Esports is one of the lesser known type of sports. It is defined as a sport, but is performed primarily on electronic systems by teams, or individuals, who compete against each other.
The Esports scene is often criticised in America and Asia, where events like League of Legends World Championships are selling out stadiums and have prize pools reaching into the millions.
The Irish Esports community has yet to be exposed to such high profile competitions, but with the determination and commitment shown by the Irish players, it won’t be long until we see those same players headlining an Esports event.
Daniel Kelly-Atkinson is a videographer and photographer, who is currently working on a documentary, “Good Game Well Played – The Story of Irish Esports”.
The documentary aims to show people more about the elusive area that is Irish Esports. He has worked as a volunteer in the media department of G-Series, inspiring Daniel to submerge himself in the Esports community.
At G-Series, they host competitions for Irish players in games like League of Legends (LoL), Counter Strike Global Offence (CS:GO), StarCraft, Hearthstone and even Pokémon. This is where Daniel got the idea to make the documentary, as he felt people needed to see what gaming and Esports are evolving into. And, it is not the stereotyped ‘kid in his mom’s basement’.
G-Series was founded in early 2014 by Theo Goyvaerts, Bryan Mc Namara, Kevin Lynchand, and is hosted in the Alexander O’ Callaghan hotel in Dublin. “It’s still growing” says Daniel.
It offers amateur players a place to hone their skills, while also attracting the most competitive League of Legends players from around the country.
Daniel hopes his documentary will show gamers, in Ireland, that Esports it is not just for the stereotyped ‘nerd’ but for everyone.
Streaming is the new phenomenon in gaming and these competitive events are amassing a huge following. G-series does have a Twitch.tv account, where they stream the events live for the world to see.
Last year, the CS:GO ESL One Cologne attracted around 27 million viewers to the popular streaming website. The tournament also had a grand prize pool of $100,000.
“Good Game Well Played – The Story of Irish Esports” has been in the pipeline for two years and has really come a long way since then. Back in January, Daniel set up a Kickstarter fund which, unfortunately, failed. They had managed to raise €863 of their overall goal of €3,500.
However, the setback was minor, so Daniel, and the editor Dara McKegany, started interviewing players and specialists of the Irish Esports community.
In the LoL community, they interviewed Trevor “Quickshot” Henry and Oisín “Blood Penguin” Malloy. They also interviewed Conor Nolan, the CEO of G-series, and Liam Henry, a StarCraft player.
“Gaming is everywhere, it’s the biggest section on YouTube…. It’s no different from a physical sport” Daniel says.
Daniel wants to show people that Esports is as serious, and demanding, as any other sport. You need to be a leader and develop basic team skills like communication, tactics, plays, and call-outs. Esports also demands thousands of hours of practice in order to reach the same level as the professionals.
Gaming is no longer a single player experience. Daniel went to Berlin for a gaming convention where he met a friend from Australia, which he met through gaming. Daniel pointed out that such friendships would not exist if not for gaming and emphasized that the possibilities in the gaming community are endless.
We have watched the gaming scene grow worldwide. It is now at the point that online gamers are making better livings than some of the traditional celebrities.
“It’s [Esports] getting bigger and bigger and it is time to get this documentary out,” says Daniel.
The documentary will be a public screening and free to watch; it is expected to release September of this year, and will be approximately one hour and thirty minutes.