| Esports genre: First-person shooter
|The gambling industry continues to deepen its involvement with esports and like sports there are a vast number
of games and they vary in the types and amount of physical effort, learned motor skills, cognitive abilities, coordination, and the part chance
People new to esports may think they all very similar but there is no decathlon of esports, its very much a linear life for any top player. So
its important to know how its various games and genres differ
First person shooters (FPS)
first-person shooter, or FPS, is one of the oldest genres in competitive video games and is still extremely popular today. Its origins can go back to vehicle
simulations with vector or line-based 3D graphics used by military trainers and flight simulators. In the 1980s, we had arcade games like Battlezone that
featured a first-person viewpoint.
With increased computing power game designers had the ability to take the player out-of-the-box of a vehicle and into
the game. The first successful commercial FPS title was Wolfenstein 3D, which itself evolved from a much older game, Castle Wolfenstein, where you played a
character trying to escape a Nazi stronghold. The game involved the first instance of what is now the normal view of your characters hands, holding your
weapon in front of you, and a strange gait, which can be turned off.
Whilst early games used arrow keys and the space bar, modern FPS games brought in
the use of mouse and keyboard control mechanics, typically called WASD keyboard controls, in which the W, A, S, and D keys are bound to the directions up,
left, right, and down.
In the 1990s Doom changed the world of esports where it dropped the Nazi theme for alien creatures and introduced multiplayer
support and created the Deathmatch, dropping ten players into a map and the last player standing wins.
Fast forward to today and FPS games continue to
dominate the video game market and the top games in esports. Counter-Strike keeps its popularity as one of the key esports titles in its latest incarnation,
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, or CS:GO.
On screen, the basics include the game world from the first-person perspective with the players
currently selected weapon visible in hand, a mini-map displaying an overhead view of the immediate area around the player, a targeting crosshair, and a variety
of status like health, ammo and game timer. In terms of gameplay, two teams, typically of 5 players each, compete in a series of fixed thematic arenas, each
with a fixed win-objective.
Games separate themselves to a degree by introducing gameplay elements that allow and often encourage players and teams to
develop strategies and techniques to utilize the game mechanics to gain an advantage. This is commonly referred to as the Metagame or meta for short. In FPS
games, meta can include weapon combinations, team positioning and formation, and in some games, character selection choices.
Main FPS game
- Counter-Strike:Global Offensive (CS:GO) [PC] 5 vs 5
- Call of Duty (COD) [PC / PlayStation] 4 vs 4
- Rainbow 6 (R6) [PC] 5 vs 5
- Overwatch [PC] 6 vs 6
- Valorant [PC] 5 vs 5
- Gears of War (Gears) [XBox] 5 vs 5
- CrossFire [PC] 5 vs 5
|FPS games have a multitude of game modes, maps, characters, and objectives, mainstream tournaments are often
standardized to a small subset of the modes, maps, and rules.
Almost all mainstream CS:GO tournaments use only one game mode which is
In Overwatch, a tournament will feature two or more game modes that are predetermined before a match begins, consisting of
Escortdefending team has to protect a payload through multiple checkpoints to a goal; Controlboth teams fight over a capture point and hold it for
a minimum amount of time; Assaultattacking team try to take two capture points before time runs out; Hybrida combination of Assault and
Teams typically have a strategy where they will pool and manage resources by having better performing players acquire weapons for a player which
may have gotten taken out prematurely. Teams can also strategically ration their budget by using the initial rounds as loss-leaders to build up a budget for
more specialized weapons. All of these choices allow each player to specialize into a role for the team even in games where there are no functional or
performance differences between characters.
To keep things interesting, some games like Overwatch have presented a situation where certain characters
are banned during a tournament or season, forcing players to adapt to a greater variety of play styles.
Extreme FPS skills
FPS games in esports pit player against player in a fixed arena. There are no random events or chance elements
that can affect the outcome of a game, making the genre one that is purely dependent on the athletes skills at the controls. Incidentally, this is one
key factor that differentiates Battle Royale games from FPS: most Battle Royale games today, equipment availability is a random factor and that can
substantially affect a players performance.
Situational awareness, like in real combat, is an important skill to have. As with position and
orientation, this is also much more difficult as you do not have all your physical senses available to you. Knowing where you are, how you may be visible to an
enemy, and where your enemy may appear, are all factors that can make the difference between getting a kill to becoming one..
The ability to spot a
target, identify if it is friend or foe (some games allow friendly fire), decide if you will fire (you may not want to give away your position), and hit the
target if you do fire, are all elements of pure physical and visual coordination.
While visual acuity and reaction time are key, many skilled players
also have the ability to predict target movement like many skilled soldiers in-real-life (IRL). This allows them to hit a target before they even have a chance
to see them. Clearly, being able to read a moving target goes without saying.
All FPS games simulate weapons fire to include some or all ballistic characteristics of penetration, damage, and accuracy. They also
simulate how recoil will affect accuracy, and how automatic fire affects that accuracy. Most FPS games also provide two accuracy models, hip fired or aiming
down sights (ADS), with the latter being more accurate at the cost of movement speed.
Each weapon will have unique characteristics that can be both an
advantage and a disadvantage. For example, a .50 calibre Desert Eagle may have serious stopping power, but it is loud, has serious recoil affecting the
accuracy of repeated shots, and only 7 rounds per magazine, compared to a silenced K&M .45 Tactical, where nobody may hear you shoot, but youll need
a headshot, though you do have low recoil and 12 rounds to get it right before you need to reload.
Most FPS titles also offer a knife by default. Why
bring a knife to a gunfight? You can move a lot faster when you have the knife equipped, it doesnt run out of ammo, and it is the ultimate silent
Skilled players with fine motor control skills enable them to not just aim with pinpoint precision, but also compensate for weapon recoil by
accurately countering the simulated weapon recoil with a mouse movement in the opposite direction. A skilled player in-game can achieve similar performance
outcomes as a sharpshooter in real-life, albeit with different muscles.
All the above are just the basics. Each game may also have unique
characteristics that are overlaid upon those basics. These may include unique character skills like Specials and Ults which dictates strategy and their
Similar to traditional sports athletes, often the keyboard, mouse, and mouse
mat are dictated by the athletes or teams sponsor, but unlike those of us that have to buy our kit from retail outlets, the top professional
athletes do get to custom spec their stuff straight from the factory.
Top tournaments have strict rules about the type of keyboards and mice that are
allowed, often banning the use of equipment with macro or shortcut keys that enable a user to program a sequence of events to happen at one keypress. In
addition, to prevent tampering of equipment, most top tournament operators will only accept custom equipment shipped to them directly from the teams
sponsoring manufacturer instead of the team itself.
Customized controllers are available to console FPS players that provide levers or additional
buttons positioned to facilitate access to more buttons simultaneously when compared to standard controllers. However, most tournaments will similarly limit
the use of controllers that possess programmable macro or shortcut features.
With these differences, its probably no surprise that PC players
often refer to themselves as the PC Master Race, exerting their superiority over those that may play on consoles or mobile devices . Likewise, PlayStation
players will look poorly upon Xbox players, and you will often find console players scoffing at mobile players asking them to grow up and play a real
gamethe competitive nature of esports athletes never stop at the screen.