Last week, the ESL (Electronic Sports League) announced that it will begin drug testing participants. As this article mentions, it comes in the wake of some Counter Strike: Global Offensive players admitting to taking adderall during a recent tournament. 

Funny enough, the tournament that I enjoy the most each year – Dota 2’s The International – kicks off this week. There’s no mention of drug testing (Valve runs The International), but I’m curious to see if it comes up as part of the coverage of the tournament. The prize pool just hit $17 million, eclipsing last year’s record breaking $10 million. And it’s still growing.

With prize pools like this, it’s only a matter of time before we see more “legitimacy” brought to esports. What do you think? Can you see yourself watching competitive video games as part of your regular “sports” viewing schedule and habits?

Wednesday, 8:46 am – Gavin

I completely understand why e-sports exist, but I struggle to engage myself in them, mostly because I’m not familiar with the games they’re playing.  I understand the basic premise of CS, and as of Monday, I understand the (very) basic premise of DOTA, but never having played them (correct: I have never played CS), I have no concept for the skill level at which they’re playing.  As you know, I’m not an enormous competitive gamer, so it’s entirely natural that the games played in e-sports would be alien to me.

I have a greater appreciation for competitive speed runs, because that’s where you find games that I’m more likely to have played.  Every year at either Awesome Games Done Quick or Summer Game Done Quick, a speedrunning event that raises money for charity, there’s always a Super Metroid race, and that I can appreciate more than just about anything because it’s mostly not about exploiting glitches, which is what the Zelda speedruns are all about, but rather raw skill at the game while also exploiting the occasional glitch.

I’m hoping that I get along a bit better with this year’s International, as now I at least have a vague understanding of what DOTA is supposed to be about.  Last year I had no clue what was going on at all!

Monday, 11:36 am – Albert

I don’t even understand e-sports.

I love games. I used to play in CS in competitions from local internet/cyber cafes. It was fun and I was really into it.

Currently, I still love games but i’m not a part of the generation that watches games that much.

I get “Let’s Play” videos, but watching other people play the same game over and over isn’t for me. I think it’s partly because I don’t have time to play multiplayer games. Being great at one game doesn’t have the same appeal to me.

That being said, e-sports prizes that are in the millions + drug scandals? That is hilarious. We’re definitely moving towards a Wall-E human race where we’re just on movable chairs everywhere.

For e-sports I might be one of those people who treats it like those people who don’t like current sports. Catch the “Superbowl” or the “World Series” of whatever… CS, Dota 2, Farming Simulator, Cory in the house

Let me know when the “Tiger Woods” of e-sports gets sued for his millions by his ex-model-Scandinavian-wife. Then I might start paying more attention.

And now for something completely different.

Monday, 11:18 am – Ricky

I’m cheering for team Secret.