What are eSports?
eSports, short for "electronic sports", are video games taken to a competitive level. eSports have become more and more popular over the years, to the point where many colleges have eSports clubs or teams and eSports scholarships. Some eSports athletes manage to make a living through competition winnings, fan donations, and sponsorship deals. Even large companies such as Red Bull have come to recognize video games as a sport and have their own sponsored video game athletes. For most, eSports are a hobby, as only a very small percentage of eSports athletes can actually earn enough money to live off of. eSports often involve team games, though not always.
Popular eSports Games
Multiplayer Online Battle Arenas (MOBAs) are currently one of the most popular eSports genres. MOBAs are strategic online games where players compete in teams, usually comprised of 5 players that play different roles. Popular MOBAs include League of Legends, Dota, Heroes of the Storm, and Smite.
Another popular eSports genre are Battle Royale games. Battle Royale involves dozens or even hundreds of players who typically start with minimal gear and fight until all but one player or team is eliminated. Popular Battle Royale games include Fortnite, PlayerUnknown's Battleground, Apex Legends, and Call of Duty: Warzone.
First-Person Shooters (FPS) are an older genre but still played in eSports. The name comes from the fact that the player's camera perspective is through the eyes of the character and they fight primarily with firearms. While FPS games date as far back as the 90s, they have remained popular over the decade and the ones used for eSports may be played individually or in teams, depending on the game. Currently popular FPS games include Overwatch, Call of Duty, and Counter-Strike: Global Offense.
Fighting games were some of the earliest video games played competitively and they still are played in tournaments to this day, though their communities don't always like the term "eSports". Fighting games are traditionally one versus one and played in elimination tournaments. They involve two characters in a small space, often with the goal of depleting the opponent's health bar or knocking them off the stage. Popular fighting games played competitively include Street Fighter, Mortal Kombat, and Super Smash Bros.
While these are some of the largest eSport genres, they are far from the only ones.