Esports (or electronic sports) are best understood as competitive-level online videogaming. Esports players compete against each other for prizes, money, and prestige.
Any videogame with the potential for competition can become an esport – from sports games (e.g. FIFA) to first-person shooter games (e.g. Call of Duty) to card collecting battle games (e.g. Hearthstone).
Esports can be team-based or solo experiences. They require training, skills, and time. Teams have coaches, sponsorships, and friendly matches for practice (called ‘scrims’) before competitions. The games themselves are designed to be immersive and to encourage players to become the best, with in-game rewards and achievements awarded to higher levels of skill.
💭 Team Liquid’s League of Legends squad reported a gruesome training schedule for upcoming competitions – up to 50 hours per week!
Games that the child or young person in your care may be playing daily, such as Fortnite, Rocket League, and Overwatch, have cemented themselves in the esports scene, hosting tournaments and causing some professional players to gain celebrity-like status. There are clubs, such as Manchester City, who recruit players. Even celebrities, like David Beckham and Drake, co-own esports organisations. Shaquille O’Neal invested $155 million in the Sacramento Kings-owned esports team.
Esports are fast developing and gaining more momentum each year, with the industry growing in value by 8.5% every year. Young people can now choose esports as a skill for their Duke of Edinburgh Award and even gain a BTEC qualification in the subject.
Discord communities for games can also host and promote private tournaments, especially with so many games like Fortnite introducing custom modes where players can create their own matches.