If you’re a first-person shooter fan like me, the world of eSports has probably had you shaken up during the last few years. Indeed, the most popular games have been far from your traditional first-person shooting game like Counter-Strike and consoles and RTS games have now taken a much bigger spot.
However, I’ve stuck to the PC side for various reasons and one game that has stuck out for me recently is Hearthstone from Blizzard. The potential that the game has for eSports is considerable and could represent the next step for eSports.
What argument does Hearthstone have in its favor as an eSport?
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Hearthstone Is More Accessible than Magic the Gathering
Hearthstone is certainly one of the most accessible games that I’ve started playing since Hearthstone’s release date and it is a nice change of pace from games like Starcraft 2 where you most likely have to go through some tough games or tutorials to know how to play it properly.
Hearthstone, on the other hand, features a simple interface with simple dynamics that recall other trading card games like Magic the Gathering. It’s a little easier on the eye, and on the brain, than MTG, but it maintains some good depth with deck building and plenty of tricks you can learn, mainly by watching other players. In Magic you will often encounter an aspect of the game that you don’t know or that needs an explanation, while Hearthstone makes it easier to move forward as a new player.
Hearthstone: An eSport for Tablets
It has been a while since I’ve heard that eSports might go mobile but I think Hearthstone could be the first game to really do it. It’s better played on PC, but the ability to carry it around with a tablet really turns its potential up a notch as a spectator game.
You don’t need to know the maps or anything, just a few cards and dynamics and you’re good to go to watch the games and improve. Having played the game during a few good sessions will motivate you sufficiently to want to watch some more advanced matches as a spectator. The entry price is also lower than your standard PC game, so the audience can be larger and less intimidated by the investment they have to make.
Personally, I think looking into Hearthstone should make sense for eSports. The world of video games has obviously transferred to mobile platforms and it’s now time to at least have one game that represents that shift. Obviously, the spectator can then land on a portal like Twitch and explore other games, and if a game like Counter-Strike, CoD or Starcraft 2 seem more attractive to them, then we will only gain more visibility in the process. I love Magic the Gathering as a competitive game, but it has pretty much its own competitive world run by Wizards of the Coast and they want to keep their universe theirs, so Hearthstone stands as a good pick if eSports finally want to make a move in the direction of TCGs.
Watch How to Play Hearthstone on Tablets
Image: "Hearthstone and latte" by Sergey Galyonkin.