Esports are full of the exciting moments you expect to see in traditional sports. There are clutch plays where one player saves their entire team. There are upsets and incredible displays of skill. And the stakes are high for esports professional gamers, with huge cash prizes to win and bragging rights to own.
If you’re new to esports, check out our rundown on the basics.
Multiplayer online battle arena (MOBAs), first person shooters, and sports games are a few of the most-watched esports. In this guide, we’ll explain how to watch esports, including some of the top tournaments to keep an eye out for and where you can watch them on the internet.
Finding an esport that you’re interested in often comes down to the gamers that play, so under each section, we’ll also be highlighting some esports players worth checking out. If you’re also a gamer, it’s a great way to pick up tips and tricks.
League of Legends esports
As the most popular esport, League of Legends is a great place for esports newbies to start. Also known as LOL, the game is a MOBA where two teams of five battle to destroy each other’s Nexus, a crystal in the center of the enemy’s base.
The game takes place in an area known as Summoner’s Rift, a square-shaped map cut in half by a river. Players can choose from 148 playable characters known as champions. Each champion has different abilities and require different skill levels to play.
Each player on a team plays in the top, middle, or bottom lane areas of the game map. There’s also a monster-infested jungle area in the middle. Towers guard each lane and protect team bases. Each lane has a different strategy of attack, but much of the gameplay tries to take out the heavily armored towers to get to the heart of your enemy’s base.
Throughout the game, players also earn gold by defeating enemy players or facing monsters on the map. As you earn more gold, you have access to better and more efficient items. This also helps champions level up, making them stronger than their enemies. The average game can take anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour to play.
LOL’s major regional competitions take place in South Korea, China, Europe, and North America. The winners of those competitions then compete in a world championship.
You can check out LOL streams on LOL Esports, which includes a schedule of tournaments and live streams so you can watch as professional esports players compete.
Watch these LOL esports players
Widely regarded as the best League of Legend’s player, Lee “Faker” Sang-hyeok is one player to watch. He plays as a midlaner on the Korean T1 team. Check out his Twitch stream here to see how he handles champions like Zed and LeBlanc.
Another midlaner, Luka “Perkz” Perković is an LOL player from Croatia. He is the only player to have won eight League of Legends European Championships. Perkz currently plays for Cloud 9, Check out his Twitch stream here.
The first player to hit 3,000 assists in the LOL League of Champions series, Zaqueri “aphromoo” Black is an American support player currently on the Dignitas team. Catch his entertaining videos on YouTube.
Counter-Strike, Global Offensive (CS:GO)
In this first-person shooter game, two teams, Terrorists and Counter Terrorists, play for up to 30 rounds, swapping after 15 rounds. The first team to 16 wins, but they must win by two rounds. Whatever equipment you gain in a round will carry over to the next, so players must be strategic about what they pick up. If a player dies in a round, they start over from scratch. An average CS:GO match lasts about an hour. Then, the teams will usually try to get the best two out of three, so it could last around three hours total.
You can watch CS:GO players compete in the ESL Pro League or on Flashpoint. And, CS:GO is one of the only esports that offers women’s only events, carving out a space for female esports players like the DreamHack Showdown.
Watch these CS:GO esports players
A winner of several women’s tournaments, Julia “juliano” Kiran is a CS:GO player from Sweden and plays for XSET. She leads as the in-game leader, calling out positions, tactics, and strategies for the team. Check out her Twitch account here.
A Hall of Fame gamer, Heather “sapphire” Garozzo has competed in over 200 tournaments and is a CS:GO Women’s World Cup Champion. She’s a veteran on the esports scene and serves as an observer at events as well. Check out her Twitch here.
Emmalee “EMUHLEET” Garrido is a 5x CS:GO Womens World Champion and the captain of the Digitas team. She also plays Valorant, and you can watch her stream here.
While far from a traditional sports game, Rocket League is still within the arena. In this game, two teams of three players face off on an indoor soccer field to hit a giant soccer ball. Players operate rocket-powered cars. Essentially, it’s soccer meets demolition derby. The goal is to score more points than the other team and you can earn points in many ways, like hitting the ball in certain ways or scoring goals.
To watch Rocket League esports, check out the RLCS X Championships, starting this month. It’s a set of four regional tournaments in Europe, North America, Oceania, and South America. You can watch the action on the official Rocket League Twitch and YouTube channels.
Watch these Rocket League esports players
Tshaka “Arsenal” Lateef Taylor Jr. plays on the Spacestation Gaming team in Rocket League with a 76% win rate. So far, he’s won a total of 20 tournaments. You can check him out on Twitch or on YouTube.
Evan “MOnkeyM00n” Rogez is one of the top Rocket League players. He plays for TeamBDS, a Swiss esports organization, and has won the last 10 tournaments he has participated in. Check him out on Twitch here.
Mariano “SquishyMuffinz” Arruda plays for The General NRG team, which is currently ranked #1 in RLCS points. SquishyMuffinz has several MVP awards, five 1st Place Lan Wins, and 1 World Championship to his name. Check out his Twitch stream.
Are you a gamer?
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