Esports is a quickly changing world that moves at a breakneck speed with constant changes to various metas, strategies and players. Jumping into this world always seems a bit scary and even a bit overwhelming at times. People aren’t sure where to begin their journey in the esports world. In a highly competitive field where teams, organizations and people are fighting for just about everything, you have to wonder how to start. Everyone takes a different road into esports, but there are some important points to remember for everyone taking their first steps into the world of exciting, mind-blowing plays and intense moments that make up Esports.
Source: Riot Games
Playing the game
One of the most important things to do before even attempting to get into esports is to play the game. If you don’t enjoy playing the game, then it's unlikely you are going to enjoy watching the game as well. The best thing you can do before even attempting to get into esports is to just play and learn the basics. Learn what the game is about, what you have to do to win, and anything else that seems important. It will make the overall experience a lot more enjoyable for you as well.
One of the first steps to take when it comes to getting into esports is to start watching esports! Some of the biggest esports in the world at the moment are Valorant, League of Legends and Fortnite. Esports are becoming a major player in the sports world and are broadcast both on TV and through streaming services now. Most popular esports have some kind of streaming service of their own. For example, League of Legends has lolesports.com. YouTube or Twitch are likely the two best ways to find what you are looking for when it comes to esports that don’t have their own sites. Watching would also require a bit of research as some esports are only broadcast when big tournaments are happening, while others could happen weekly and knowing the schedules so you can tune in is important.
Another thing to look into is researching teams that compete in esports that you are interested in. Just watching games with no investment can be a bit rough, but if you are able to find a team that you can support, it increases your investment overall. Some organizations have multiple teams across various games, so you can follow your favorite teams in League of Legends, Fortnite, Call of Duty, DOTA and various other games.
Joining the Community
It’s always a bit nerve wracking when you join a new community full of people you don’t know. The first thing you have to remember is that everyone around you in this community has the same love and passion you do for a similar hobby. This is important because it gives you a good talking point when meeting new people. Various esports give you a variety of ways to make new friends in the community. Most have Discord, a social media platform favored by many gaming communities, or interact with fans on different platforms like Twitch, Twitter, Instagram and any other social media platform.
Other ways to reach out to the community is to attend events in your area. Various internet cafes, sports venues and other video game-based businesses tend to host watch parties or other events when esports events are happening. This is a fantastic way to go out and meet others in your local area. Some esports events even have fan events during their biggest events. Riot hosts a “Fanfest” before their LCS finals and Worlds events, where fans are able to interact with their favorite teams and enjoy fair games. Keeping an eye out for big or small events is a great way to explore the world of esports in your local area.
What to do after?
Once you join the esports community, it can seem like a lot to take in. It’s important to remember that it’s a hobby for everyone to enjoy and not to stress out too much about it. If you join a discord or community online, just take part in conversations or game nights if they offer it! Game nights are a fantastic way to make new friends and cement relationships that you had previously. If you even feel confident enough, you can find communities that host amateur tournaments and join in on the fun yourself!
From highly competitive to relaxing fun tournaments that are both online and in person, you can take part in the action as well. Some of these tournaments do require you to play in person, while others just ask that you join a Discord call during the required time. With prizes ranging from gift cards to actual trophies and cash prizes, there are some great reasons to take part besides introducing yourself to the community.
Tackling a new hobby is never easy, especially if you are doing it alone, but it’s extremely rewarding once you do. The esports community is a group of people who are passionate and welcoming to anyone and everyone who shares their love of video games and competition. They have no problem helping people learn more about the games they watch or the teams they support. It’s important to remember that despite the competitive reputation that esports has received, the fans want nothing more than the community to grow and will always be happy to bring others into the fold.
Exploring our passions is so important and should always be encouraged by family and friends. Joining leagues, communities and following teams' social media will expose fans to a whole new world that they may have never known existed until they are able to properly begin to explore themselves. The one very important thing to remember is that it is alright to take things a bit slow. Trying to rush into a new hobby can be overwhelming and exhausting, so taking your time and making sure you are enjoying something instead of stressing yourself out by trying to learn everything at once is the most important thing to remember. Overall, Esports is about fun and remembering to have fun is the best thing we can do!
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Josh Charest is a 26 year old Boston native who has loved video games from a very young age. An avid reader, cosplayer and rabid esports fan who loves to be in the stands screaming for his favorite team to take home the gold.