In the crowded and ever expanding esports landscape there are more events to attend than ever. This article will give you 4 types and examples of events and how they differ. The wins and losses under each event type will help you better understand what to expect when attending.
1. Local Community Tournaments and Meetups (ex. some college esports and various discord channel meetups)
These are micro-communities of local gamers that meet in their cities to play games with one another. These events happen when fans of a game organize meetups through sites such as twitter, reddit, and discord. They will often occur at a local arcade, internet cafe, or a gamer’s house.
Wins: Fantastic place to meet people in your area playing games that you enjoy. These communities are very tight and loyal to one another. Occasionally a pro player will stop in and spend time. Local communities are a fantastic place to learn about a particular esport and have all your questions answered. You can even walk away with strategies and tactics for later use. These meetups are usually free to attend.
Losses: Can get really competitive at times, depending on who attends, and trash talk can be extreme. Can be poorly organized and technical difficulties can occur.
2. Gamer Lifestyle Conventions (ex. Dreamhack, PAX Conference, and Portland Retro Gamers 2018)
These events are filled will all sorts of variety for esports fans. Most gamer conventions have esports to watch or brand new games to play.
Wins: If you are in need of new gaming gear, shirts, posters, games, or general merchandise. then there is no better place to do this. Esports programming for these events is great and is ideal for learning about new esports. The guest panels can be entertaining as well. Tournaments that are put on are very enjoyable to play in and usually run very smoothly. Usually a whole day of entertainment costs around $40-50.
Losses: Lines can be very long. Some booths are very desperate to sell their stuff, so be ready to be pitched. Strongly recommended that you look at the schedule as some of these conventions are far superior to others.
3. Business Conferences for Esports (ex. Hive and ESL One)
These events happen all over the world to showcase a global industry.
Wins: You get to meet some of the people that built esports, and hear them speak live. There is some great content by experts in the industry.
Losses: Overpriced at average price of $1500 for general admission. The networking opportunities that these events promise and upsell for thousands of dollars are not worth it based on feedback and experience. The industry is very accessible via Twitter, Linkedin, and Reddit. There is a lot of heresy and speculation versus hard business facts.
4. Esports Main Events (TI, EVO, Worlds)
The main events are the most popular professional esports events, and are watched by millions across the globe. The competition prize pools can be massive, which adds to the excitement and stakes. These are usually the most prestigious championship event of each respected esport for the year.
Wins: Incredible production and an outstanding all-around experience for esports fans and the general public. You get the high stakes feel of competition and get to see some of the world’s best play. The hype is real and you get to connect and cheer for popular teams with people next to you. There will often be player signing sessions as well as in-game drops or swag bags.
Losses: Tickets can get really expensive and hard to get for main events.