E-sports is the professional practice of video games. For many people, this practice can’t be assimilated to sport. But mentalities are changing especially in USA, France, Germany, China, South Korea… where pro players can enjoy high-level sports VISA.
The most common competitive games are “Starcraft II“, which is a real time strategy game, “DOTA II” and “League of Legends“, which are MOBA (Massive Online Battle Arena) strategy game played in team, but tournaments in older games such as “Starcraft Broodwar” or “Street Fighter II” remains strong.
The training of a pro player is pretty rough, from 8 to 12 hours every day, a similar health practices than an athlete, a sports training and work on reflexes.
In 2015, on average, 14 million people were watching the matches of the World Cup “League of legends” on the streaming platform “Twitch” and up to 36 million people during the day of the final. The final took place in Berlin, Germany and gathered 16,000 people in the “Mercedes-Benz Arena” of Berlin.
In 2014, it was 40,000 people who gathered in the “World Cup Stadium” in Seoul, South Korea. The final was followed by 27 million viewers on “Twitch”
A professional player earns between € 1,500 and € 10,000 per month. This includes his salary and various sponsorships or partnerships he does with community businesses.
During the last world cup of “League of Legends”, the youngest e-sports player was 17 years old, and he’s known as Fabian “Febiven” Diepstraten. The oldest was Daerek “Forg1ven” Hart and he was 26 years old.
We will focus on the game League of legends which is the most popular and competitive game of the e-sports scene. Riot Games, the video game publisher who developed it, was founded in 2009 and immediately entered in the competitive dimension of gaming. The game is free and has 27 million regular players and 80 million players in total.
The game is simple, 2 teams of 5 players, each controlling a character with a defined position (Toplaner, Jungler, Midlaner, CarryAD and Support) compete and must destroy the enemy base. The matches last between 30 and 45 minutes. The match begins with the phase of “Draft” where each team banned three characters, then each turn, players of each team choose their character according to their position. During the game, teams can complete goals (elimination of a monster, taking a strategic point …) that give them benefits. The players are supported by defense turrets that slow enemies and minions who assist them in battle.
If you want to discover and have more details on the genesis of a professional player, I recommend the excellent documentary series “Legends Rising” consisting in 6 episodes of 25 minutes following the evolution, privacy and life of 6 professional players. The documentaries are available in English on the Youtube platform.