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How to Play

Do you fancy yourself as the next big superstar in the eSports world? If so, find out how and where to play the biggest games around. For more information about eSports as a whole, please visit the information page.

League of Legends

League of Legends

League of Legends is a free-to-play online MOBA game played on PC. You play in teams of five, whether they are people you know or online strangers. All you have to do is sign up for an account with Riot Games, the creators of LOL, and download the game onto your device. There are multiple game modes, but most competitions use the ‘classic’ mode where teammates work together in lanes to try and destroy each other’s Nexus. In the game, players receive gold for killing monsters among others things, and use this gold to power up their champion to make them more effective.

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Counter Strike: Global Offensive

Counter Strike: Global Offensive

Counter Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) is a first person shooter played on PC through Steam. Unlike many other eSports games, CS:GO does require an initial purchase in order to play the game. Beginners must start off playing in ‘casual’ matches before being allowed to play in ranked competitive games, which are accessed once you go above rank three on your account. CS:GO has multiple game modes with different objectives, but ultimately your aim is to kill the opposing team and win the round. At the beginning of each round the player has some cash, which they can use to upgrade their weapons, buy new weapons or use for armour, and they earn cash by getting kills or winning rounds.

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Dota 2

Dota 2

Dota 2 is a free-to-play MOBA game that is played online using Steam on PC. The game pits teams of five players against each other in a battle to destroy the other’s ancient building, or throne, before the other team destroys theirs. To play, all you have to do is install Steam onto your computer, sign up for an account and download Dota 2. In the game, players compete in lanes to kill creeps and gain gold to power up their heroes, with the end goal creating a more powerful hero to help get through to destroy the opponent’s throne.

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Hearthstone

Hearthstone

Hearthstone is a free-to-play online video game that uses collectible cards to battle one-on-one. The game differs to others, as players can compete cross-platform on PC and iOS/Android. Blizzard Entertainment built upon its existing game Warcraft to create Hearthstone, and many of the characters and other elements in the two games are the same. Players have a selected hero with a unique power, then use cards to cast spells or summon minions to attack their opponent, with the end goal being to reduce your opponent’s health to zero and win the match.

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Heroes of the Storm

Heroes of the Storm

Heroes of the Storm is a free-to-play/freemium style online MOBA from Blizzard Entertainment, although it doesn’t conform to the normal style of MOBA games. Because the game is from Blizzard Entertainment, the in-game heroes are shared with the franchise’s other games, such as Warcraft, StarCraft and Diablo. Players take part in five-versus-five matches in a variety of different game modes, but the ultimate end goal is to destroy the opponent’s base before they get to yours. Players level up their heroes to develop their in-game abilities, but must purchase certain hero slots if they want to use a certain hero permanently.

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Call of Duty

Call of Duty

Call of Duty is a first person shooter that differs to most other eSports as it is played primarily on Xbox and PlayStation as well as on PC through Steam. It requires an initial purchase to play the game on your chosen platform and Xbox/PlayStation users must pay extra to play their accounts online. Call of Duty pits teams of varying sizes against each other in multiple game modes, varying from ‘capture the flag’ contests to straight-up team death matches. Depending on the format, the team with the highest score at the end of the time limit, or the first to a specific score wins. New Call of Duty games are released roughly each year, meaning eSports players must constantly evolve their skills.

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Overwatch

Overwatch

Overwatch is a first person shooter played on the Xbox, PlayStation and PC that must be initially purchased for gameplay and Xbox/PlayStation users have to pay to play online. Players compete in a six-versus-six matches with differing game modes. The most popular mode to capture and hold certain checkpoints to earn points, with the team with the most points winning the match. Players can choose from a bank of characters for each match, each of whom possess their own unique abilities in attack, defence, tank and support. Whilst being a similar game in style to popular eSports CS:GO and Call of Duty, Overwatch has drawn praise from its rivals for its larger variety of maps and characters.

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Starcraft II

Starcraft 2

Starcraft 2 is a real-time strategy video game played on the PC that must be purchased before download, although you can play it for free as a beginner. Players compete as one of the races (Terrans, Zergs or Protoss) and win by destroying all their opponents’ structures, although it is likely someone will surrender before this when it’s obvious they will be defeated. Players start with 12 workers, who collect minerals and gases for you to create structures and train troops to attack your opponent. StarCraft 2 is a relatively simple game to begin with, but exceptionally difficult to master.

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