A beginner’s guide to the world of esports

By William Davis


Dec 26, 2020

Reading time: 5 min

Thinking of getting into esports? The esports industry has been on the rise for the past decade, creating an environment with many opportunities for newcomers and veterans alike. Whether fans want to get involved in the ever-growing world of esports or simply watch some matches, let’s take a closer look at esports, the games, and the players. 

What is esports?

Esports are video games that can be played competitively with other players. They are enjoyed by amateurs all over the world in the privacy of their own homes, but things get a little more interesting at the pro level. 

Since these games do have a competitive edge, it makes them perfect for tournaments and competitions. The excitement around these games has continued to grow and it is now possible to find esports teams that play professionally in tournaments all over the world.

Though it is very difficult to do, there are people who pull themselves up the ranks from amateur players to pro ones. A lot of players will climb up the ranks within their chosen game in hopes of organizations noticing them at the top of the leaderboard. Others will try out for third tier and academy teams, proving themselves on smaller stages. 

When Did Esports Become Popular?

Esports are sometimes considered a rather recent development in gaming, but they have been around for quite some time. Competitions have been going on for as long as competitive games existed, although it wasn’t always at the same scale with the same organization and prize money. 

The development of first local area network games and then wider internet-based games led to the rise of multiplayer games where people all over the world could come together to play. Followers also grew, meaning more and more people would pay attention and participate. 

These games are incredibly accessible. Though the pros have strict training regimes, similar to other professional athletes, amateurs are able to work their way up just by playing the games as they are freely available on the wider market. These games are even enjoyed by millions of people that don’t even intend to ever play at a competitive level. 

This means that pretty much anyone could get their start in the world of eSports at any time. They could start with free online casino slot machines, move onto other types of gaming, and then soon end up in the world of competitive gaming. It is little wonder that this has become such a popular pastime for so many people. 

Let’s take a look at some of the most popular games that players all around the world engage with on both a professional and amateur level.

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive

Counter-Strike (or CS:GO as it is often abbreviated to) is an incredibly popular first-person shooter. It uses a free-to-play model which makes it very easy for players to engage with. 

The game’s concept itself is very simple. There are two teams, one taking on the role of the Terrorists and the others being the Counter-Terrorists. They will then have to eliminate each other while also taking on other tasks around the map.

Unlike casual play, pro teams will usually each take the role of the Terrorists and the Counter-Terrorists across several rounds. The CS:GO esports scene is spread across several tournaments and they are attended by some of the biggest teams in the industry. Some of the biggest tournaments are the Majors, which are in part from the game’s developers Valve. They can have prize pools of up to $1 million. 

Call of Duty

The Call of Duty franchise is one of the most well-known games in the world. Though the first game was released back in 2003, they have steadily produced more and more games. Ever since the release of Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare in 2006, there have been esports connected to this game.

Players have the options of playing in either ladders or tournaments. Both can be played competitively and give the players a chance to collect trophies and prize money. The Call of Duty League was recently formed, offering a franchise format to competitors at the highest level. 

Gears of War

Gears of War is a third-person shooter franchise. In addition to a long plot, Gears also has a lively and competitive multiplayer mode that has grown into its own subsection of esports. It has many different modes that players could try, including deathmatches and King of the Hill scenarios.

One quirk of the game comes from the respawn system. Every team has a designated leader. Should the leader remain alive, the team can respawn. However, once that leader is dead, this ability is lost. It helps to make for some interesting and hotly contested games.


Battlefield is another long-running franchise that has spawned many titles within the series over the years. This game allows players to select a class to build up and perfect certain strategies. Each one comes with different weapons and varying roles that they need to fulfil during fights, something that is present in many other esports, including Valorant and League of Legends. 

Players’ performances and statistics are all housed in online stats. This allows players to move between certain rankings, and provides them with a great foundation from which tournaments can be created. Deathmatches and conquests are both common types of match we can see in these tournaments.

These are just four of the games commonly played at a competitive level. Other popular titles include League of Legends, Overwatch, Dota 2, and Valorant. Fighting games like Super Smash Bros. and Tekken have also started to expand the industry. 

The world of esports has so much to offer its players. If you are searching for an engaging style of gaming that will allow you to play as an amateur and observe pro players giving their all, esports can offer you what you are searching for. Find the right game for you to dive into and start playing now.