I’ll admit it, I didn’t go exactly out of my comfort zone for this one, but it surely was an exciting week in e-sports with both MLG Anaheim and Evo2k11 running simultaneously and just finishing today.
What exactly is E-Sport Spectating?
The term “E-Sports” (or electronic sports) refers to competitively played video gaming. Some of the most recent popular games include Starcraft II, Street Fighter 4:Arcade Edition and several other first-person shooters (Counterstrike, Halo, etc.). Thus E-Sport Spectating would be watching video gamer players compete with another.
Who in their right mind would spend time watching someone play a video game?
I know I do, and so does a majority of Korea when it comes to Starcraft (they even have two channels dedicated to the game over there!). Oftentimes, spectators are also fellow players or fans of the game/genre.
Much like watching traditional sports, e-sport spectating showcases high levels of skill and aptitude but instead on a digital play-field. Rather than placing the focus on a person’s athletic capability, players intellect and reactions are put to the test. Thus, many games end up being able to make split second decisions and/or play the ultimate meta game.
Let’s also not forget the out-pour of emotions stemming from huge upsets, comebacks or innovation. The following are just a few key examples:
- Evo 2k4: Daigo vs. Justin Wong (ultimate street fighter comeback)
- Evo 2k11: Shin Daigo Perfected by Poongko (happened today!)
- Starcraft: Boxer’s Original Bunker Rush (revolutionized the game)
- Starcraft II: Destiny’s 4 Infestor Hit Squad (hilarious)
If you find better ones, be sure to post/send them over!
How can I get started?
Although spectating different e-sports may vary, the key factor is to become a part of that game/genre’s respected community (usually forums/sites such as Shoryuken [fighting] or even a subreddit like /r/Starcraft). There are also two methods of spectating:
> Live: There are plenty of professional leagues and tournaments going on throughout the year. Wikipedia (Professional Leagues) currently has the best comprehensive list. It’s always nice to see professional gamers on stage and in-person! (I want to meet BoxeR myself someday)
> Online: There are multiple streaming services online with plenty of tournaments and players with their own channels. Many individual channels can be found on Justin.tv and USTREAM but it’s best to search through e-sport specific sites like Well Played or Warp Prism (Teevox).
Well that’s enough rambling for this week, I’ll likely be picking up Staring next week!