What is Esports? How It Works, Top Players, How to Enter?

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Let’s dive deep into the world of Esports and decode this virtual battlefield!

As a gamer, making money while playing the games we love is a dream for everyone. Esports made that dream a reality for many outstanding players across different gaming platforms and titles. 

You might be wondering what exactly Esports is, how much players make, and how you can become an Esports player yourself. If you love gaming and consider yourself skilled, chances are you have already considered becoming a pro and joining the Esports scene.

In this article, we will be taking a closer look at this virtual arena and help you understand what Esports truly is and everything that’s going on in this marvelous haven for gamers.

What is Esport?

Esports, or Electronic Sports, are organized competitions with video games as the sport. It involves professional-level players of different video games competing in huge tournaments globally for a reward or cash prize.

Imagine playing your favorite game like Fortnite and playing against the best of the best players on a stage where the entire gaming community can witness your match or tournament. That’s what Esports is.

It is a global phenomenon that changed lives and brought joy and entertainment to millions of people. Basically, it’s the same as traditional sports. But instead of balls and bats, you play with controllers and keyboards, a.k .a. Gaming.

What Do Esports Players Do?

Esports players are not your typical gamers. They are e-athletes who play video games professionally and compete in the biggest tournaments and competitions. They are masters of their craft and are considered the strongest and most skilled players in their respective game.

Just like the professional athletes from traditional sports, they spend most of their time sharpening their skills and becoming the best they can be in their chosen game. These E-athletes spend long hours every day playing, training, and practicing their game.

Esports players aren’t just casual gamers, though. Playing games non-stop is part of their training regimen. They also do drills and streams and keep their physical health in check.

Most Esports players are signed by a professional gaming team. To keep their synergy and teamwork in sync, they train and play together with their team, developing new strategies and tactics to win the game.

How Much Do Esports Players Make?

Just like traditional sports, Esports players can be highly paid as well. The money they make from being a professional esports player ranges from a few thousand dollars to millions! This depends on various factors such as being signed or not, skill, country or region, and many more.

The most common source of income for pro esports players is their salary. This comes from their signed teams and is based on the players’ individual skills, the teams’ sizes, and the competition level they play for.

It may sound like a dream, but esports players make a lot of money from playing games. For example, the average yearly salary for top-level League of Legends players who play in the biggest tournaments is $410,000.

On the other hand, unsigned individual players rely on tournament winnings for income. Unsigned pro Smash Bros players earn around $1,000-$5,000 monthly. Prize earnings is a huge thing for pro players, and those who win major tournaments are the ones who get unbelievably rich.

Just take DOTA 2, for example, where the prize pool for The Internationals is an insane  $40M! This prize is sent to the winning team and their organization, where the players get the lion’s share most of the time.

Popular players with a huge following also profit from streaming, brand deals, commercials, and in-game skin and merchandise sales.

Overall, esports players who are really good are handsomely paid. Their income from gaming can range from a few thousand dollars per month to millions per year.

How Do You Become an Esports Player?

Ah, the dream for all gamers: taking center stage as one of the greatest players of the game and earning tons of money from playing your favorite video game. Being a gamer and earning income simultaneously – being a pro esports player. How do you do it?

Step 1: Choose Your Game

The first step of becoming a professional esports player is choosing a game where you will become one of the best. It’s a hard and long journey to reach the top and be part of the 0.1% of players who are masters at their game. So choose a game that you genuinely love and a game where you can invest 100% time and effort. But make sure it actually has a stage on esports, a.k.a. pro scene.

Step 2: Practice, practice, practice

This next step is the biggest filter that separates the casual gamer from the real pros. They are godlike in their games because of the thousands of hours they have put in without getting paid, all for the sake of getting better and mastering the game. 

So grind like your life matters on it and outwork your competition. Make sure you also invest in high-quality gear like your gaming PC/console and other gaming peripherals. You can’t be one of the best if you have laggy internet or a low FPS device. There is no shortcut. Hard work always beats talent if talent doesn’t work hard.

Step 3: Network and Join Communities

No matter how great and talented you are at a certain game, if you just stay hidden in your room forever without showcasing your skills to the world, then you will never be a pro esports player. If you want to be a pro gamer, then you have to step into the spotlight and get noticed.

You can do that by joining gaming communities both online and in person. This will allow you to build a network with other gamers and, hopefully, scouts and teams looking for players. Don’t be afraid to join local gaming events and tournaments to showcase your skill and harness it even further.

This will give you experience and prestige that will be pivotal in becoming a pro esports player.

Step 4: Join A Team

Once you have won enough amateur tournaments and built a reputation as a gamer, you can start looking for teams to play with. After all, the highest-paid players are the ones who can sign a contract.

So, reach out to pro teams online or in person and convince them to give you a shot to prove your worth. If you are strong, professional gaming teams might even recruit you. 

Keep grinding and joining tournaments until your IGN (in-game name) becomes wildfire in the community. Stick to your path, and one day, you’ll find yourself being one of the pro esports players you’ve always admired.

What Games are Played in Esports?

Most video games have a competition on the Esports scene, and some of the most well-known ones are League of Legends, Fortnite, Rocket League, Dota 2, and CS: GO. The tournaments held for the best players of these games are all part of Esports.

There are tons of gaming genres, and we can’t name them all here. But there are 4 broad categories that are most played and popular in the world of Esports. 

MOBA – Massive Online Battle Arena

Most Notable Players: Faker (League of Legends), Topson (DOTA 2), BaRRaCCuDDa (Smite)

Biggest Tournaments: Worlds (LOL), The International (DOTA 2)

MOBA is considered the most popular genre in Esports. Massive Online Battle Arena video games pit a team of players against each other on a map or battlefield where they have only one goal – to destroy the enemy’s base.

MOBAs typically have two teams with 5 players each. Players can choose one character or hero from various options to build their team. Each character has their own unique set of skills, abilities, strengths, and weaknesses.

Then, they must work together to acquire resources, control territories on the map, and ultimately destroy the opposing team’s base. It’s an exhilarating, strategic, and teamplay-oriented genre where skills, mechanics, and teamwork collide.

The most famous MOBAs include League of Legends, Dota 2, and Smite.

FPS: First-Person Shooters

Most Notable Players: s1imple, coldzera (CS:GO), Gesture, JJonak (Overwatch)

Biggest Tournaments: PGL Major Stockholm 2021 (CS:GO), Valorant Champions, Call of Duty League

First-person shooters have been one of the most famous games in Esports for three decades now. Thanks to their fast-paced, intense,action-filled, and immersive gameplay, FPS is loved by both new and veteran players and fans.

FPS games are gun-based combat games that put players in the point of view (POV) of their in-game avatar. These games require fast reflexes and quick reaction time, accurate aim, strategy, and, most of the time, teamwork. 

There are various game modes, and there are many different twists featured in FPS games, from your typical terrorists vs. army wars to superheroes fighting with guns and their unique superpowers. But one thing remains the same – intense action.

The most famous FPS game in Esports is Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS: GO). Other very popular FPS games are Call of Duty, Overwatch, Valorant, Rainbow Six Seige, and The Battlefield.

Fighting Games

Most Notable Players: MkLeo (Super Smash Bros), JDCR (Tekken), Daigo (Street Fighter)

Biggest Tournaments: Evolution Championship Series, Smash Summit (SSB), AT&T Annihilator Cup (Mortal Kombat)

Fighting games were one of the earliest video games in Esports that stretch back to the arcade days. There’s just something about fighting games that brings us to the good old days. The nostalgia of the 90s and the fun they bring just hit differently.

Fighting games are pretty straightforward. You choose a fighter(s) and knock your opponent out. Hand-to-hand combat, weapons, martial arts, and superpowers are usually featured in these games.

They are exciting and adrenaline-pumping games where action and fun collide. In Esports stages, where the stakes are higher and every hit you land on your enemy counts, fighting games are way more exhilarating to play and watch.

Fighting games are one of the easiest to learn but hard to master games, making them perfect for Esports. Playing at the highest level and mastering the unbelievable amount of characters, combos, fighting styles, and strategies are what separate the pros from the usual haymakers.

Super Smash Bros, Tekken, Street Fighter, and Mortal Kombat are among the most popular fighting games. 

RTS: Real-Time Strategy Games

Most Notable Players: Serral, Scarlett, Reynor, (Starcraft 2)

Biggest Tournaments: SL Pro Tour Championship (SC2),  Red Bull Wololo: Legacy (Age of Empires)

Real-time Strategy Games offer a nice change of pace from the usual fighting and action titles. While the thrill and excitement they offer are nothing to scoff at, RTS Games require calmer, more collected, organized, and strategic players.

Take it as Chess or Carrom in the world of sports. But instead of the traditional turn-based gameplay, RTS requires the player to control multiple units and resources to either defend or take an objective in the game.

MOBA is a subgenre of strategy games. But the most popular RTS games in Esports are Starcraft 2 and Age of Empires 4.

Sports Games

Most Notable Players: Tekkz (FIFAe), Mama Im Dat Man (NBA 2k)

Biggest Tournaments: NBA 2K League, Rocket League Championship Series (RLCS)

And, of course, we also have virtual sports. Your gaming device brings the competition and heart of real-life sports into the gaming scene. From traditional sports like basketball and soccer to games with a twist like Rocket League.

The great thing about being a pro player of a sports video game is not having to go through strenuous physical activity and injuries but being able to experience the life of an athlete. But this doesn’t mean that you wouldn’t put in hard work.

Getting good at sports games requires long hours, especially reaching pro level. It requires a vast knowledge of the real sport, management skills, timing, and mastery of in-game mechanics to be a great player.

See Also

Best PS5 Games for Kids

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About the Author

Kimjun Demo
Kimjun is a full-time gamer and Netflix binge-watcher. From Pokemon and Minecraft to League of Legends and GTA, he sure knows his stuff. When he isn't writing about his passions, you'll find him playing basketball or in his wonderful vegetable garden.

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