Esports is a term that you might have heard being used more frequently in the gaming world, and it’s a concept that has become increasingly popular over the last few years. Where gaming used to be a hobby that was usually played alone in your room, or at the very best, with one or two other friends, it has now shifted and become much more of a community activity.
Average players have made entire careers from their passion in gaming by streaming on platforms such as YouTube or Twitch, whilst others have turned to compete at a professional level through esports. So, if you’d like to get started yourself and find out more, here is a beginner's guide to esports and some of the top games you could play.
What Are Esports?
It’s very possible that this is the first time you’ve come across the term, or perhaps you’ve heard of it but aren’t too sure what it means. Esports stands for electronic sports and is used to describe gaming on a competitive level.
Players compete against one another in tournaments or virtual battle arenas for a cash prize amount or another hefty prize of some kind. The sports element of it is the fact that there’s usually an audience observing, as is the case in sports such as tennis, snooker, etc.
Games for Beginners
Now that we know what they are, it’s worth looking at some of the best games if you’re interested in starting out in esports. You don’t have to jump to a competitive level immediately, but that’s definitely something you can work towards if you enjoy a certain game that much!
A popular game even without the competitive element, Fortnite is a great game to get started with because of the sheer amount of players that play the free battle royale game daily. You don’t need to pay anything for the actual game, it is available on a number of platforms, and aside from the shooting element, there are also skills like building and looting that you can develop.
- League of Legends
Also known as LoL, this game, originally released in 2009 has an international level as well as domestic level tournaments on an annual basis, and you can check out the upcoming schedule of the next tournament too. This is a team sport with players fighting in 5 vs 5 teams and they control a character called ‘champion’. The aim is to attack the base of the opposing team.
- Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege
Another popular multiplayer game amongst friends that you might already be playing, is Rainbow Six Siege! It comes as no surprise that this game is played at a professional level due to how precise the tactical shooter game requires you to be. Calculating enemy moves whilst remaining on your own guard to try and get the upper hand takes skill!
- Apex Legends
Apex Legends is another trending game. This online FPS me is also played at a tournament level and hosts many more players at a time with up to 60 players being able to play at once. This is then split into 20 squads with 3 players, and the last squad standing wins!
Definitely a more recent addition to the world of esports, but a fun one nonetheless, Valorant is another FPS with 2 teams of 5 battling it out for victory. Play on the offense or defense with characters that have their own special skill sets and gameplay style that may give you the upper hand in certain situations. The first tournament was held in June 2020.
- PlayerUnknown’s Battleground
Also known as PUBG, this battle royale shooter has the option of players choosing between first or third person. If going solo is more your thing then this may be the game for you, as their aim for victory is to be the last remaining player standing. With plenty of tournaments around the world, PUBG is an esport we don’t see dying out any time soon.
- NBA 2K
Founded by NBA in 2017, the esports league consisted of players using the characters they create in MyPlayer to compete in the basketball game, with the NBA 2K League commencing in the following year. Probably the closest thing to real basketball, if shooter games aren’t your style then this may be up your street.
- Dota 2
Dota 2 has been hosting esports tournaments since soon after its development, so this game has been around for a good while in the esports category. In another battle arena game, 10 players are placed into either Radiant or Dire, with the aim being to completely destroy the opposing team. With over 100 heroes to choose from, there’s never a shortage of ways to play!
- Splatoon 2
This one is a Switch release, and still remains one of the most popular first person shooters out there. Playing as a character that seems to be a cross between human and squid, just as the name suggests, the goal is to splatter opponents and shoot them with colors of ink with over 100 weapons to choose from.
- Mortal Kombat 11
Another alternative title from all the battle royale games we looked at so far, Mortal Kombat 11 is a 1 v 1 fighting game that has had all the major upgrades that it needs for the game to be even more thrilling and fun to play. With new gameplay mechanics, graphics, playable characters, and more, this is a great title for veterans and newcomers alike.