Its without a doubt that gaming has definitely expanded its audience in the past 20 years, now with the rise of games that are meant to have a competitive environment how exactly do they work?
Video games like League of Legends, Defense of the Ancients, Counter Strike: Global Offensive and Overwatch all share the same trait. Each game has a competitive ladder where the better you get the higher you climb. What this means is each games has a mmr which stands for Match Making Rating, this rating is used to describe how good of a player you are and help the match making system find mores players similar to your skill level. Typically the mmr rating is hidden from players with the exception of Defense of the Ancients and Overwatch (which is shown to players at ant point of their climb), usually the mmr system is hidden and replaced by a rank that players can see.
The rank system is completely based off your mmr so you have a rough idea of what your rating is but not exactly. I’ll use League of Legends as an example, their ranking system from bottom to top goes bronze, silver, gold, platinum, diamond, master and challenger. With each rank comes 5 divisions, what this means is you cant just go straight from silver to gold, you have to go up divisions from silver 5 to silver 1 in order to get to the desired gold rank.
With a very competitive matchmaking system developed it started a trend of people watching “pros” (highest ranking players) play these games with streaming websites like twitch.tv. Competitive tournaments with thousands of people coming to watch teams of players fight each other for prize pools (in the 2016 League of Legends worlds tournament the prize pool was 4 million dollars) is proving to be one of the most successful trends in gaming over the years, with the U.S government acknowledging gaming as a sport. Players from around the world are now able to get visas and play in these tournaments.
But with a very competitive ranking systems and tournaments worth millions is likely to bring some bad apples. These games are very notorious for sparking hate filled communities, a lot of players desperate to climb the competitive ranks are known for getting angry with other players. League of Legends is especially notorious for having the most “toxic” players (a term used to describe rude or hateful players in online video games) infesting their servers.
With these features it is without a doubt what made gaming go competitive, i highly encourage anyone to at least try League of Legends, or Defense of the Ancients as they are both free to play and could kick start a love for climbing ranks and maybe even being the best.