We love watching others play games. In large arcade halls, visitors would cheer along with the players on Pac-Man machines. Nowadays, gamers on Twitch have huge audiences and attract millions of people to their streams. There are esports tournaments, comparable to other professional sports. The only difference is that everything takes place online and electronically – hence the term esports.
AnyDesk is a so-called enabling partner for the esports player foundation and supports young talents on their way to becoming esports professionals with technical expertise, among other things. Together with Clara Dietrich from the esports player foundation, we took a closer look at 5 crucial reasons for the success of esports. As media and marketing manager at the esports player foundation, she knows a lot about the trend – and why it’s not just a trend.
Esports probably took its beginnings in the USA, according to Clara Dietrich. “Esports is electronic sports, in other words, competitive video gaming,” she says. That’s also what triggers the fascination. It’s a completely natural and human phenomenon: “People want to compete and, if possible, win.”
In the U.S. of the 1970s and 1980s, there were halls full of arcade machines where local teenagers would gather to play Street Fighter together. “A crowd would then form around the machine because people were extremely good, and you wanted to know who was winning.” Whether within games or competing with other players, people want to win. That’s as true on the clunky arcade machines as it is on the technically sophisticated games of today.
Crucial to the success of esports, according to Clara Dietrich, is equality: “Anyone can play against anyone. It doesn’t matter who you are or what you look like. You can still participate, and you won’t be excluded. Everyone has the same opportunities.” This is a characteristic that electronic sports have over traditional sports, where women and men have different physical characteristics. Therefore, there are hardly any mixed teams. “In esports, women and men have the same thing going for them. That’s why we also founded the Equal eSports Initiative.”
Society is moving more and more towards activism and equality, and esports is not exempt. “Especially the young generation lives esports. And they are the ones who are more and more committed to equality.”
Athletes train from a young age to become professional at their sport one day. You need the right physical conditions and shape them over years. In esports, strictly speaking, all that is needed is a suitable technical setup. All age groups and genders can participate on an equal footing and show themselves as anonymously as they like, Clara Dietrich believes. “All over the world, people can play together without having to show their faces, but the social aspect is still there. You don’t necessarily have to go out the door, you can just turn on your PC and have fun.”
That doesn’t mean you don’t have to do anything for it, though. “Of course, it’s great to earn money at 16, but it’s important to us that there’s still a plan B, too. Talent alone is not enough.” With a healthy routine that includes good nutrition and fitness as well as psychological support, anyone can make it as a top gamer at a young age. You need a routine and should stretch every now and then to prevent injury.
Mentoring talent in esports is not that different from traditional professional sports. And that’s exactly the approach the esports player foundation takes: “Our leadership brings years of experience from traditional sports, so the approach is the same: You are a holistic athlete.”
Unlike in other countries, esports is not yet officially considered a sport in Germany, which means there is no funding from the government. With political support, esports could be even bigger than it already is. “We could now lay the foundation for Germany to also play at the top of the World Championships.” However, the esports player foundation has already achieved some things: “We were included in the coalition agreement of NRW. Beyond traditional sports funding, the esports player foundation is also to be supported, which basically means esports is supported too. We don’t just want esports to be considered cool, we want to keep up with other countries.”
With the rapid advancement of technology, the gaming experience itself has become increasingly realistic over the past few decades. “Because of the fact that technology has advanced so much, you already feel like you’re part of the world when you play games. You live the game,” says Clara Dietrich.
But for the optimal experience, the right technical setup is of great importance. That’s why AnyDesk is the perfect partner for the esports player foundation: “AnyDesk supports us by enabling our players to optimize their PCs and play smoothly on them. We don’t necessarily have to buy new hardware. Instead, we can make the most of the existing hardware.” As a result, games run smoothly and without interruption. The esports player foundation can also optimize brand-new PCs via AnyDesk. You can learn how to assemble and optimize a gaming PC yourself in the AnyDesk Hardware Journey on YouTube.
“We use AnyDesk to fix problems if there are any. If a game stops working smoothly and gamers want new hardware, our IT specialist can first look at the PC to see if there’s a software bug, for example. Or he can optimize the software to make the PC run smoothly again.” So there’s no need to buy new hardware right away. This keeps esports affordable for everyone, which in turn contributes to equality.
What does the future of esports look like? According to Clara Dietrich, this question is not easy to answer. “New esports titles are not written just like that. Publishers have esports in mind, but it’s not that simple. Game development takes a long time. The most exciting trend in new esports titles right now is the first-person shooter Valorant. This is going to be pretty big in the future, because the chances of success for a new title are naturally higher. Players can generate attention faster when playing new titles.”
Equality and diversity will certainly continue to be an important topic. “My Twitter timeline is full of statements that more women should play in pro leagues. Our personal approach is to establish mixed teams. It’s doable, you just have to set clear rules.”
It’s impossible to predict which games will be trending in the future. However, our points have shown that esports is not just a trend, but an established sport that might even upend the whole gaming landscape in the future.
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