Many of us have played a video game before. Whether it be as an after school activity, a fun way to catch up with our friends or even as a procrastination technique; we all have our reasons for playing them. For some people, however, it is their whole life.

Many enthusiastic gamers have come together to compete against each other as a sporting event. eSports are taking the world by storm as the community and awareness surrounding it grows. If you are in, or know someone from, the gaming community, you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about.

The rest of you are, however, probably a little confused. Let me start by explaining what eSports actually are.

What is an eSport?

eSports are basically sets of competitions in which gamers compete against each other, usually in multi-player games. They often do this for onlooking spectators often watch these competitions unfold. These competition not only result in the winner receiving glory, but also a cash prize that can add up to millions.   

You may be wondering, how can something as simple as playing video games be classed as a sport?

As Sporting News says, the games require a number of skills, both physical and mental, as well as many hours of training and hard work to master just like any other sport.

What games can be classed as eSports?

Any video game involving some competitive merit can be played as an eSports game. Trusted Reviews, however, provides a number of great examples of typical eSport games including:

  • League Of Legends
  • Call Of Duty
  • Counter-Strike
  • Dota 2
  • StarCraft 2
  • FIFA
  • Halo

What kinds of people play eSports?

The best thing about eSports is anyone can be a player! All you need is an interest in gaming, the strong will to succeed as a gamer, an undying passion and sense of determination and the ability to withstand the training involved.

What kind of training is involved?

The training for eSport gamers is intensive. According to Business Insider, some players can train for up to 12 or 14 hours a day. They must devise strategies and techniques that will help them during the competition and maintain an awareness of what is going on during each level so there are no surprises.

Interestingly, it also pays off to be physically fit. As Michael 'Odee' O’Dell told Red Bull, “If you look at top professionals, they’re physically fit. Some have got into gaming due to injury, but being physically and mentally fit at the same time is a benefit. I’d advise all gamers to keep fit.”

What are some examples of competitions the players are preparing for?

There are a variety of eSport competitions that will take place over the course of 2016. International Business Times lists some of these:

  • BlizzCon, which is a gaming convention for enthusiastic gamers, is set to take place on November 2015 in California. As part of the convention, there is a competition called World Of Warcraft 2016 where US$250,000 is up for grabs. According to BizzCon’s official website, the top teams that specialise in WoW from around the world will go head to head to win.
  • The Call Of Duty World League is a year-long competition throughout which $3 million dollars will be handed out. There are two rounds that will lead up to the Call of Duty Championship in Autumn this year. The first round of the League began in mid-January and the second round began in towards the end of May.
  • The LCS Summer Split allows League of Legends players to compete. The competition took place from the beginning of June, putting American and European players to the test.

I hope you’ve learnt as much as I did while writing this. Stay tuned for a retrospective look at eSports throughout the ages.