your opponent. To me this is the reason people enjoy playing this game as it is like chess it is constantly forcing you to make decisions and think relatively quickly and think ahead to stay on top of things.

  • What makes Starcraft 2 an esport?

Starcraft 2 is an esport due to its incredibly competitive nature and being an entirely skill based game. This game differs from other more “traditional” esports now as it is not team based, but this game makes an exception due to the high coordination you must have which can be very exhilarating to watch. Watching the players manipulate their armies to win a battle is incredible as these players can do up to 600 actions per minute that’s the equivalent of clicking your mouse or typing 600 characters per minute all while making sure it is doing the right thing! Being able to do this is incredible enough, so it can be very fun for gamers to watch in awe as it may only be a dream to them to get over 150 actions per minute all while making tons of mistakes during that time.

  • About the esport

Well Starcraft 2 has been an esports since its conception as that is the way Blizzard likes to roll and get their games on its feet asap to make a competitive atmosphere and draw more attention to the game which makes for more sales. There are competitive teams out there, but they typically compete as individuals and just use their teams to practice with each other. Starcraft has been such a big esports since 2010 that South Korea has 2 dedicated TV channels to just broadcasting this game.

 

The video above is a great example of the competitiveness within this esport and the large fanbase it has in S. Korea.

Overall, Starcraft 2 is a fantastic game that has pushed esports to where it is today thanks to Blizzard’s dedication to the lifetime of the game as an esport and I encourage you to give it a try if you like games like Civilization, but want it to be faster paced and against other people.

 

College Esports

maxresdefault

Hello readers and welcome back to esportsonline 2017. On this edition, we are going to take a break from looking at a esports and look at how esports are developing into more than just a pro scene. I got some inspiration from this post on how collegiate esports are becoming a reality very quickly. Now, you did just read that previous word right collegiate esports are not only reality they are a very quickly growing reality. I want to lead off with a story my dad told me when he found out that my brother was going to be joining a collegiate esports team for League of Legends. It went a little something like this, at first this whole idea was crazy to me, because if I told anyone why Kyle is going to Midland to play videogames and is getting a scholarship for it they would say why would you let your kid waste their time doing that? but, I’ve also lived through football becoming a reality for people and when I was a kid if someone wanted to go play football at college they would say that’s ridiculous why would you waste your time doing that? So, I’ve decided that this is what your generation does and this is how you are entertained, you guys don’t like hockey or football or basketball near as much as my generation did and I understand now why this even has potential and I am happy your brother could be a part of this development and help move it into a reality. Now, this was the first time I had ever heard my dad say that playing League of Legends wasn’t a waste of our time as it could turn into a job or a scholarship to a school to pay for your college all while doing what you love.

  • About the collegiate scene

Currently the collegiate scene for esports is small, but is growing rapidly with some schools such as Robert Morris University offering a class to help people better themselves at League of Legends. There are now collegiate based tournaments for these college teams with tournaments for League of Legends and Heroes of the Storm (they call their tournament Heroes of the Dorm!!! now that’s making use of word play). Last year the League of Legends collegiate finals sold out a stadium that had not been sold out in a very long time filling the place to the brims and making it alive again! The market for esports is currently only on an upward trend and now the colleges see an opportunity to take part in this market and give kids what is considered an athletic scholarship which up until today was but a dream to get for a lot of esport “athletes”. Now the companies that have made esports a reality are pushing and helping colleges to set up the college scene and make it possible for them to happen and become a reality in more than just select colleges around the nation and instead make it something almost any college can have.

Overall, college esports may be small compared to the current overall esports scene but it is an incredibly fast growing market that colleges are now noticing and wanting to take part in.

 

The Call to Esports

Call-of-Duty-4-Modern-Warfare

Greetings readers and welcome back to another edition of esports online 2017. In today’s post, we are going to be taking a look at a game series almost everyone has heard of and has played Call of Duty. Now, talking about Call of Duty can be tricky as there is a new title release every year so the focus of this post will be Black Ops 3 and prior up until Black Ops 2 as that is my most familiar range of the title series. Everyone knows that the Call of Duty franchise is one of the most popular series’ available for Xbox/PS4 not so much for PC, but that is due to issues not relevant to the success of the series. The most recent game that was released and completed was Black Ops 3 which was very well received by the community and sold around 250 million copies. With a majority of sales being on platform gaming rather than PC these are quite large numbers as PC gaming is generally the lead sales area as the market is much bigger. The category the game series is classified in is as you would expect being a first-person shooter or FPS and in some game modes a team/real time strategy aspect can be involved.

  • Why do people play CoD?

Well the answer to this is simpler than you might expect. The games are typically the most graphically pristine for the year they release, the games offer the game mode everyone wants to play (team death match) and finally it’s a great game just to play with friends over Xbox Live or PlayStation Network. The game is very simplistic typically with very little mechanical greatness involved as anyone in the game could end up killing you just by simple dumb luck. The games typically also have a good campaign to play with some being worse than others, which is when the developers really get an earful from the community. Other than these reasons there isn’t a whole lot to the game series other than just trying to devote time into the game to get the cool gun camos to show off how much time you spent on the game and not necessarily are still not necessarily skilled at the game.

  • What makes CoD an esport?

So now you might be thinking so what about Call of Duty (CoD) anyone can be “good” at the game even the 12-year-old screaming over his mic into the lobby might be okay at the game so how is this an esport? The first thing that needs to be cleared up for that is the most popular game mode in CoD is team deathmatch which is hardly fun or exciting to watch, and provides a much better experience playing as it is a very generic game mode where your team runs around a map shooting the other team with no other clear objectives. Even though this is the most popular game mode for most players the esports scene hardly ever sees this game mode played at all. Typically, they play much more team focused and objective driven game modes so that people will enjoy watching it and winning the game takes more than just blasting each other a million times. Some of the more popular pro game modes recently includes a game mode where your team must capture a ball and have on person act as the carrier for your team as you try to take the ball to your end of the map and either throw the ball into a hoop or slam dunk it in for bonus points.  Now, that is a game mode someone would have fun watching and having to work as a team once again makes it that much more fun to watch and be competitive at.

  • About the esport

Well CoD has a tough time as an esport as it does compete with CS:GO for viewers and pro players as the games are incredibly similar. Another problem CoD faces is the ever-changing games as you must keep up with the series to continue to be pro and you must be just as good if not better at the game that comes out in 12 months than you are at the one that is already out. There are currently about 12 teams from each region that competes in CoD esports tournaments. The game series has had many world championships, but has had a smaller pro scene until probably the last 5 years or so when becoming a pro gamer became a reality and not a fantasy. Tournaments for this game are hosted by an array of different organizations and are not tied down as many games are in some way or another, but once again the matches can almost always be found on twitch.tv or some other streaming service.

The above video is a good representation of the esport.

Overall, CoD is an impressive giant in the gaming industry, but it faces a real problem with releasing a new game every year as that hurts its ability to become a massive esport. I hope one day they will decide on a game to keep and work on as its dedicated esport title, but until then I feel like it will face issues with viewership and keeping pro players.

Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft

hearthstone1

First of all, readers I would like to apologize for my lack of creativity in this title as I have not come up with a creative title to utilize the name of this game. Otherwise, welcome back to esportsonline 2017. On this edition, we will be continuing with a theme for this week of whacky esports with this week’s being Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft. Hearthstone is a unique esport in the fact that it is a 2-person online card game. Typically, one would not think of a card game being an esport, but this game has grown in such size that it is now in fact an esport that people watch and participate in competitively. This is also the first of esports that I have analyzed that is available on mobile devices such as iPhone and androids. The game has 50 million registered players, but not a good way to tell how many active accounts they have per month which is a better estimation of player population. The game is based around collecting cards and using them in different classes of decks and trying to build as strong of a deck as you can and use it to beat your opponent. The game is only classified by the fact that it is a 2-person online card game.

  • Why do people play Hearthstone?

I think that the biggest attractant to at least try this game is that it is a card game without the mess of having cards. Auto-shuffling and not having to deal with bent cards or your deck just falling apart for no reason is a real plus in the world of card games. Another good feature is that you can play this game on your mobile device or on your computer and have the same account at the same time so you have mobility with your account and can play the game almost whenever you want. Finally, I think that it being a free game to start is also a good quality, but to become a serious player you could end up spending serious money.

  • What makes Hearthstone an esport?

The big factor here is that the game has a ranked tier system where you can compete competitively and climb the ranks to prove that you are better at the card game than them, or that you are more of a credit card warrior than they are. Blizzard and their marketing is also a very big factor here that they as a large company with an incredible pool of money to pull from and sponsor events to allow people to make a living from the game. The game does have a pay to win issue as the players that spend more money on more packs have a much higher chance of winning their matches. Watching the game though is very easy to do much like Rocket League as matches only take 10 minutes on average and the game can be quickly picked up and understood for the watcher which makes it more fun to watch.

  • About the esport

The game has only been out since early 2014, but has since grown and has a 2-million-dollar prize pool as of 2016. The game is not really a “team” game and therefor you don’t really have professional teams just pros that freelance and make money from streaming and participating in tournaments. Structurally most of the tournaments are hosted and funded by Blizzard with a few outside tournaments.

Overall, I think that Hearthstone has a lot of potential as a virtual card game that can be incredibly fun, but Blizzard needs to work on its pay to win initiative within the game for it to become a much more fun game that allows every player the same chance at becoming great through skill.