Everyone loves at least a bit of competition, but is eSports taking it too far?
Every gamer, whether you favour console or PC, has come across that over competitive team mate that takes it all just a little too seriously. However, that’s not to say that being competitive is a bad thing, you just need to find your limit. With any action that requires a certain amount of skill there will always be those that strive to be the best, it’s human nature. However, pro players train for hours a day to become the best. They have strict workout and practice regimes, much like pro athletes. Whether you think this is crazy, or amazing, eSports has rocketed to popularity, with more than a 1600% viewer growth over the past 5 years. The teams have jersey sponsorships, crazed fans and favourite players much like that of the traditional sports.
As a PC gamer, who plays both MMO RPGs and FPS games, I’m familiar with a fierce and committed group of players. Generally PC is the hub where the extremely competitive gamers choose to play. The pro scene is bigger, more popular, and with the vast majority of the players having their sights aimed on being a top player. That can mean pushing for the best gear in MMOs or investing an insane amount of time into getting the perfect aim, you could easily get swept up in the action. This is especially true at this time of the year, being in the midst of the tournament circuit, for League of Legends, CSGO, and with Blizzcon just around the corner. With over 32 million viewers for last year’s League of Legends World Championships, you would have a large crowd to argue against if you tried to shun competitive gaming. These figures make it one of the most watched sports in America, topping the views of both the NBA and the World Series. Since competitive gaming is extremely popular, PC games are generally heading down that route, which could be disappointing for those who enjoy campaign mode video games.
Video games don’t have to be aggressively competitive, there’s many in-betweens. Console can provide this happy medium as it’s (generally) a far more relaxed, and social gaming environment. The players aren’t usually so die hard, and you can have multiple friends around to play on your console. Whether it be PlayStation, Wii or Xbox, consoles are far more casual and relaxing to play all kind of multiplayer games.
We can’t all agree with Rob Pardo (chief creative officer at Blizzard Entertainment) when he argues that ‘there’s a good argument for e-sports being in the Olympics’, but everyone at least enjoys a game of Mario Kart. However, constantly playing in a competitive environment can be tiring, but that isn’t to say that gaming should steer away from it. The gaming world has something to offer for everyone, if you hate facing human opponents then it’s fine, there’s lots of great story mode games constantly being released. Where some people see video gaming to be going too far, others see it that their favourite games and their competitive scene won’t be around forever, so they’re getting as much from it as they can while it’s still played. Gaming is whatever you want it to be, and we can’t deny others for wanting to master their favourite video game. I think that competitive gaming creates a community, and allows gaming to connect people in ways that traditional sports can’t.