What are the main Esport games and who are the main teams?

League of Legends

New to Esports? Find out everything you need to know

With many sports onhiatus, Esports are keeping the flag flying.

While there have beenseveral major event cancellations, the ability to take leagues andtournaments online means that for the time being, many games will continue tobe played.

If your Esports knowledge isn’t quite up-to-par,here’s what you need to know:

League of Legends

What is it?

A MOBA (multiplayeronline battle arena), League of Legends (or LoL) sees two teams of five playersdo battle on a map called Summoner’s Rift. The objective of the game is todestroy the opposing team’s base or ‘Nexus’.

To do so, first they need to levelup their selected character or champion (there are a huge 148 to choose from),by killing weak AI-controlled minions, destroying enemy defensive towers orfighting over neutral objectives. They also need to collect gold to power uptheir champion, while pushing their own minions toward the enemy base andtowers.

Typically a game will last from20-40 minutes, with teams coming together from across the map to engage intactical team fights around objectives, with the winners able to push towardthe enemy base to try and destroy the nexus.

Why should I watch it?

The huge selection of champions tochoose from ensures masses of variety and the game never stays the same, asteams discover new strategies for every major update made by the developersRiot Games.

The game also has a huge skill-cap– it’s relatively easy to play the game once you get your head around it.However, being good at it requires an athlete’s level of devotion and notinconsiderable talent. The biggest teams in the world often train in excess of50 hours a week per player.

There’s also considerable strategyand tactical depth that goes into every game. From the team composition, tocontrolling vision on the map, down to team fight initiation – there are anawful lot of variables that teams need to consider.

Who are the biggest teams right now?

Each year culminates in a huge event called the WorldChampionship or simply ‘Worlds’. In 2019, Chinese team FunPlus Phoenixemerged victorious, with Europe’s G2 Esports placing second.

Korea’s SKT 1 are the game’s most legendaryteam and are the only team to have won the Worlds three times. In the NorthAmerican region, Cloud 9 have been the strongest side in recent years.

What’s on:

Many of the major leagues were temporarily suspendedafter the coronavirus outbreak. However, most are starting to resume in onlineformat (usually the games are played in a studio).

As a result, the Spring ‘splits’ (or seasons) from allmajor regions are set to resume this weekend.

That means action from Korea (LCK), China (LPL),Europe (LEC) and North America (LCS).

Dota 2

What is it?

Much like League of Legends, Dota 2 is a MOBA, wheretwo teams of five battle to destroy each other’s base and the ‘Ancient’ housedwithin (Dota stands for Defence of the Ancients).

Both Dota 2 and LoL can appear similar, the main differenceis that LoL has more ‘skill shots’ – aimed attacks, while Dota 2 has slightlymore complex mechanics, and tactical gameplay.

Why should I watch it?

While League of Legends has a comprehensive leaguestructure, Dota 2 is more geared towards major and minor events. The biggest ofwhich – The International – boasts a huge partially crowdfunded prize poolevery year (in 2019 it maxed out at $34,330,068).

Watching teams battling for these life-changing sums canbe thrilling.

Who are the biggest teams right now?

European side OG have won The International (or TI)two years running for the first time in the history of the game. However, theirroster has undergone significant changes for 2020, with players retiring,taking a break or moving into coaching positions.

While Chinese team Vici Gaming head the rankings interms of Pro circuit points this year, they lost 3-0 to rivals PSG.LGD inthe WeSave Charity Play tournament earlier today.

What’s on:

Unfortunately, two ‘Major’ events have been delayeddue to coronavirus already. With ESL One Los Angeles and ESL One Sao Paulo bothbeing postponed.

The fate of TI is still up in the air at the time ofwriting.

However, some regional leagues are continuingincluding the South American Aorus League and the CIS region’s Sigul ProLeague.

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive

What is it?

A competitive FPS (first-person shooter), where twoteams are split into Terrorists and Counter-Terrorists (CTs).

Fighting across a selection of classic maps, matchestake place across 30 2-minute rounds. The terrorist’s objective is to plant abomb at one of several bomb sites, while the CTs split their resources todefend the sites. A round can also be won by eliminating every member of theopposing team, the bomb going off (terrorists win) or the CTs defusing the bomb(CTs win).

Why should I watch it?

Each player only has one life per round and if aplayer is eliminated, their team has to continue without them. This can lead tointense situations, where players are outnumbered and outgunned, battling tovictory for their team, with clutch plays and genuinely exciting momentsaplenty.

CS:GO is also a very strategic game, understanding themaps, weapon selection and being able to predict and counteract the enemyteam’s plans all come into play. Although pure skill and talent can derail eventhe best-laid plan.

Who are the biggest teams right now?

While they have something of a reputation for fallingflat when it matters most, CIS side Natus Vincere are having a storming2020 so far, after victory in the IEM Katowice tournament.

While they only made it to the Katowice semi-finals, Astralisare considered perhaps the greatest team in the history of the game, with astring of high-profile 1st place finishes in 2019.

What’s on:

The ESEA Pro League sees the biggest teams from acrossthe world competing in a global league. There are four groups, each with sixteams, with the top sides progressing to a play-in and play-off bracket.Currently Astralis lead the way in Group A, with forZe, Fnaticand Natus Vincere tied at the top of Group B.

The German ESL Meisterschaft league is also ongoing, with the Unicorns of Love, BerlinInternational Gaming (BIG) and Alternate aTTaX the stand-outperformers so far.

One-off events

Along with the established Esports tournaments above,in the wake of real-life sports cancellations, a raft of replacement eventshave appeared, attracting major attention from sports fans from across theglobe. Here are a few that are definitely worth a look:

FIFA – Ultimate Quaranteam

Organised by Leyton Orient, the FIFA Quaranteam eventwill see 128 professional clubs play for bragging rights on FIFA. We’recurrently in the round of 64, with the round of 32 set to begin on Thursdayfrom 7pm.

Some sides like Man City and Roma already boastprofessional Esports players in their ranks, while others will be lettingfootball pros represent them in the tournament. As such, Middlesbrough arecurrent favourites to take the trophy.

Tonight’s matches include two north-east hopefuls inaction, with Fortuna Sittard playing Sunderland, while FC Nantes take onNewcastle.

Fight Night Legends – eWBSS Heavyweight Legends Tournament

Using EA’s Fight Night Legends, the eWBSS pits heavyweight boxinglegends against one another in a battle for simulated supremacy.

Yesterday saw something of an upset, as Joe Frazier knocked outBritish former-heavyweight champ Lennox Lewis in the 7th round, setting up anenticing Ali-Frazier IV in the semi-finals.

Tonight’s bout sees ‘Iron’ Mike Tyson take on Eric ‘Butterbean’ Esch. Tyson is the heavy favourite at 1/12 to progress.

View the latest Esports odds.

All odds and markets correct as of date ofpublication

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