What is esports?
Electronic sports (esports) is best described as simple as competitive gaming. Across different video games, professional (and semi-professional) teams and players compete in organized leagues and tournaments (competitions). It is a truly global phenomenon with millions of viewers and fans worldwide and has been growing steadily since the early 2000s. Esports has several genres of video games to compete in, the most popular ones being First Person Shooters (FPS), Multiplayer Online Battle Arena (MOBA), Battle Royal (BR), and Real-Time Strategy (RTS). Each genre usually contains multiple video games with similar traits.
Just like in traditional sports such as soccer or basketball, top-level players sign contracts to play for and represent large teams or organizations. In esports, however, an organization often has several teams competing in different video games. It's like Manchester United would have a soccer team, a basketball team, and a Formula 1 team, all competing under the Manchester United name.
Esports competitions come in many different shapes and sizes, with their format being dependent on which video game is being played. The formats used can even vary within a single video game. Some video games are played individually, with only two players facing off against each other in 1vs1 matches. Others are played as a team sport, with team sizes varying depending on the video game. There are also some being played as Free for All (FFA).
The main types of competitions in esports are *leagues* and *tournaments.* Leagues are most comparable with the NBA or the English Premier League in that they feature a set group of teams who play each other and compete over an extended period of time. Tournaments are most comparable with tennis or golf tournaments, typically lasting for a single week or even just a weekend. Both leagues and tournaments can be split into different stages, with examples being qualifiers, group stages, and playoff/final stages.
In esports competitions, the teams or players participating play matches against each other to determine a winner. A match consists of one or more games (not to be confused with different video games, but rather "a game of Counter-Strike", just as "a game of football"). For example, one match may consist of three games to determine the winner, where the first team/player to reach two game wins, wins the match. The active set of players during a match is called a lineup. A team can have more players than what can be active at a given time, with the surplus of players acting as substitutes.