Esports For Dummies
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Since it started in 2005, YouTube has been ever present as one of the most popular sites on the Internet, usually second only to Google in network traffic. You no doubt know what YouTube is, and the role of YouTube in esports is exactly what you probably think it is: Gamers upload videos (and sometimes livestream).

To join YouTube, you need a Google account. This is a great chance to use a gamer tag Gmail address. If you didn't create one, you'll want to do that before joining YouTube. Your Google account is your YouTube account.

Comparing YouTube with Twitch

Many esports content creators prefer YouTube to Twitch. The reasons for this preference center on a few key points:
  • YouTube videos are not usually live, though YouTube does allow for streaming. Still, the focus isn’t on live content.
  • Most YouTube videos are edited and then uploaded to be accessed on demand, according to user choice. This approach allows people to edit and craft the specific video they want to put into the world without being listened to live.
  • YouTube’s ways of monetizing are different, and YouTube gives more rewards for likes and subscribers than Twitch does.
  • YouTube has existed longer than Twitch, so some users have a huge base already installed there.
YouTube is set up with channels, too, which are listed under the content creator’s name. (The following figure shows a YouTube channel page.) You can subscribe to your favorites in the same way you would subscribe to a channel on Twitch. Videos are also accompanied by Like and Dislike buttons. Liking the content you enjoy helps the creator of that content.

A YouTube channel page. A YouTube channel page.

For the esports fan and player, YouTube offers a massive library of material. From legendary moments like the Wombo Combo to the finals of almost every major tournament ever, YouTube holds a staggering amount of esports content. And that content increases so quickly that you could never watch all of it. You would never have enough time!

According to a 2017 Think With Google research study, gamers love YouTube for the following four main reasons:

  • 48 percent of YouTube gamers watch more games than they play.
  • 56 percent of YouTube gamers use YouTube to connect to their community.
  • 74 percent of YouTube gamers watch to get better at games.
  • 66 percent of female YouTube gamers watch so that they can hear someone they can relate to.
As you can tell from the preceding list, YouTube serves as a training site, a source of entertainment, and a place to network. YouTube wasn't designed with a gamer focus in mind, but that doesn't prevent it from having a wealth of esports content.

Video is the heart and soul of YouTube, but the comment sections below videos can be as active as any other discussion forum, and reputations can be made, friendships built, and strategy shared in those chat spaces. As with the other sites described in this chapter, you want to use a name on YouTube that’s similar to your gamer tag. You use that name when you post to comment sections, and when the time comes for you to upload your own content, that will also be the name of your channel. You need to build a bit of content and gather some followers before you can edit your name on YouTube, though, so early on, your channel ID will be a string of numbers. Don't worry. Everyone starts like that.

Remember, again, that you are on the Internet. YouTube comment sections can be filled with trolling, so don’t take what someone says too seriously, and if you see a set of comments going bad, remove yourself from the discussion. You’re here to have fun! Don’t let anyone ruin that for you.

About This Article

This article is from the book:

About the book author:

Phill "DrPhill" Alexander is a professor at Miami University's Armstrong Institute, teaching courses on esports and game design. He is also co-founder and director of Miami University's varsity esports program, the first of its kind at a school with Division I athletics.

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