It has quickly become all the rage and the hype has been spreading fast – the world of esports is certainly growing extremely quickly and pulling in thousands of new fans for every big tournament that takes place. But it can be hard to keep up – there’s so many titles and tournaments to keep track of, so many different events, so how can you watch them, what should you be watching, and is esports for you? Hopefully, this will clear some of that up, and as esports is shaping up to be the future of sporting, it’s good to get in early.

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Viewership and participation – The biggest benefits that come with being an esports spectator largely show through with but viewership and participation options, whilst many traditional sporting events are locked behind a pay-wall service, esports are broadcast for free across platforms like Twitch and it’s unlikely this will change. Whilst some TV networks are beginning to pick up broadcasting rights, you’ll still be able to find many online streams easily accessible for free. Similarly, participation is easy too – many of the games are free to play if you’d like to give them a go, a quick download and you’re away – alongside this many operators have started to follow esports more as betting becomes much more available through sites such as if you’d like to participate in that way too. Accessibility is much easier than many traditional sporting options and makes following the growing number of tournaments much easier.

What to watch? – The big three games the esports space currently are Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, League of Legends, and DotA2, but if you’re not an esports enthusiast these games may be a little hard to follow – there’s a lot going on and if you’re not really sure what you’re watching it’s very easy to get lost. For new viewers, particularly those more interested in traditional sporting events, there’s plenty to bridge the gap – titles such as FIFA and NBA have started to become increasingly popular over the past few years and provide a more familiar face in gaming, and smaller titles like Rocket League take a very simple concept like football and just add a little flair to it – start off with something familiar and easy to recognize and work up from there, but there’s also plenty to help you understand the bigger games too once you become more interested!

The last big question for many is whether or not esports is for them – online gaming isn’t for everyone and so watching it may not be either, but there is such a huge diversity in the games that are played now that typically there’s something for everyone and this had been particularly shown recently with the growth of iRacing in lieu of real racing when events were cancelled, the only way you’ll find out is by giving it a watch or giving a try, and with viewing and playing options free, you lose nothing by giving it a go!

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