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10 things you probably didn't know about esports

Large Esports Event - Man Excited At Back of Stadium
Esports seems to have just about burst into everybody's lives recently but there's a lot of misunderstandings about what it is and what it isn't.

To help that here's a 2-minute guide to 10 things you probably didn't know about esports.

1) Esports really means competitive play using videogames - people are playing at the "grassroots" level in their bedrooms all the way up to professional competitions packing out arenas.

2) FIFA isn't the most popular esport - lots of people play FIFA, and most premiership football teams now have a "pro esports player" in their ranks but it's not the most-watched or most played

3) Virtual card games are big in esports - Hearthstone is arguably the star of the show but there's a whole other bunch to try 

4) Some people think that esports competitions are based on a "knock out" format where once you lose you're out - this is wrong and there's a lot of formats that people play and single-elimination ("knock out") is just one of many

5) Esports isn't big because it's not on TV - firstly esports is on TV but it's much much bigger on streaming and video media - go look at Twitch or Caffeine or YouTube

6) The UK is massive for esports companies and tech - international esports companies like FaceIT, EGL, ESL, gfinity and others have a big base here and domestic companies like Epic.LAN, Versus Gaming, Belong, and NSE are growing quickly

7) There are more esports players at UK Universities than football players - go see what the guys at National Student Esport are doing if you want to see how professional it is

8) Esports helps school children - it's true!  Industry body UKIE (UK Interactive Entertainment) commissioned research as part of its Digital Schoolhouse initiative.  This showed that children who engaged in organised esports gained confidence and boosted friendship groups across age gaps/years in school

9) You need special equipment or accessories to play esports - wrong!  although driving games are often played at a higher standard using driving wheels and pedals these are rarely mandatory

10) Esports is "new" - no it's not!  Companies like EGL and Multiplay (their esports element is now part of GAME Digital's Belong offering) started over a decade ago with the rise of "LAN parties"

Hope that's helpful and aids some understanding.  We love esports so give us a shout if there's anything you want to discuss or additional questions we can answer.

About the author

Stuart Muckley

Stuart Muckley

I’ve been a programmer and IT enthusiast for 30 years (since the zx spectrum) and concentrated on AI (neural nets & genetic algorithms) at University. My principle skills are concentrated on Enterprise and Solution Architecture and managing effective developer teams.

I enjoy the mix between technical and business aspects; how technology enables and how that (hopefully) improves profit/EBITDA & reduces cost-per-transaction, the impact upon staff and how to remediate go-live and handover, and risk identification and mitigation. My guiding principle is “Occams Razor” that simplicity is almost always the best option by reducing complexity, time to build, organisational stress and longer term costs.

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