I’ve been aware of this eSport thing back when I was a teenager. I believe Johnathan ‘Fatal1ty’ Wendel was the man who was responsible for me to learn about this whole idea of playing video games as a living. I remember watching MTV’s True Life and I discovered him through that. It was mind blowing to learn that you could do a thing like that and I also did play Quake 3: Arena which happens to be one of the games that Fatal1ty was known to be dominant at as a professional gamer. Ever since I’ve been exposed to competitive gaming or eSports, I definitely started watching top players of my favorite games playing at a high level.
There were always many genres that eSports included. Right now, mobas (multiplayer online battle arenas), seem to be the most popular one right now in this day and age, but back in 2001-2005, first-person shooters were very popular for competitive gaming. I remember there was a time when there were these kinds of first-person shooters that were very fast paced and chaotic. It’s definitely not similar in terms of a playing experience when you compare it to a Call of Duty or Battlefield, but these types of shooters, arena shooters, were once a popular sub genre for first-person shooters and they were popular for competitive gaming too. I remember enjoying watching these games being played at the highest level and I just found it strangely enjoyable to watch people playing video games rather than playing it for yourself.
I think what makes first-person shooters so fun to watch is it’s action-packed. However, there’s definitely more to it than just running around one location and shooting your gun. You do need to have some smart decision making, strategy, tactics, and so many more. There’s also the weapons to make it appealing to watch. I personally always love watching good sniper shots whether it’s in Halo or Quake. The arena shooters were very exciting to watch because they were so fast and there were movement techniques to allow people move through even faster!
Another thing is, it’s great to watch people play at the highest level and you can take ideas or cues how they play it. I’ve always liked to be solid or decent at the games I play, and watching the best of the best play, allows me to adapt quicker or learn things I didn’t realize.
There are still popularity of first-person shooters in the eSports world although times have definitely changed and I do miss seeing top level arena shooters gameplay. However, even if I watch a game I’m familiar at or not familiar with on Twitch, I always enjoy the thrill of the competition and high action that this genre is known for. I hope to see the genre stay being popular in the eSports world and hopefully, there could be some new series to be thrown in the mix with the Counter-Strikes and Call of Duties.