Spectating esports: where to begin
News - 12 Jan 2017
How can you start watching esports? The British Esports Association lists some simple ways to get started…
If you are just getting into esports as someone who already plays games, the obvious choice is to look to see if the games you like or play often have a competitive scene.
The top esports titles have tournaments and leagues running throughout most of the year on a very regular basis. Check the game’s website or social media pages to find out.
Some games with a smaller player base may still have an esports scene, but it will just have fewer viewers and the scene might not be as developed. Of course, this doesn’t mean it’s any less enjoyable to watch than the top esports titles.
Likewise, if you’re a parent or other person wanting to find out how to check out an esports match or two, then our information below should be able to help.
In the UK there are a variety of competitions for you to watch. The top teams in the UK play against each other across multiple titles. ESL, Gfinity and Multiplay are the biggest tournament providers in the UK. They host a lot of tournaments - such as the ESL Premiership and Multiplay UK Masters - throughout the year across multiple titles.
There are plenty of other tournaments and grassroots initiatives to sink your teeth into too, such as epic.LAN.
How to watch
Esports events are typically streamed to online broadcasting websites, but there has been increased TV coverage of premier tournaments and even some dedicated esports TV channels over the past year.
Online streaming is where the event will be recorded broadcast live to a platform such as Twitch. Going onto the Twitch website and searching by what games you play or are interested in is a great way to start spectating esports. For more information on streaming click here (what is streaming article).
Other streaming platforms include Azubu, Hitbox and YouTube to name a few.
The LCS is one of the premier tournaments in League of Legends. The world Championship is the biggest single event in League, but also the LCS runs throughout the year. There are two splits, spring and summer, and it operates in two regions: North America and Europe. During the season, there are four or more series taking place four days a week. That gives you lots of games to be watching and entertaining yourself with.
The International is the biggest event in Dota 2 and the tournament with the highest ever prize pool: more than $20m. It offers a unique spectating experience with a VR hub which allows you to see a live match as you were in the world itself. People can watch from their game clients too, giving them the pro player’s perspective to watch from. It’s a very exciting game to be a spectator of.
ESL ONE events are held for CSGO, Dota 2 and Battlefield. The events they host are huge. The CSGO tournament they run in Cologne has some of the most impressive viewing figures in the history of esports. It’s definitely worth checking out any of the tournaments they run. There’s certainly a lot of excitement when watching from home or in the crowds at the events that take place all over the world.
The Smite World Championship is an annual event where the top teams in Smite battle it out to become the world champion. The game boasts a different angle of viewing to LoL and Dota, and has some different movement mechanics. This makes Smite unique and it offers an immersive experience. These features really help add to the enjoyment when team fights break out.
Follow the best
Make sure you are signed up to social media sites like Twitter and Facebook to follow the players and teams you see in action. Keeping up to date with what is happening from the top names in the industry will help you know what is going on, when and where you can watch it.
By Rob Allen