‘Chiu on This’ is a short and regular opinion blast
In Today’s Mailbag, Tomas Pires asked via email, “In your opinion what is the best esport in terms of excitement and enthusiasm while watching a game?”
There are a few ways we can break down this question. We can look at it in terms of raw gameplay, the scene, digestibility, the players, or in terms of personal preference.
So I’ll break it down that way. In terms of raw gameplay, with no other outside factors coming into play. Among the games with an ongoing audience I consider Dota2 and CS:GO to be the most entertaining. Both games can build an incredible amount of tension and keep it throughout the game. I find that both have a pretty good degree of freedom to also express individual skill through the game. That’s my contention against something like LoL as individualism seems to become a smaller factor as time goes on. For 1v1 games, I think my favorites to currently watch are Brood War or Melee. Fast paced action with a lot of individual freedom. I think modern SC2’s entertainment factor went down significantly when Muta/ling/bling stopped being the primary unit composition of ZvT. If it still was, I’d probably put it up there. Overwatch has a nice combination of individual skill, tactics, and teamplay currently though I think Control is garbage.
In terms of scene, I think CS:GO is currently the best as people get to watch the top teams play against each other every few weeks. In LoL that only happens once at the end of the year. In Dota2, that’s been split into the Majors and a few tournaments outside of that. In Overwatch, there is a divide between OWL and the rest of the world and while the best teams are within Overwatch, there are teams outside of it that are probably better than the bottom tier teams. Or at the very least, I’ve never heard someone seriously make the argument that Shanghai Dragons was literally the 12th best team in the world.
If we’re talking about digestibility, as in how easy is it for a complete newcomer to look at a game and figure out what is happening, I think CS:GO is by far the best. Behind that, I think it’s a draw between Melee/FGC/Quake. Fourth would be BW/SC2 as it has more outside information you have to know to get the basics of the game. The three games that are last are Dota2, League, and Overwatch, in no particular order. Dota2/League have an intense amount of outside information you have to know to understand the basics of what is going on. Overwatch has too much happening on the map in a bunch of flashy bursts.
In terms of raw players, I think League of Legends would probably be number one. It’s the only game that has major draw from every region in the world so everyone is participating and you get a good player pool for high level competition. After that it’s either CS:GO or Dota2. They’re both pretty close so it could go either way. Overwatch would be third. While it probably has an equivalent amount of players or more than CS:GO/Dota2, there is no way for someone outside of the league to break to the top like in CS:GO/Dota2 and they don’t have the robust regionalization of League to make up for it. After that, the rest are on similar grounds.
If we’re just talking about my general preference, the games I like to watch the most are CS:GO and Dota2. In terms of raw entertainment, high level play, and ability to express yourself as an individual player is probably the best of any game currently out there. After that, I think Overwatch is pretty good with games like SC2/Melee/Street Fighter following close behind. The game I watch the least is League because it requires the most outside of game knowledge to appreciate and since I generally don’t write about the game, it makes no sense to put in that much extra time into it.