What Are The Game Types?

Esports is unlike traditional sports in that the encompassing games are all different, and change much more frequently. Baseball has been around since the 1800’s and although it has changed, the core principles are still there a century later.

One piece of Esports that is consistent, are the various TYPES of games that are played. Think of game play types, much like sports that utilize a ball versus sports that use a stick versus sports that use a racket.

There are four main gameplay types within the Esports industry, some older than others, while some are still new and taking shape. Let’s start with the easiest to conceptualize first.

Player vs. Player (PvP)

Player vs. Player. These are games (or portions of games) which see one or more human players face off against one or more other human players. The most popular of these are traditional sports games and fighting games. If you’ve seen two friends battle it out against each other on a console game, and they’re playing against each other, that’s player vs. player. You’ve most likely seen these as they’ve been around forever (think Pong, you versus the other person).

This is a term that can be used with most all Esports titles as each competitive game is setup to be one or more players versus one or more other real players. That may be the technical term, but the industry standard usually means a fighting or a traditional sports game. Racing games, while PvP, are not as popular in the Esports scene.

How can you tell what game type it is?
For fighting games: Most PvP games are setup so that on each side of the screen you’ll see each individual player. Along the top, you’ll see a health bar, and a timer.

For sports games: football field, soccer field, or, in Rocket League’s case: a large soccer like ball with cars flying around trying to score a goal, much like soccer.

Popular PvP Fighting Games:
Super Smash Bro’s (commonly known as just ‘Smash’)
Mortal Kombat X (MKX)
Street Fighter

Popular PvP Sports Games:
Rocket League

First Person Shooter (FPS)

This term refers to the genre of game in which you see the world through the eyes of your character. They commonly show a weapon floating around in front of you along with a mini-map of the level you’re playing, how much health you have and your ammo/armour count. FPS are one of the most popular genres in Esports and one of the oldest with Doom and Quake back in the early 90’s making their debut.

FPS’s are fairly straightforward with one of the main goals: killing your opponents. Most FPS games require a specific team to capture or destroy the opponent’s objective.

How can you tell what game type it is?
There are different variations, but the easiest way to tell if a game is an FPS is if you’re seeing the world through one player’s screen. If you see a weapon in the center of the screen, with health stats, ammo, and the player is moving around, it’s a safe bet it’s an FPS.

Popular Esports FPS titles:
Counter-Strike (CS, CS:GO)
Battlefield (BF)
Call of Duty (CoD)
Overwatch (OW)

Real-time Strategy (RTS)

This is a game that is on-going in a defined map/level where you are competing, usually against one other opponent. Usually, each player starts out with an equal amount of support/gear/weapons/warriors and it’s each player’s role to strategize the best way to grow their army and defend their base while also plotting how to attack and take over their opponents base.

Gathering resources and completing certain objectives will gain each player levels which makes them stronger and/or gives them more powerful resources. The term “real time” is specific in that once the game starts there are no breaks or pauses as all decisions by both opponents are happening continuously. It only ends when one player is overtaken by the other.

How can you tell what game type it is?
You’ll notice a bird’s eye view of a map first and foremost (as if you are floating in the sky). You won’t see an individual player like an FPS, instead you’ll see a lot of other characters and AI moving around destroying/protecting/building things. You’ll most likely see a scoreline at the top or the bottom of the screen to dictate who has advantage.

Popular Esports RTS titles:

Multiplayer Online Battle Arena (MOBA)

Multiplayer Online Battle Arena (or Action Real Time Strategy). This is an offshoot of an RTS, or better yet, an RTS on steroids. It involves more players working as a team in a defined world/map/level. Remember, RTS’s are generally one player versus one player, while MOBA is multiple players on each team.

Each player controls an avatar on one of two teams, as opposed to RTS where one player controls all the avatars on a given world/map/level. The objective is to destroy the opposing team’s main base or structure with the assistance of spawned computer-controlled AI that move along set paths.

Player characters typically have various abilities and advantages that improve over the course of a game and that contribute to a team’s overall strategy. It’s a fusion of RTS and RPG in that you’re actively strategizing in real time with your team, while also gaining experience and levels to strengthen your avatar to upgrade weapons/armor.

How can you tell what game type it is?
It will look very similar to an RTS, but the main differentiator is that you’ll see individual players characters on the map. You’ll still be viewing the level from a bird’s eye view but you’ll notice a lot more players running around and fighting one another.

Popular Esports MOBA titles:
League of Legends (LoL)
Heroes of the Storm (HotS)
Defense of the Ancients (Dota)

Are we missing something? What could we have described better? Let us know! hello@discoveresports.com


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