The games that have made up eSports even since their beginning have always been on computers and consoles. In fact, the term LAN or “Local Area Network” came up as a result of computer games being played on the same local network. Now in 2016, however, that meta is starting to change as competitive games are beginning to also transfer onto mobile phones as well.
It’s no surprise to anyone that mobile phones have become more than just phones in recent years. With the rise of technology and also a new emerging demographic of gamers, mobile games could very well become very popular. Take this scenario for example: you’re a college student and can’t afford any sort of computer save for maybe a Chromebook which can’t play games, but you do have a phone. You are also a big fan of competitive gaming and want to get involved but, again, you don’t have a computer. Vainglory, a fairly new MOBA (Multiplayer Online Battle Arena) is an entirely mobile game that has been heavily compared to popular PC MOBA games like League of Legends. The game has gotten big enough, in fact, that there are already tournaments for the game despite it having come out a bit more than 2 years ago with the Vainglory World Championship ending today.
“Somebody’s going to create [these multiplayer competitive games] for the touchscreen generation,” said Kristian Segerstrale, COO and Executive Director of Super Evil Megacorp, the studio behind Vainglory, said in an interview with Intel iQ Writer Ethan Gach.
Some people also find it hard to play with both a keyboard and mouse. In an age where a lot of people are used to using touchscreens for their day to day jobs and hobbies, video games on phones can simply just be easier for some to play.
Alex ‘PwntByUkrainian’ Novosad, co-founder and manager of Gankstars, told Intel iQ that playing games with a touchscreen “just feels natural.” If you make games feel more natural and enjoyable to players, you then broaden your horizons and make eSports more accessible to a larger crowd. More people involved leads to more money for the developers and tournament organizers which in turn leads to bigger tournaments with bigger prize pools. Mobile games also make it easier for streamers who do not want to deal with external hardware.
Koh Kim, co-head of business development at Mobcrush, a mobile streaming app said the following in the same Intel iQ interview:
“People who probably have never streamed before, [lacking] the means or the technical know-how, now have the ability to engage with other users in real-time.”
In conclusion, mobile gaming opens up eSports and gaming alike to people not accustomed to the traditional mouse and keyboard or controller ways of gaming. It doesn’t hurt the traditional ways of gaming and, if anything, it helps them by enticing people to try out something that they otherwise may not have wanted to try.