In case you hadn’t heard, eSports fever has gripped the world. Regular gaming, it seems, just isn’t good enough anymore, as you need to be plugged into the online battlefield and slugging it out with all the incredibly talented and competitive players out there in the virtual realm. But whoa there, before you grab your gaming laptop and duke it out with the other players, let’s carefully think about what you’re going to do first when planning an entire evening around eSports.
Prepare the snacks and drinks
You won’t get much online gaming done if you start flagging and your stomach is rumbling. Consider some healthy options that won’t result in sugar crashes, like bananas and coconut water, for example (although a little bit of chocolate and a coffee isn’t the end of the world). These games won’t stop for you for the chance to cook up a three-course meal, as they are played live and the other players certainly won’t care about your food requests!
Start off with some Overwatch
While it may have some catching up to do in terms of popularity compared to other first-person shooters (FPS) ala Halo, Call of Duty, and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Overwatch was only released in 2016 and is still very new to the online realm. However, we feel like Overwatch is quickly gaining ground, as eSports fans have flocked to this title like moths to a flame. The huge advantage that Overwatch has over its FPS brethren is that the team gameplay is wild, wacky, and completely unlike anything you’ve seen before. True, it has a similar sci-fi feel to Destiny, but the characters are more fleshed out and individual – with huge strengths and weaknesses depending on who you pick. Watch a video below about all the crazy characters.
A quick break with some Twitch
Sometimes, it’s good to see how the pros do things. If you’re an amateur basketball player, it doesn’t hurt to watch some NBA once in a while, does it? Watching live tournaments or individual streamed sessions on Twitch are fantastic ways to see how the games should be played, and perhaps you’ll pick up a few tips. A Twitch streamer called ninja, for example, has over 4 million followers and recently streamed an online session with rapper Drake. So, get some coffee and sit back to see how the experts play.
Get serious with League of Legends
League of Legends (or LoL) is huge. Arguably the most popular multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) game, LoL had a whopping 57.6 million people tune in for the World Championships in 2017 – that’s when you know eSports has taken off. Roughly 27 million people play every day, so if you’re going to take on the beast that is League of Legends, you better be ready to fight. The list of characters (called Champions) is quite staggering, as there are more than 130, with new ones added several times a year. The gameplay is fast and frantic, so you have to be glued to the screen and always be aware of what your rivals are up to, but when played cohesively as a unit, great things can happen and teams are forged.
Consider getting an online crew together
To the point above, you may well find that you work particularly well with certain people – you simply get each other. If that’s the case, you might want to make this dream a reality and compete regularly. Team Liquid is one of the biggest clans in eSports, with each player gaining close to $3 million each year. Sure, it might take a while to dethrone those kings, but you’ve got to start somewhere. Many players get the idea of starting a clan website so as to show others how serious your team is about competing, as well as informing potential fans about all the latest news – something that domain providers 1&1 have got on board with by making such an option available on its site.
Finish things up with Hearthstone
An online collectible card game sounds boring, right? Not at all. Although you won’t find much in the way of scintillating action in Hearthstone, you will get a game full of strategy and intrigue. Much like poker, you have to play the right cards at the right time and guess your opponent’s moves at every stage. The game is a little tough to begin with, but once you figure out all the rules, you’ll slowly get better and come to appreciate Hearthstone for what it is: a game of skill. If nothing else, it’s a great title to end the evening with and calm down a little after the intensity of Overwatch and League of Legends.