E-Sports: the rise of competitive gaming

The world of gaming has turned into an international phenomenon./Jakob Wells

The world of gaming has turned into an international phenomenon./Jakob Wells

A crash course in the world of gaming

Author: bram lerat – contributor

E-Sports. A term or name that may not be common to the sports fan that believes they follow everything in the sports world. E-Sports are simply electronic sports, which for an easy definition are organized video game competitions. These competitions are held worldwide and for pretty much any game that you can think of. Competitors battle it out on a team or individually for prize money that all depends on teamwork, mental toughness, coordination and knowledge of the particular game. These aspects are merely just a few that can describe a professional gamer but should not be looked at as something that can be done by the average joe. Most real professionals have spent thousands of hours in that particular game, crafting their skill for a chance to compete and perhaps live off of their success in that game.

Growing up in the video game revolution, I’ve been told many things when it comes to video games which primarily come from my parents. Whether it be my first Playstation to the new Xbox One, the view that these games will get you nowhere and that there are better things I could be doing have been often relayed. I’m no pro gamer, but it seems like those views could be taken in a different direction with the rise of E-Sports in the modern day. People of all ages and all over the world are being paid hundreds of thousands of dollars in this business and these games are proving to be something much more than your simple hobby.

While many of these gamers and organizations are located in the United States and Asia, there are some close to home examples that may show you just how legitimate E-Sports are.

Chris “Royal 1” Fiorante is a future 2015 University of Regina graduate and has been involved in E-Sports for close to a decade. Fiorante has done it all, whether it is playing or coaching, and has been to Los Angeles, New York, and everywhere in between for the game of Halo. Fiorante is currently the coach of the highest-ranked Halo team in the world, CLG, and has witnessed the progression and popularity that E-Sports has gained within the last decade.

“E-Sports have progressed in that they have gained the recognition from major organizations such as sponsorships from RedBull, Monster, Samsung and Razer. The stakes at these competitions are also financially viable for players and organizers as prize pools for players can reach up to a million dollars and are broadcasted at prestigious events such as the x-games.”

With prize pools and sponsorships on the line for every tournament, Fiorante has no easy job when it comes to coaching.

“As a Halo coach I am the ‘all-seeing eye for the team.’ As there are four screens played on by the team, a player cannot know what is going on all four screens. My job is to relay them information during the game that will help them better reach their winning objective. This means doing things like timing power weapons, power ups and communicating where enemy players are in the game.”

Alongside his brother, Mathew “Royal 2” Fiorante (arguably one of the best Halo players in the world), Chris has quite the year ahead of him with several tournaments and a Season Championship to look forward to with his team CLG.

It comes as no surprise that a new world of sports is emerging within our society today. With no end in sight for Electronic Sports and endless opportunities to progress, it looks like competitive gaming is here to stay. Whether you’re a fan of the idea or not, it’s clear that being really good at video games has an upside now.

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