What is Esports and how to play it

Esports is the world of professional gaming, where teams compete against each other for millions of dollars in prize money while millions of people watch live or online.

report esports mapIt’s no secret that gaming is being played by an ever-growing proportion of the population, so there is a natural desire to test oneself against others.

The esports curve in the global market is trending upwards. „According to a study by Newzoo, in 2018 there were as many as 165 million esports enthusiasts who watched various gaming tournaments and championships on a regular basis, while an additional 215 million viewers watched competitions on an irregular basis. These figures are predicted to continue to grow rapidly.

In Lithuania and the Baltic region, we are also seeing various attempts to expand the esports enthusiast community and nurture talent. Great examples are the GameOn in Kismet, the various LAN Party events and other tournaments aimed at amateurs and professionals alike.

The biggest leagues/tournaments in Lithuania are organised in League of Legends and Counter Strike: Global Offensive. „League of Legends has the Baltic Masters League, which has a significant prize pool and a ticket to the European Masters, the biggest national league tournament (the equivalent of the Euroleague in esports). „The European Masters arena hosts over 20 of Europe’s top teams, who compete for a cash prize of €150,000, presented by Riot Games.

Esports players and their mentality

There is often a perception in society that young people who sit in front of a computer and play games are just wasting their time, but nowadays, if you want to become a professional player, you don’t just need talent – you need to put in a lot of time. Most games have a team aspect, where one person’s skills are not enough to win, so social skills and communication become important. Often teams have coaches who are responsible for the tactical side of the game and maintaining a good team atmosphere. Players’ time is segmented to ensure consistent improvement. For example, after breakfast players are encouraged (sometimes contractually required) to exercise, and team meetings are organised around 12 o’clock to discuss the day’s plans. From lunchtime until the evening, intensive training sessions take place, and free time only begins when it’s almost time to put the game away.

Professional players must therefore have a strong psychology and discipline. If you decide to pursue a professional career, the first thing you should accept is that you may have to sacrifice your normal life. The best players often spend up to 8 hours a day training, which is both physically and emotionally demanding, and without a strong passion for the discipline you love, it is really hard to pursue a career in esports. Thinking about the game while eating, sleeping and bathing is often the deciding factor that separates the best players from the amateurs.

Self-reflection is another key characteristic of esports athletes. Almost every professional would say that in order to make a career as an athlete, one should try to analyse one’s mistakes as much as possible. When you lose a game, you don’t go looking for someone to blame, but analyse what you could have done better. Players who are always tough on themselves are not only better at taking criticism but also at giving it. Some players sometimes dismiss self-criticism because they believe that self-criticism jeopardises their confidence. However, this is where the narrow divide between ordinary players and the elite comes into play. The ability to be one’s biggest critic and one’s most loyal fan at the same time is perhaps the most important quality a player can develop.


In Lithuania, esports communities tend to meet at events where players not only have fun, but also have the opportunity to compete with others and show off their skills. In addition, there are Facebook groups on the internet where discussions and opinions can be shared:

1) The CS:GO community has 20,000 members;
2) League of Legends in Lithuania has several groups with 35 000 and 18 000 members;
3) We also have a Lithuanian live-streaming community that actively shares when and where they broadcast their games or how they compete in tournaments.

The most popular esports disciplines

MOBA (Multiplayer Online Battle Arena) genre

The main and most attention-grabbing games in this genre are League of Legends and DOTA 2.

„League of Legends is usually played by two teams of 5 players each. There are three lines on the map to which the player-controlled characters travel. There is also a forest area where players can get reinforcements for their characters. The objective of the game is to destroy the enemy’s main base, the Nexus, which is located right next to where the characters appear. However, in order to defeat the enemy base, the players will have to overcome the turrets, which have a defensive function. In each line, computer-controlled minions appear at intervals. Defeating them gives the player experience points and gold, which allows the player to buy items and level up during the game. There are currently over 140 heroes in the game, each with different spells and abilities. The biggest tournament is the World Championship. The 2018 championship saw the world’s top teams share a prize pool of USD 6.5 million.

dotadumap„Dota 2, like League of Legends mentioned earlier, is played in two teams of 5 members each. The objective of the game is to destroy an enemy base called ‘Ancient’. The map below also shows the three lines along which the players move, and the defensive towers on each line, which must first be destroyed in order to reach the enemy base. Computer-controlled minions appear at intervals along each line. Defeating them gives the player experience points and gold, which allow him to buy items and level up during the game. The biggest tournament is The International, where the world’s top teams share a prize pool of more than USD 34 million.

First-person shooter genre

„Counter Strike: Global Offensive also features two teams of 5. Tournaments are usually played to two wins. A victory is scored when one team wins a fifteen-round map.

There are two types of characters in the game: terrorists and anti-terrorists. In most maps, the objective of the former is to detonate a bomb, while the objective of the anti-terrorists is to defuse it. Also, a round is scored if all five members are killed. Teams play up to 15 rounds in this way, at which point the midpoint of the game is declared and the sides are exchanged.

The tournament system in this genre is slightly different from the others, as the number of championships is very large and they are divided into two groups: „minor” and „major”. Major tournaments have prize pools starting at 100,000. The prize pools for the major tournaments start at USD 100 and can go up to USD 1 million. Also popular in this market is online betting like GGBet Казино, where you can place bets on e-sports games.