eSports grip the country

The Electronic Sports League Mortal Kombat X Pro League Season 2 officially begins on November 1. Preseason started on October 18. Prizes include $1,000 weekly and $100,000 for finals.

For gamers, eSports can be a healthy way of bringing in supplemental income, as it turns a hobby into something profitable with a little effort.

In the case of Mortal Kombat, ESL Pro League is run online via Xbox One. Other games such as Rocket League have their ESL tournaments on Playstation 4 so there are opportunities on both consoles as well as PC.

eSports are a growing trend in North America thanks to the success of streaming services like Twitch, and the large number of views and subscribers on gaming based Youtube channels. Modern consoles have made it easier than ever for gamers to share their gaming experiences with the world.

eSports are not limited to online events. It is common for gaming stores and facilities to host offline events that yield opportunities for money as well. The fighting game community has tournaments all around the United States for varying amounts of money. The largest events, referred to as majors, often have large pot bonuses provided by sponsors for the most popular games.

The most recent Mortal Kombat major, SoCal Regionals 2015, included a $10,000 pot bonus to be added to the pool of money from tournament entries. Generally, games with the most competitors have the largest pots, unless there is a bonus added for a specific game. In the fighting game community, Street Fighter is generally considered to be the most popular.

In addition to fighting games, sports games are a major component of the growing eSports community in the United States. Tournaments for Madden also have large pools, though entry fees can sometimes be higher as well. Team-based shooters such as Call of Duty, or Gears of War, are also very common in the competitive scene.

Although eSports seem to be growing in America, the competitive scene in the Jacksonville area is smaller than that of Birmingham. In order to compete, it is likely that Jacksonville residents will have to travel, or find ways to host and operate their own events. Fortunately, success can also be found online thanks to ESL, MLG, and other eSports operators.

Myron Jones
Tech Columnist

The competitive gaming community is growing in North America, and is an opportunity for gamers of all ages to be involved in turning their personal hobby into something that can be enjoyed with others who have the same passion. With the fall of arcades in favor of home gaming consoles, the gaming community has been separated, but the internet and online game functionality are bringing gamers together once again.

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