Competitive e-sports are gaining in popularity all the time. When I was younger I vaguely remember people talking about who the best Quake player was and I understood that competitive Star Craft was a popular thing in South Korea. But it always seemed very niche and fringe. It was a thing that might, maybe one day catch on. But that day is today. Today-ish. Really it’s kind of a slow thing that’s been happening for years as opposed to one day. One decade maybe. The point is that it is happening. ARE YOU READY TO LOG ON AND THEN RUMBLE???!!!
Overwatch, Heroes of the Storm, Hearthstone, and probably games that aren’t made by Blizzard all feature strong competitive multiplayer experiences for casual players and pros alike. (I know Counter Strike and League Of Legends and plenty of other non-Blizzard games are also very popular but today I’m mostly just talking about Blizzard games. ) And I very much enjoy all of these games. The only problem is that they are focused specifically on competing against human opponents and I’m more of a Play Alone Against Computer Controlled Enemies sort of person. I’m a PAACCE person.
My favorite IRL sport is Tennis. That’s partly because I can play it without any teammates. I don’t particularly like having teammates. I always worry that I’m going to be bad and ruin it for them. I like playing singles tennis because the only person I can ruin it for is myself, and I ruin things for myself all the time anyway so I’m used to it. Although tennis does still have the unpleasant requirement of finding another human to play against. So that’s when the computer steps in with games where I can play against Computer Controlled Enemies and avoid human contact altogether! PAACCE FTW!
If only I liked truly single player IRL sports like Golf or Bowling more. But the only time I really enjoy them is when Mario and Luigi and/or a WiiMote are involved.
I used to play a lot of Quake and then Unreal Tournament and enjoyed them immensely. I’d even play online with human opponents. But always in All Versus All DeathMatch. Which is, I insist, the BEST WAY TO PLAY SHOOTERS! That’s the main problem I have with Overwatch, I have teammates. A teammate is a person who may yell at you for not playing well enough (scary). A teammate is a person who you can’t shoot (boring). I wish Overwatch had a free for all deathmatch mode. And no classes, everyone should be the same and just use whatever gun you can find. And basically it should just be Quake Arena again.
Games were perfect when I was about 18, why did people keep making new ones after that? Also why did deathmatch lose popularity? Shooters now are all about teams. Either they recreate wars and have massive army/teams or they’re squad based with tiny teams. But either way it’s always teams. And there’s always goals and objectives and stuff. I just want to run around KILLING EVERYBODY ALL THE TIME! (Don’t read too much into my mental health from that statement please.) I miss deathmatch.
Although thank goodness we still have games like Borderlands and Mass Effect where we can play solo against CCE’s.
I’ve always had a love-hate relationship with MOBA’s. (MOBA is like Heroes of the Storm or League of Legends. The original was a mod for Warcraft 3 back when Warcraft was an RTS with a cool map editor). MOBA’s are so much fun but I don’t understand them at all. I try. I listen to “Into The Nexus” podcast and watch tutorial videos on YouTube and it still just doesn’t make sense to me. There’s a strategy there that’s deeper than “Run at an enemy player and push all the buttons until one of you dies” but I just can’t seem to grasp it. I’m always farming when I should be mercing or mercing when I should be pushing or Googling what mercing means when I should be farming. I really enjoy Heroes of the Storm these days because it has all my favorite characters from all the Blizzard games and it has a reasonably good AI mode where it’s just you, and friends you invite, and CCE’s. Occasionally when I’m feeling particularly good about my skills I dip my toe into Quickmatch. But even Quickmatch is a stretch. 95% of my time there is AI mode and I’m pretty okay with that.
Then there’s Hearthstone which sounds PERFECT for me. NO TEAMMATES! Add to that my love of Warcraft and that I’ve played Magic The Gathering since High School and it sounds absolutely PERFECT in every way. And it kind of is. I enjoy it a lot. The only problem is I get tired of it pretty fast. After an hour of game play my brain is overheating, steam is shooting out my ears, and I forget how math works. Card games require a level of concentration and memory and math skills that stretch my brain to the limit. I can’t keep that up for long or my brain will pop like a pinata struck with a baseball bat. Brain candy will drip out of my ears and nose and the media will report me as a video game related death. “Last night a middle aged Alaskan man died of Spontaneous Brain Bursting while playing video games.” “Do video games increase the likely hood of sudden onset SBB? The answer might surprise you!” Don’t get me wrong I enjoy it very much. I often get my rank 20 monthly card back. But it just isn’t my game.
The only competitive online game (besides DeathMatch back when that used to be popular) that I’ve enjoyed and excelled at was Warcraft 3. 1v1 online ranked games of Warcraft 3 were my jam (which is strange because I actually prefer jelly). No teammates to worry about in 1v1. A game play I understood and was good at. I enjoyed it in every way. Of course I was never MLG or anything but I remember getting reasonably high in the ranks, I think I got into a pretty good league. Maybe, since Warcraft 3 is far too old to be popular anymore, maybe I should play StarCraft 2 competitively. That could be fun …
Of course I’m pretty busy with The Sims 4 these days. I dunno, maybe I’m just not a competitive sort of person. I usually play games to wind down not up. The Sims 4 just launched a bowling expansion pack. Maybe I’ll take my Sim family bowling and experience competitive sports vicariously through them. The same way I experience romance these days.