At the heart of every gamer is an individual who is incredibly competitive. One only has to spend a few minutes inside an Xbox Live chat to get a sense of how seriously we take our video games. But, whilst gaming tournaments are nothing new, this industry (known as ‘Esports’) has evolved and grown immensely over the last decade or so. Estimated to be worth over $1.5 billion as of 2023 and followed by hundreds of millions of people across the globe, join us at Daily Hawker as we run you through some of the best ways you can be an Esports fan this year!
Play The Game
How could you possibly hope to call yourself a fan of a game when you don’t even play it? Being a video game fanatic isn’t as easy as it was when we were younger, strolling downtown with $5 in our pockets and coming back with three games that would consume our entire summers.
Thankfully, it turns out being an Esports fan tends to be better for your wallet. The biggest games in the industry tend to rely on in-game microtransactions as a means of supporting themselves, with titles like League of Legends, Counter-Strike, Fortnite and Dota 2 all completely free-to-play.
What’s more, there’s often no need to worry about having to buy the latest release every year, unless you’re an EA fanboy of course. Counter-Strike: Global Offensive has been on the market since 2012, whilst Dota and League have been their latest entries in their respective franchises since 2013 and 2009.
Pick A Player / Team To Stan
Ask any soccer, hockey or basketball fan about how they came to be the supporter they are today, and they will tell you all about the superstars that made them first fall in love with their sport of choice. Or, they will tell you that their dad took them to a game when they were younger and told them this was the side they were supposed to be following.
Well, the same can be said for being a fan in the Esports world. Every org has its own unique jerseys, colours, brands and home nation, and the best players in each and every title come with their own personalities they bring with them in and out of the server.
Regardless of how you come to pick a team or player to follow, getting invested in their fortunes in their competitive scene is a great way of getting more involved in Esports.
Follow The Scene
One of the best things about the world of Esports is how absolutely accessible it is. Unlike real-world sports, competitive video gaming hasn’t been auctioned and shoved behind as many paywalls and subscriptions as possible.
Every single tournament across the industry is streamed for free online on Twitch, with other organisers also teaming up with the likes of YouTube.
What’s more, as the popularity of Esports continues to rise, more and more mainstream television stations have jumped on the bandwagon and now stream events and tournaments right into our homes.
It’s estimated that over 500 million viewers tune into Esports events every year, with its accessibility on online streaming platforms being a huge reason behind its growth.
Bet On Events
Name us a more adrenaline-pumping, rage-inducing way of experiencing sports than betting. Following a bet not only carries the chance of lining your pockets a little bit deeper but also gives fans new different angles to follow a game.
And, the same is very much the case for Esports. Esports gambling in Canada, the US, the UK and other territories has become increasingly popular as the industry’s profile has grown over the years. Fans can place bets on everything from outrights on a match, long-term winners of a tournament or something even more specific such as the amount of kills a player will rack up in a game.
Platforms such as Unikrn now even offer the opportunity for Esports fans to bet on themselves in their favourite titles and make money on their own performances in the server.
Of course, it goes without saying but betting should only ever be for fun and the second it stops being that is the moment you should take a break from it.
Buy The Merch
Once you have played your chosen title, picked a player or team to get behind and proven your loyalty by putting your money where your mouth is, the last step to being an Esports fan is by donning their colours!
Just like with real-world sports sides, Esports orgs now boast huge libraries of merchandise fans can invest in. From official replica jerseys, headwear, and other forms of apparel, visit your team’s websites to get yourself kitted out.