Some things just have to be experienced in order to be understood. For those outside of the world of video gaming, eSports in general sounds stupid. After all, why would anyone want to watch other people play video games? Watching the best at anything can be entertaining, and just like in physical sports, there are those who are better than anyone else at what they do.
Esports is turning into a billion dollar industry that is growing rapidly. As that industry grows, there will be niches that grow along with it. While I don't spend hours watching other people play video games, I love the world of sports and I try to get involved if and when that's possible, from fantasy sports to blogging to participating in mock NFL drafts online.
Until recently, I was unaware of the simulation niche within sports gaming and eSports. This is where you become the manager of a team, controlling all of the major aspects of your team (drafting, training, managing roster, etc.). Your moves will dictate your team's success, but you don't control your players during each game -- it is simulated.
My first experience with eSports simulations began several months ago when our own @tuck-fheman encouraged SPL community members to join SmallBall. SmallBall is a web-based sports game simulation.
SmallBall gives you your own team. You train your players and decide what positions they play. Then, when you're ready, you challenge other teams. You are the coach, manager, and owner.
While you can watch each and every game, you aren't playing the game. You have to watch and cheer as the team you organized, trained, and managed takes on opponents like you would your favorite sports team. Sound boring? It's not, and due to not having to play each game yourself, you're able to observe without it requiring your full attention. I would setup SmallBall games while working and occasionally look over to see how they're doing.
Using Madden 2019, the extremely popular American football video game, @tuck-fheman started a league where members of the community can own and manage their teams. Each game is simulated and streamed to anyone who wants to view them. Owners can make trades, manage their team (set offensive and defensive schemes, sign free agents, etc.), and watch how their moves impact their team as they compete for a championship against other people they know.
This past week, I participated in a live fantasy draft that lasted over 8 hours. I was able to research players, organize my rankings, view how Madden (the game) ranks players, and then chat live as the other 10 or so teams all picked their players along with AI teams.
We are now in week 1 of the league, and I couldn't be more excited about watching video game simulations of my personalized version of the Detroit Lions as they take on other Scorum community members.
The Future of Simulated eSports
This is a completely untapped market that I believe has a legitimate chance at becoming a valuable niche in the market. There are millions (if not billions) of sports fans who would love to own and manage their favorite teams against others without needing to spend tens or hundreds of hours playing the games. They also don't need to own the game or video game system in order to participate. This allows anyone to be a part of the game.
These simulated leagues could be for fun or bet on, making them a bit more interesting. Nine of us in the BROCFML agreed to put up 100 SCR, which will be given to the winner of the league (who entered this "side bet").
While some may think this is a stupid idea, being a part of these leagues (SmallBall, BROCFML) has opened my eyes to the fun and potential of simulated eSports leagues.
What do you think? Please comment below!
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