Esports is becoming a very important part of the gaming community. It’s beginning to fill a niche for spectators who have been underwhelmed by gaming content which has tended towards reviews and Let’s Play-style videos. With consistent, competitive leagues, and well-implemented streaming, it has become more of a social experience as well- a chance to build communities around each given esport which are distinctly different from the games’ main playerbase.
A number of esports have been given the hype treatment – they’re well-funded, they have professional players and organisations, and professionals who report and analyse the games. League of Legends and Overwatch are two of the standout contenders in terms of the scale of the sports infrastructure built around them. There are many esports that have smaller communities and aren’t talked about in the same manner, however.
At Hoop, although we follow the more popular esports, we’re also interested in these more niche games and their communities; while there isn’t as much information out there about them, that doesn’t mean that those games are any less entertaining, or that the stories they can tell are any less interesting and engaging. Personally, I’d be much more interested to read a story about a Project Cars event by a dedicated, excellent writer than a generic one about Call of Duty. There’s also value in reaching out to smaller gaming communities and providing content that shines a light on what else is out there; as much as I love over-saturating the market with League of Legends content, sometimes it’s a good idea to take a break and see what else is out there.
Another important thing we’ll be trying to do is provide different kinds of content than currently on offer. Whether this is Gonzo-style event coverage, off-topic interviews, or classic sport articles like match reports (rather than panel breakdowns or forum threads), we think there is value in telling esports stories in diverse ways. We will also be trying to focus more on the Oceanic scene (it’s where we’re from!) and hopefully help to build a strong OCE community for esports.
This week, and moving forward, we will try and have at least one esports article a week. In particular I’ll be trying to produce a “Game of the Week” match report for League of Legends OPL, starting this week with my breakdown of last Friday’s Legacy v Chiefs game. We’re also going to gradually introduce specialised regional esports coverage, starting with a multi-part series on the LCK that will focus less on storylines and more on critically examining the effect of the 2016 Korean exodus on the esport as a whole.
We look forward to bringing more esports, and gaming, content to our pages in the near future.