With the ever-present World Cup 2018 posts, articles, and memes, we thought it would be interesting to compare the World Cup to an eSports tournament, specifically the Overwatch League. Don’t worry though – we’ll try to avoid talking about that last match between Spain and Russia.
Imagine two sides of a river. On one side of the river, there’s the world of eSports. That world has been rapidly growing thanks to giants such as Blizzard Entertainment recently investing in the market more than ever. With the introduction of an eSports tournament called Overwatch League, media caught wind of the topic and slowly started covering the industry. That side of the river has a few hundred people there, cheering and celebrating from time to time.
On the other side of the river there’s the world of football. As of the moment, there’s thousands of people on this side of the river, loudly cheering and celebrating every living moment. The World Cup is well underway, and with underdogs sweeping across the football pitches and defeating well-established national teams, this event is more exciting than ever.
In this perhaps too complicated metaphor, the river symbolizes an obstacle between the two sides – the public opinion. One side is welcomed and seen as a „normal thing to do“ while the other side is viewed with suspicion and humour as the „yeah whatever, kids will be kids“ part.
Let’s try to compare the two, and see if there’s any similarities to be found.
I’m your No.1 Fan!
There would be no sports competitions without fans – they are what creates the atmosphere and what motivates the players to perform at their best. Fans are the voice of a team, and they represent the team everywhere they go, right?
Look at this beautiful picture from this year’s World Cup – can you imagine how much that silly hat must weight? Not to mention how hot the man’s head must be – you could call that Russian fan hot-headed! (Ha-ha)
Now, let’s have a look on the other side of the river. The recent Overwatch League hype got many fans excited, and Blizzard made sure to invite only the craziest and most extravagant fans in its own OWL arena. Now have a look at this family, dressed up in costumes of some of Overwatch’s playable characters:
See? Both groups enjoy the special event the same way, dressing up and cheering with a smile on their faces. Isn’t that what sport is about, enjoying the occasion and entertaining?
A Place to Stay (and Play)
Whenever the next country is selected to host a World Cup, the denizens of that country shiver. It seems to be both a blessing and a curse – hosting such a popular global event will of course bring tourists and revenue, but expenses spent on such are gigantic. In total, there are 12 stadium venues, with multiple built from scratch.
This year’s World Cup got a whole new stadium in Nizhny Novgorod, Russia. Here’s how it looks like; majestic, isn’t it?
Now, to juxtapose, here’s the Blizzard Arena, a space that Blizzard Entertainment specifically built for its eSports scene, hosting this year’s Overwatch League:
It’s too tempting to ask ‚Now find 5 differences‘. Anyway, are you starting to notice a pattern? Both disciplines, an eSports tournament and a football championship, have dedicated spaces to the event. It’s not just a random building, but rather the perfect environment that represents the discipline, the sport.
Did I just use the word ‚sport‘ in relation to eSports? Yes, I did. Crazy to imagine, right?
Did you hear? The <insert team name> lost yesterday!
You’ve heard it often during the past few days: „Did you know that England lost yesterday?“ – „No Greg, I didn’t. I don’t even like football, and you should stop pretending you care about it as well.“
It’s the buzz that’s created whenever an underdog team beats a football nation. People talk and use this topic as a conversation opener. You come to the office on Monday and the first thing you hear your colleagues talking about is the latest match.
While this might come to you as a surprise, gamers also talk about their favorite discipline. It’s happened to me on multiple occasions: I log in the game and either start skyping with my friends or join my guild’s Discord and the first thing I hear is: „Man, Spitfire used to be lit in last season, what’s happened?“
Now don’t jump to conclusions, I’m a London Spitfire fan myself. The point that I’m trying to make here is simple: eSports bands people together, just like football, volleyball, or any other sports out there, so why perceive it as inferior?
The conversation regarding eSports as a legitimate sports discipline is ongoing, and it seems that gamers are finally getting their spotlight. Who knows, perhaps we’ll treasure professional gamers more than football players in a few decades? Perhaps we’ll live in a world where the digital is all that matters?
Have you recently attended an eSports tournament? Or perhaps you’ve been to a football match? Share your thoughts with us!
Eager to read more about video games, movies, and TV series? Check out other articles by Martin Hlousek here!