The competitive gaming scene is always growing. Every day it seems like there is some kind of a new tournament announced that is promising to pay out huge sums of money to participants. It’s impossible to visit any gaming website without hearing something about esports. While I may not be in love with that particular word, I do like keeping my eye on the competitive scene in various games through websites like Twitch.
Learning most of these competitive games is no easy task. If the act of mastering them was easy, everyone would be playing professionally. However, even if you might never make it to that high level of play, you can become a skilled player at these games, and they seeing all your hours of practice translate into skill is so incredibly satisfying. Don’t quit, and you just might find the most enjoyable gameplay experience you’ve ever had.
Full disclosure: I play Dota 2 religiously, and it most certainly will be on this list. However, all the games here require a great deal of effort to learn, and each one is totally worth putting in the time.
As I said in the intro, Dota 2 is my game of choice here. Am I a pro-level player? Not even close, but I am pretty good. We’ve covered Dota 2 quite a bit, with articles about the best streamers, websites on all things Dota 2, and a general breakdown on just what the game is. I will spare you the details of explaining Dota 2, as these articles do that perfectly.
What I will say about Dota 2 is that learning the game will take some serious dedication. You are going to lose a lot. You are going to die. You are going to anger your teammates many, many times. However, after enough games, something will click and you will start to get it. Your decision making will improve, and you will start winning. Knowing you put in the time to actually understand the complicated gameplay is awesome, and it’s something many games cannot match. Just don’t give up right away, because you will figure it out.
Starcraft and its sequel are the games that really helped put competitive gaming on the map. Like any hardcore competitive game, when you start playing Starcraft, things are going to go poorly. The level of micromanagement required in Starcraft might seem unfathomable to new players, but don’t worry, there are plenty of websites out there dedicated to helping new players get up to speed with the basics of the game.
Starcraft is the kind of game you need to just bang your head against for a while before it all makes sense. The key is just not quitting. If you keep trying as hard as you can, you will get decent at the game. The key is getting the basics to become second nature, so your brain can focus on the more complex strategy elements. Once you start to get it, playing competitive Starcraft can be a ton of fun. Just remember that practice makes perfect!
When I started thinking about games for this article, I told myself that no shooter would be here, as they all play more or less the same. Then I remember a game called GunZ, which is the single most insane shooter I have ever played. It involves an intense mix of guns, swords, and powers. It works at a pace that is like nothing you’ve ever seen. The amount of finger and brain speed required to be good at this game is nuts.
While this game is not as big in the competitive scene as Dota 2 and Starcraft, the insane amount of skill required to master the game makes it worthy. As an added bonus, the game is free, so you can get in there and get your butt kicked while players complain about spraying and not playing “K-style” without spending a dime!
To be honest with you, EVE Online scares me. Calling it a game almost feels like I am underselling the scope of what this “thing” is. At its core, it’s an MMORPG. However, it’s really more like a detailed universe and economy simulator filled with powerful corporations trying to take over space. To understand how the game actually works, one needs to spend hours upon hours just reading about the game and studying mechanics.
Does that sound fun? To most of you reading this, probably not. But for some brave souls, learning EVE can prove to be a rich and rewarding experience that no other game can rival. While it might completely take over your life, you will have a ton of fun in the process. If grinding in games like World of Warcraft aren’t your thing, and you want some more depth to your MMO, give yourself to EVE Online, and you might just love it.
If you’re like me, and you enjoy spending the time to really learn a game inside and out, you will love these games. I don’t recommend taking them on all on at once, as these are the kinds of games that require 100 percent of your focus. Try them one and a time, and you might just find the love of your gaming life.
What games have you really dedicated yourself to? Hit the comments section below and let us know!