E-Sports Live: Is It Worth It?

Last year, the League of Legends World Championships had around 60 Million viewers, counting both live and online viewers. To put that into perspective, the 2017 NBA Championship peaked at around 38 million viewers. While this is a far cry from the 2014 World Cup’s estimated 3.2 billion, it’s getting harder for people to deny the popularity of E-sports.  E-sports makes itself more accessible than physical sports because of livestreaming: a live, usually free, broadcast of the event, viewable over the internet via sites like YouTube or Twitch. This leaves us e-sports fans with the question: do we stream or do we attend the event? Here are some things to consider for both sides:

Attending live

Over the course of the year, the various e-sports have a lot of events held worldwide. Conventions are often held that have these tournaments as the centerpieces with the national and worldwide championships being major events in their own right. These live events provide an experience that you can’t really get through a computer or phone screen: amazing cosplays, the chance to meet your favorite player, the rush of energy you get being part of the crowd, cheering for your favorite team. As anyone who has attended one of these events can tell you, there’s nothing quite like it. Another plus to attending live: sweet, sweet merchandise and freebies. A lot of events offer freebies to attendees. Ranging from in-game items you can use to show-off online, to trinkets you can display to make your non-attending friends jealous, a lot of the giveaways are only available at the event itself.

Livestreaming at home

There’s no place like home. With the advent of livestreaming e-sports, you don’t even have to leave it! Livestreaming usually means that you get to watch the games from the comfort of your own home without having to spend on travel, entrance fees, lodging, or food. Additionally, Livestreams are usually handled by hosts or shoutcasters that spot key moments and keep you updated on things that you may have missed. Livestreams also usually have replays, match recap analysis, and interviews with the players. For aspiring pros or people who just want to improve their game, these elements, which are usually exclusive to Livestream events, can be a big help. Also keep in mind that some of the major events in E-sports take place at major conventions that, unless you’re a hardcore fan, may not be worth the entrance fee. Other events may take place overseas which will exponentially increase the costs of attending.

In summary, there are a lot of pros to both options. Personally, I recommend attending the smaller events first to get a feel for them before deciding if you want to commit to the bigger events. Blizzard’s November Blizzcon is usually a good bet since admission tickets also score you some really cool freebies. The wide range of events they host are sure to appeal to almost everyone as well.  What would you prefer: the energy of a live event or the comfort of a Livestream?

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The Road To WrestleMania: Preparing Your Trip To The Show Of Shows

WrestleMania! The greatest spectacle in sports entertainment! Every year, the WWE stages WrestleMania, which draws thousands of wrestling fans from all over the globe to whichever lucky city gets to host the event. Last year, more than 50,000 people flocked to Orlando, Florida for “the Ultimate Thrill Ride”. With that many people eager to see their favorite superstars, it can be tough making sure that you’re one of them. Here are some tips to help make sure you get to enjoy YOUR WrestleMania moment:

Stay updated

Staying updated is key.  The date and location of the next WrestleMania are often announced more than a year ahead. For example, it’s been announced that the tentative location for WrestleMania 35 will be in New Jersey on April 7, 2019. Things may change between now and then though so be sure to check WWE’s official website for further announcements and possible changes. They announce when the tickets go on sale, too!

Book early but stay flexible

Since they announce the tentative date and location as far as a year ahead, this gives you leeway in booking your stay. Even if you do live within driving distance of the host city, keep in mind that the show tends to run pretty long: WrestleMania 33 ran for around 5 hours, including the pre-show. You may want to just lie down in your hotel room after and bask in the post-Mania glory.

Some hotels don’t allow advanced bookings past a certain date, so be sure to canvass early. Thankfully, there’s a wide range of websites and apps available to help you with checking for booking availability. Given that local tourism and hospitality are sure to be informed that the event will be held in the area, expect prices around the event date to be a bit higher in anticipation of the incoming crowds.

Plan your WrestleMania event day in advance

Not all of us will be lucky enough to book a room right next to the venue. This means that those of us who end up farther off (or are driving in for the event) have to make sure that our itinerary for the day itself is clear. How long will it take to get from the hotel to the venue? Does that already account for traffic? Are there other events for the day you want to see, or are you ok with skipping the pre-show for the real action? Planning all this in advance is a must. Getting caught unaware by traffic or other possible hassles could result in you missing the match you want to see, especially if it’s part of the pre-show or one of the opening matches.

Every wrestling fan over 10 years old knows that wrestling is scripted and “fake”. What EVERY wrestling fan also knows is that the emotions we feel seeing our favorite superstars putting themselves on the line for the crowds’ entertainment is real. These emotions often hit their peak at WrestleMania. What will your WrestleMania moment be?

Don’t forget to check back with us after WrestleMania 34 for our review here!

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