Top 10 things to know about esports, a more complex activity than we imagine

Esports is a world that is often unknown to the general public and even sports fans, when frankly it deserves a little more recognition (come on guys, do your best for these big geeks (I’M LAUGHING)). In addition, know that the French are not that bad, even very strong. It can give you something new to support and a new reason to party at the bar with your friends. No, people who do esports aren’t just big jerks who dreamed of being Neymar while sitting on their couch.

1. Esports may seem simple, but it’s not and just like athletes, gamers retire very early

The first thing to know is that being an esports professional requires a lot of effort (but really a lot) and training, a bit like a “real” sportsman after all and therefore careers are quite short.

You may have imagined the big, hardened 45-year-old bachelor as an esports pro (and that’s a shame because we don’t like clichés) well, that’s not really the case. † The gamers are quite young (average 25 years in 2020 among the 100 best players in the world) and the maximum age is around 31/32 for the oldest among them, not much different from the world of professional sports we know.

2. There’s also doping in e-sports (yes, even if it seems weird)

Spending hours and hours in front of the screens ultra concentrated is very exhausting (as you can imagine). Unfortunately, like some athletes (or like guys who work in finance), a little help from a miracle product is often welcome.

Controversy arose when Canadian Semphis, who is part of the Cloud9 team, admitted in July 2015 that he and his entire team were using Adderall during matches to improve their performance. According to him, this info was so obvious that it wasn’t a problem for him (the guy was even about to say that people were stupid to think otherwise, nice). Adderall is a drug banned in France and is only sold by prescription in certain countries, such as the United States. It is used to combat attention and hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), but when used by someone who is not affected by such a disorder, it simply exponentially increases the level of concentration and physical performance.

3. We clearly shit during training

Becoming a world champion takes some crazy training, and esports is no exception. For games like League of Legends, the very regular rhythm of tournaments requires strict training. The teams then meet almost every day to train together and to spend whole hours on the game. In the end it looks a bit like a professional football season.

4. The French are strong, even very strong (if we promise you)

You would think that France would drop completely in the ranking of the best esports countries and yet that is not the case at all. The French weigh a lot in the game (aha “game” as in video games, if it’s funny). For example, French player Bruce Grannec, nicknamed “The Machine” (it gives you a bit of an idea) was FIFA World Champion in 2009, 2013 but also World Champion in 2006 on PES. France ranks 4th among the largest esports countries (in terms of the number of professional players and the number of prizes won during competitions) behind the United States, China and Korea. 4th place in the world and 1st place in Europe, it is clearly not a loss.

5. Esports isn’t just FIFA, Call of Duty or LOL

It may seem crazy, but these are the games that we will naturally think of when we talk about esports and yet there are also major Mario Kart or Tekken leagues.

And besides, the greatest Super Mario Kart player in the world for a long time was Frenchman Florent Lecoanet, six-time world champion. And know that in 2020 the Americans have decided to launch a completely different competition, at stake The Sims 4† Yes, this game where we had fun trapping Sims in a pool (which is awful) will have its own competition with the aim of highlighting the creativity of the players in timed events. You can laugh if you want (in real life I get you), but the winner will win a $100,000 prize, so it might be worth it.

6. There are also player managers and sponsors (in short, it brings in a lot of money)

You have indeed understood that e-sports almost exactly inherit the characteristics of sports. Who says professional, says sponsor, says money and says manager. Again, we need to get rid of this idea of ​​the guy (or girl, even if it’s rarer) playing in the back of his attic, esports professionals are richer than your young executives dynamic people working at La Défense I say you.

7. The first esports competitions took place in the late 1980s

The first esports competitions were born on games like Pacman or Snake, it was almost at the same time as the first Rugby World Cup which took place in 1987, so the competitive aspect of game videos grew very quickly after they were created.

The discipline subsequently developed and was democratized worldwide in the 2000s and 2010s with the rise of games such as League of Legends or Counter Strike and the establishment of professional leagues such as the Cyberathlete Professional League, founded in 1997.

8. The most popular esports games are League of Legends, Counter-Strike and Dota 2

If you want to make a big splash, immediately stop playing FIFA or Mario Kart with your friends all the time (esports where the French are the best, really, we’re not strategic). The sports that are most popular (with the largest number of professional players and spectators) are therefore LOL, Counter-Strike and Dota 2 which are an arena style game and online battle respectively, first person shooters and again a multiplayer arena/battle game.

Well, if you really don’t like all of that, you can try training on Call of Duty, it’s the 4th most popular esports game, but forget about FIFA, the game only comes “in” 10th place in the rankings (ok , it’s not that terrible).

9. There are also injuries that esports pros regularly get

The cruciate ligament excuse exists in all sports, and in e-type it is often a broken thumb or wrist. Yes, I admit it sounds ridiculous and yet it is true. Players are forced to retire a little early because they have too many repeated wrist or thumb fractures.

10. There are very few women

Very few women attempt a professional career in e-sports while the proportion is relatively equal in playing video games for leisure. In France, only 12% of esports would be by 2021. This is due to the fact that most (if not all) of the most popular esports games are “marketed” as male games (shooting games, fighting games, or sports games), creating a significant societal barrier for women who would try it. . There are a few women who know how to stand out and find a place for themselves in the very closed world of esports, like the Canadian Sasha Hostyn or the Korean Li Xiao Meng.