Friday 18 January 2019

What is Esports?

TESL's impressive esports arena.
International Esports Federation (IESF) defines esports as:

"Esports is a competitive sport performed in a virtual environment in which physical and mental abilities are excercised to create victory conditions through generally accepted rules."

But which events can be classified as esports events?

Many think that it it is only the large events with prize money and fancy set-ups that count as esports. However, that cannot be further from the truth.

Esports, like any other sport, has its roots at school and club level.

Just like football which may be played on a football field enclosed only by a simple fence leading up to the huge events being played in the fanciest of arena, esports is just the same.

An esport event may be played in a simple club room, school hall, a dedicated esports arena, or in an existing sports arena - it is  just the level that differs.

Without the development at school and club level, the larger events will have 'feet of clay' and will not be sustainable in the long run. It is the work done at school and club level that creates the enthusiasm and basic groundswell of support needed for the larger events to survive. One just has to look at South Korea. There are over 90,000 PC Bangs (esports clubs) in Korea. That in turn feeds into the interest that makes Korea one of the top esports countries in the world today.

In fact, I woud argue, that should sponsors only look at the glitzy affairs, they are doing themselves a disservice as the lower levels of esports have far greater participation, are more sustainable and create greater product loyalty.

Thus Mind Sports South Africa (MSSA) has a number of different events at different levels to cater for the esports athlete. Besides running Regional, Provincial, and ational championships, MSSA openly encourages member clubs to host their own events. The most successful club event being the Old Edwardian Mind Sports Club's annual summer championships which is now in its 27th year.

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