Esports For Dummies book cover

Esports For Dummies

By: Phill Alexander Published: 04-28-2020

Discover the path to the big leagues

It's time to prove all those people who said “video games are a waste of time” wrong. Esports has rewarded top gamers with prize money, glory, and even college scholarships. Want to get in on the action?

This book puts you on the path to get your share of the growing world of esports. It helps you figure out the gear you need to be competitive, the games that drive esports, how to break into competitive play, and how to use online platforms to get attention. Written by the esports program director at the first Division I university to field an esports team, this book defines and demystifies the complex world of competitive video gaming.

  • Get the gear for your first esports battles
  • Gain recognition for your skills online or in tournaments
  • Discover the path to earning scholarships in esports
  • Build your online identity

Get the insider tips you need to make your name in the esports universe.

Articles From Esports For Dummies

page 1
page 2
11 results
11 results
Esports For Dummies Cheat Sheet

Cheat Sheet / Updated 03-14-2021

Use this Cheat Sheet to help you as you enter the world of esports. Here you can learn some of the key esports lingo, find out about some professional teams worth watching, and see how to get started playing a mobile esports title, Clash Royale.

View Cheat Sheet
Esports: The Major Fighting Games

Article / Updated 04-24-2020

Unlike some other esports genres that have relatively few titles, the fighting-game genre includes literally hundreds of titles. Not all of them see regular competition in the esports world, though in the most technical sense, any fighting game could be an esport. This section takes a look at the big names so that you know what to expect if you want to dive into the most popular esports fighting-game titles. Taking it to the street (SF V) The longest running and arguably most successful fighting-game series is Capcom’s Street Fighter (SF) series. Although the original SF didn’t make quite the major splash that the sequel did, every version of the game from 1992’s SF II forward has been a mainstay in fighting-game competition and was once the quarter-gulping center point of many arcades across the world. The current competition edition of SF is SF V: Arcade Edition, and it features nearly 40 fighters including downloadable content. It has been a featured game at EVO and other major tournaments since its launch in 2016. An updated edition called SF V: Championship Edition added a 40th character when it was released on February 14, 2020. It is expected to become the competition standard, though it’s too early to know for certain. SF V is a 2.5-D fighting game with a deep combo system and a series of regular characters like Ryu, Chun-Li, and Akuma. It is a console-exclusive title for the PlayStation 4 but also appears on Windows PC. Fighting with Capcom vs. [Everyone] Not a company to sit back and enjoy the success of a single title, Capcom created a number of other fighting games to complement SF. Some of the Capcom vs. titles were crossovers with other game companies like SNK, which created games like King of Fighters and Samurai Shodown. Entries in the series pitted fighters from various games. At times, games in the Vs series include characters from nonfighting games as well. The series blossomed into a true esports hit when Capcom started to cross over with the Marvel comics universe. The first of these games was X-Men vs. Street Fighter, a 1996 arcade release, and it later spawned the popular Marvel vs. Capcom series, which has spanned four entries to date. The most recent game in the series, Marvel vs. Capcom Infinite, was released in 2017. Although Marvel vs. Capcom wasn’t featured at EVO in 2019, it is still a game with a healthy competition base. Killing it with Mortal Kombat Often thought of as “the other” major fighting-game series, Mortal Kombat has been around since 1992, sharing arcades and consoles with SF as the other heavy hitter. Known for being far more bloody than other fighting games, one of MK’s signature features is the ability to finish an opponent with a brutal move at the end of the match that would all but certainly kill the opponent. Such moves, which often have complicated combo inputs required to execute, are called fatalities. MK attempted to use photo-realistic sprites, which in the original games looked quirky and rough but worked. The style morphed over time into a 3-D photo-realistic take on fantasy characters. The series dabbled with full 3-D combat, but returned to 2.5-D for the last several releases. The current game in the series, MK11, was so highly anticipated that it was announced for EVO 2019 before it had been released. Originally owned by Midway, the MK team eventually spun out from the bankruptcy and closure of Midway Games, and NetherRealm is now owned by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment. MK appears on Xbox One, PS4, Switch, PC, and mobile. MK isn’t as fast-paced as SF, and at times the combat is all about punishing an opponent for leaving himself open to a particularly strong attack. The series is dominated by a recurrent set of ninja characters including Scorpion and Sub Zero, two of the most famous fighting-game characters of all time. You can see those two characters squaring here. Uncovering 5 Mortal Kombat secrets Mortal Kombat, with its penchant for gore and constant replacement of the letter c with the letter k, is an iconic fighting-game series with some interesting history. Here are five secrets you might not have known about the MK series: The original Mortal Kombat is the reason that the Entertainment Software Ratings Board (ESRB) exists and rates games. The blood and violence in MK prompted a discussion in the U.S. Congress! No manual or other source existed to reveal the original MK fatality moves. Players had to discover them via experimentation or by finding people who knew them. There wasn’t even a Reddit for people to go to and ask! One of the series’ most famous characters, the ninja Ermac, was created because eagle-eyed fans noticed the phrase ERMACS in the first game. The phrase was a shortened form of error macros and indicated a macro in the boot code meant to catch errors. The phrase was never meant to have anything to do with the actual game, but through fan rumors, Ermac grew into such an urban myth that the MK team couldn’t resist creating him. MK character Scorpion shouts a gravelly taunt of “get over here” before using one of his signature moves, a thrown grappling hook or spear that pulls the opponent over to him. This iconic vocal was recorded by MK co-creator Ed Boon, and the menacing sound comes from Boon’s having yelled himself hoarse at a football game the day before he recorded the famous line that has appeared in every MK Over the years, MK has hosted a series of celebrity guest fighters, including Jason Voorhees from Friday the 13th; the xenomorph from Alien, the Predator; Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Terminator; DC’s Joker; and the Image Comics character Spawn. Tipping the scales with Injustice Just as Capcom partnered with Marvel comics, so Midway partnered with the other comic book giant, DC. Initially following the Capcom format, Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe released in 2008. Although the game didn’t fare poorly, it was not embraced by the community because DC wouldn’t license its characters to be killed, and without the signature fatality moves, MK fans didn’t feel that the game was truly MK. Even though MK vs. DC wasn’t a huge esports hit, the idea of a fighting game with DC heavy hitters like Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman still struck the MK team as a viable competitor to the Capcom vs. series. The answer to making the game work was removing MK and the need for fatalities. The resulting game was Injustice: Gods Among Us. Based in an alternative universe in which Superman is evil, Injustice featured some of DC’s most popular characters along with the mechanics that fans loved from MK. In the place of fatalities, the Injustice series includes supermoves, which are short cinematic moves that do heavy damage and feature the character’s superpowers. Watching the Flash run someone through time into the past and bounce the character off a dinosaur, or watching Batman call in his Batmobile or Batwing, gave the series something to replace the gory fatality finishes from MK. The current game in the series, Injustice 2, is still frequently played in competition. The art style and animations are based heavily on MK, making the play style familiar to MK players, but there is an obvious appeal to being able to play as a character like Batman. Fighting in three dimensions with Tekken In the “Stepping forward with the 3-D fighter” section, earlier in this chapter, I mention Virtua Fighter. Although Sega’s VF created the foundation for the 3-D fighting game, the Tekken series took the concept and fashioned it into a massive arcade and console success. First released to arcades in 1994, Bandai Namco’s Tekken began a long lineage of games based on hand-to-hand combat and a slower, less jumping-based fighting style. Tekken has been so successful that it has released nine installments (the seven Tekken titles and two in the series called Tekken Tag Tournament) and has presented versions of its game on arcade cabinets, Android, Game Boy Advance, iOS, Windows, PlayStations 1–4, the PlayStation Portable, Wii U, Nintendo 3DS, and Xbox 360/Xbox One. The Tekken series has also been an EVO mainstay. The current title, Tekken 7, includes a roster of 52 fighters, including guests like Street Fighter’s Akuma, and Negan from The Walking Dead (shown in the following figure). Because Tekken 7 is the premiere 3-D fighter, you can easily find tournament play for the game on every level, from local to international events. One of the most dramatic shifts to Tekken from the 2.5-D fighting games mentioned previously is that in SF, MK, and similar games, jumping is frequently used to cover space, whether to create separation or to close in on a target. In Tekken, jumping is rarely the right choice, and the more realistic gravity aspect of game physics results in jumps that cover a relatively small amount of space, leaving a player open to multiple attacks. This situation can frustrate new players who are familiar with other fighting games as they attempt to use their preexisting skills within the Tekken system.

View Article
Esports: The Basics of the Fighting-Game Genre

Article / Updated 04-24-2020

Fighting games have a fascinating ecosystem. A massive number of titles have been created, and modifications and advancements have been introduced in various games during the 30-plus years that fighting games have been a part of the gaming world. The following criteria are essential to competition and are true of almost every fighting game: Two characters appear on the screen, each controlled by a single player. The characters engage in combat based on button presses and joystick inputs, often including complex combinations of buttons and gestures. In-game characters have different moves and attacks, creating variety. Combat takes place on a “stage” or “map” that is a defined space. The edges of that space become important in that a player can be stuck in a corner or, in some more rare cases, can lose by being forced out of a level. A match consists of rounds (typically best of three) with victory coming by bringing the opponent’s health level to zero or by having more remaining health when the round clock expires (in games with timed rounds). In the current esports world, you see essentially four types of fighting games: 2-D fighters: Two-dimensional games have characters that appear as pixel sprites or hand-drawn, cartoon-style characters. In this style of fighting game, the characters can move only left, right, up, and down on an x and y axis. Characters can’t move in or out of the frame/screen (because there is no third dimension). 5-D fighters: The graphics of these games are 3-D–rendered but the game still moves on the two-dimensional axis, giving the appearance of 3-D but not actually using a third axis. 3-D fighters: The graphics are three dimensional and the player characters can move on a z axis, crossing each other, moving into and out of the screen, and so on. Platform brawlers: These are 2-D or 2.5-D games in which one of the primary goals is specifically to knock the opponent off a platform or off the screen. Each of the preceding styles of game has at least one popular representative in the fighting-games community, and many have great longevity or are parts of a multi-title series. In fact, at Evolution Championship Series (EVO) 2019, the nine-game slate hit on each style relatively evenly with long-time title representation, as shown in the following table. EVO 2019 Titles Game Style Years in Competition BlazBlue: Cross Tag Battle 2-D Two, with previous BlazBlue title the year prior Dragon Ball Fighter Z 2.5-D Two (since release) Mortal Kombat 11 2.5-D One (an MK game has appeared at eight of the last nine EVOs) Samurai Shodown 2.5-D One (2019) Soulcalibur VI 3-D One (five other years feature an SC game) Street Fighter V: Arcade Edition 2.5-D Four (an SF game has been a part of every EVO) Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Platform brawler One (an SSB game has appeared at nine EVOs, including the last six) Tekken 7 3-D Four ( a Tekken game has appeared at all but one EVO since 2003) Under Night In-Birth Exe: Late[st] 2-D One (considered a surprise tournament pick) Among the nine games on the biggest fighting game stage at EVO were two 2-D titles, four 2.5-D titles, two 3-D titles, and one platform brawler (with the last not a surprise because only two major platform brawler games exist). Flattening the field with 2-D fighting games To state it as simply as possible, a 2-D fighting game has two-dimensional graphics and moves on a two-dimensional axis. This relationship is shown in the following figure, which is the start of a match in BlazBlue: Cross Tag Battle. Almost every 2-D fighter exists on a stage that works like a cartoon’s background. The player characters can move left and right through the stage, but at some point on each side, the stage ends. This boundary means that a character can be pushed up against a sort of invisible wall that is formed by the edge of the stage. Many fighting-game purists favor 2-D fighters. In terms of gameplay, the two-dimensional play axis is still maintained by many fighting games, but keeping the older-looking, two-dimensional graphics lends a certain charm. It also results in sprite-based animations that opponents can read and anticipate in ways that that they can’t do sometimes with the motions of a 3-D model. More important, those sprite-based animations have to finish before new ones can start, meaning that a move that has a long animation has to happen and end before more actions can be input and completed, at least in most cases. This might seem like an unnecessary or minor detail to the casual player, but for pros, it can be the difference between perfectly blocking a powerful attack or taking a match-ending assault to the face. 2-D fighters also represent the origin point of the fighting game genre. Karate Champ was a 2-D fighter, as was Street Fighter (and Street Fighter II). In that sense, all fighting games that exist now borrow from the 2-D style and mechanics, and in fact a number of fighting-game innovations happened first in 2-D. Seeing 2-D go 2.5-D with Samurai Shodown In 2019, SNK released an updated 2.5-D version of its 1993 hit Samurai Shodown (or Samurai Spirits in its native country of Japan). The original game was 2-D with pixel-art sprites, as you can see in the following figure. Mechanically, the game features fighters who almost all brandish weapons, primarily swords, and fight by charging forward and falling back in a 2-D side-scrolling environment. One of the worst possible things that can happen to a player is to be forced to the edge of the screen and up against the edge, which works like a wall. A player stuck there can be “juggled” by repeated attacks, with the edge of the screen allowing the opponent to essentially bounce the other player. The 2019 release of Samurai Shodown features 3-D graphics. That is, essentially, the only major difference in the two versions of the game. Other updates have occurred, of course — the game can be played online and will provide for downloadable characters and post-release balance that didn’t exist for the original — but the major update made the graphics and player models appear in a 3-D art style, as shown. The combat itself still happens on a two-dimensional plane moving left and right, and many of the characters have the same basic look and move sets. The merger of 2-D gameplay with 3-D art is the hallmark of a 2.5-D game. The major advantages of 2.5-D are all about visuals. 3-D models take longer to create, but more parts can be reused and animations can be shared across multiple models. In the old 2-D sprite design style, a new sprite had to be created for each character and each potential motion. 3-D art also allows for higher resolutions and more realistic characters; sprite animation of photographs remains choppy and unnatural looking. In terms of gameplay mechanics, 2-D and 2.5-D are remarkably similar. Stepping forward with the 3-D fighter With the advent of 3-D game art and 3-D rendering, many games began allowing three-dimensional movement, with characters moving into and out of the screen. Remember that 3-D in a game is not the same as a 3-D movie or picture. The third axis in these games doesn’t literally jump out of the screen. But the presence of a third axis does mean that actions can happen in directions other than left and right and up and down. The first 3-D fighter was Sega’s Virtua Fighter (VF), which released in arcades in 1993 and later on the Sega Saturn console. The series was revolutionary in that it allowed for the characters to move at all manner of angles across a fighting arena that allowed the player to spin 360 degrees to view the entire space. Many versions of VF came about, and the series extended to a fifth installment with several mini-updates along the way. Though rarely seen in competitive play now, VF even had its day at EVO in the mid- to late 2000s. Knocking people off the platform (brawler) The final type of fighting game comes with a little bit of controversy. Among diehard fighting-game fans, the titles that fit the classification of platform brawler would not be considered fighting games. Their audiences and competitive player bases would disagree, however, and EVO has recognized Nintendo’s Super Smash Bros. (SSB) — the game that created the genre — for years. What makes games like the SSB series different from other fighting games is that in addition to doing damage to each other, characters can win by knocking their opponent off the various platforms, or areas where players can stand, on the screen. These work in essence the same way a platform works in a game like Super Mario Brothers, in which missing a jump or being knocked off means that a player character falls to its death. Although the SSB series is by far the most popular platform brawler, a free-to-play game called Brawlhalla has formed a rather large audience as well, particularly with fan-favorite events that include World Wrestling Entertainment superstars in the game, as shown.

View Article
Esports with Cars: Racing Games and Rocket League

Article / Updated 04-24-2020

Historically thought of as highly competitive games, racing games have little representation in the esports landscape. Players mark this as a commentary on the skill-to-luck ratio in playing racing games, and most manufacturers still see racing games as suitable for living room play, and not as much for major competitions. Running a good race Some competitive events are supported by the Forza game series, which you can learn more about at the Forza Motor Sports website. A few other scattered events involve titles like Formula 1 Racing and Gran Turismo. Racing in esports is more of a casual gaming experience, though. Game developers are working on games and competitions that might make racing esports relevant, but right now, that’s a far-off goal. Just as sports simulations in general have had mixed results entering the esports ecosystem, so have racing games found the terrain difficult, keeping their wheels spinning. The most popular racing game is the Nintendo Switch title, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe. This title hasn’t gained traction in the esports world because of the way the game is structured. It is meant to be a party game, and as a result, it is not at all balanced because of random power-ups that change player abilities during matches. The game tries to help those who are behind to win, and a randomly occurring power-up such as an item that increases speed or causes an opponent to crash can negate the skill of any individual player. Nintendo continues its attempts to spread Mario Kart to the masses with its new mobile game, Mario Kart Tour, which you can play on iOS and Android devices. Although the mobile game is unlikely to catch fire in North America, it could gain esports traction in China and Korea, where mobile games like Clash Royale and Arena of Valor have major tournaments. Only time will tell if racing games eventually take on a larger role in the esports world, but for now, few organized events and leagues focus on racing. The one place where racing games have a solid foothold is the Formula 1 Esports Series. One of the largest esports leagues that few people are aware of, the F1 Esports Series has an esports team for each of the ten actual Formula 1 racing teams, and in 2020, the league is attempting to expand into China. With a 2019 prize pool of $500,000, the F1 Esports Series is the place to go for esports players interested in racing. Playing soccer with cars Perhaps the most surprising game to see exponential esports growth over the last few years is Psyonix LLC’s Rocket League. Although the game has an astounding level of strategy and depth, describing it is simple. It’s soccer, but you drive a car. The cars hit a huge ball and try to score goals in their respective nets. Rocket League, shown in the following figure, has grown so quickly that in May of 2019, Psyonix was purchased by Epic, the makers of Fortnite. With a robust esports scene, the major appeal of Rocket League comes from the following: Psyonix went to its fans who were making grassroots efforts and helped those fans grow their community and competitions. Rocket League is the classic “easy to learn, hard to master” game that almost every gamer feels able to pick up and go with. The strategy at first can be as simple as “hit that ball with your car.” Rocket League is a game that lets you play on multiple platforms without demanding different skills or skill levels. Although you can play games like Overwatch, SMITE, and Call of Duty on a PC and on consoles, those two platforms present massive differences in speed and aiming ability. Someone who plays Rocket League on a console can, however, have the same experience as someone playing Rocket League on PC. In fact, Rocket League is one of the few PC games for which most players opt to use a controller. With Rocket League now falling under the Epic Games umbrella, support for the game and exposure to the enormous Fortnite audience should only help as the game looks to expand and take on a greater role in the esports landscape. Rocket League is a high-profile esport as the game heads into the ninth season of the Rocket League Championship Series, an event held in partnership with NBC, ESPN, ELEAGUE (on TBS television) and the gaming event DreamHack. Recent season prize pools totaled approximately $1 million.

View Article
Basketball Esports: NBA 2K

Article / Updated 04-24-2020

In contrast to football esports, several games have the full license of the National Basketball Association (NBA) and NBPA to produce video games. Amid the sea of titles that include EA’s NBA Live and an arcade-style two-versus-two-game called NBA Playgrounds, no basketball game has found the following and competitive dedication of the NBA 2K series by 2K. Currently on NBA 2K20, with new Los Angeles Laker Anthony Davis on the cover (see the following figure), NBA 2K20 has sold between seven and ten million copies each in the last five years. The 2K series gained popularity after 2K made a profound effort to make the game feel like a simulation. In contrast to more arcade-style basketball games, in which almost every basket is a slam dunk and players fly back and forth at seemingly unrealistic speeds, passing and setting up an offense matter in 2K, as do blocking out and getting back on defense. Letting you be you—as a player Many people play NBA 2K the same way they play Madden. That is, they pick a team and play that team to get better, look for local competitions, and try to win as LeBron or Giannis. Unlike Madden, however, the most powerful built-in competition mode in NBA 2K asks you to create your own player. Although that player doesn’t need to be you, most people replicate themselves in the game because of the robust editing mode and a companion app, My NBA2K20, that lets you to take a photo of your face and upload it. (You can see mine in Figure 6-3.) It’s not perfect, though, so in some cases getting a likeness is difficult to impossible, depending on a person’s features. Also, you can’t create a female player even though the NBA 2K League now has a professional female player. After you create your own player, you may select from a set of player archetypes that map to the five key positions in basketball: center, power forward, small forward, shooting guard, and point guard. In a number of play modes, you can use your created player to earn experience and climb the ladder. The two most important ones are Playground, in which you can find three-versus-three online games that work like a real-life pick-up game on a huge virtual playground; and Pro-Am, in which you can take your created player online and join a five-on-five team to compete against other players. These modes are of particular importance because the route to elite competition in NBA 2K runs through them. In concert with the NBA itself, NBA 2K runs an NBA 2K League, which is a professional NBA 2K esports league with 23 teams owned and operated by 22 of the NBA’s teams (and one team managed by a professional esports organization). Playing in the NBA 2K League Founded in 2017, the NBA 2K League is owned by the National Basketball Association and Take-Two Interactive, the producers of the NBA 2K video game. In league play, two teams play each other in the 2K Pro-Am mode, with each player choosing an in-game archetype. The league started with 17 teams in 2018 but expanded to 21 for 2019. Two more teams have been approved to join in 2020. You can see the list of teams and their affiliations in the following table. NBA 2K League Teams, Cities, and Affiliations Team City NBA Affiliation 76ers Gaming Club (GC) Philadelphia, PA Philadelphia 76ers Blazers Gaming Portland, OR Portland Trailblazers Bucks Gaming Milwaukee, WI Milwaukee Bucks Cavs Legion GC Cleveland, OH Cleveland Cavaliers Celtics Crossover Gaming Boston, MA Boston Celtics Gen. G Tigers Shanghai, China Non-NBA owners, Generation Gaming (Gen. G) Grizz Gaming Memphis, TN Memphis Grizzlies Hawks Talon GC Atlanta, GA Atlanta Hawks Heat Check Gaming Miami, FL Miami Heat Hornets Venom GT Charlotte, NC Charlotte Hornets Jazz Gaming Salt Lake City, UT Utah Jazz Kings Guard Gaming Sacremento, CA Sacramento Kings Knicks Gaming New York, NY New York Knicks Lakers Gaming Los Angeles, CA Los Angeles Lakers Magic Gaming Orlando, FL Orlando Magic Mavs Gaming Dallas, TX Dallas Mavericks NETSGC Brooklyn, NY Brooklyn Nets Pacers Gaming Indianapolis, IN Indiana Pacers Pistons GT Detroit, MI Detroit Pistons Raptors Uprising GC Toronto, Ontario, CA Toronto Raptors T-Wolves Gaming Minneapolis, MN Minnesota Timberwolves Warriors Gaming Squad San Francisco, CA Golden State Warriors Wizards District Gaming Washington, D.C. Washington Wizards Why the NBA 2K League matters The NBA 2K League is of particular importance to the esports landscape for three key reasons: Alongside the Overwatch League and Call of Duty League, the NBA 2K League is one of the few esports leagues that attempts to mirror traditional sports in that it has franchises based in cities. Those teams are also directly connected to professional NBA teams. The major significance of this method of organizing franchises is that it allows for local teams and an entryway for new fans to get involved. The NBA 2K League is the first esports league to be directly connected to professional sports. Although many professional sports teams have started to enter the esports space, the NBA 2K League is partly owned by a professional sports league, and the teams are connected to the owners of the NBA franchises they represent. The NBA 2K League was the first esports league that contained the ability of a player to try out entirely within the game. How to Join the NBA 2K League You obviously need to be quite good at NBA 2K to make it into the NBA 2K League. But to take your chance, all you need is a copy of the most recent NBA 2K title and an Xbox One or PlayStation 4 console. Each year, the NBA 2K League sets a period during which you can qualify for the 2K League Combine. To do that, you send in an application and then win 100 Pro-Am or Playground mode games within the qualifier period, as well as at least 50 percent of your matches. In other words, if you play 190 games and win 100 of them, you qualify. After the qualifiers, all players who fulfill the requirements are invited to the online combine. In the combine round, a player must compete in five-versus-five games with other people in the combine pool. While watching and analyzing the play in this round, the NBA 2K League selects 150 players to take part in the 2K League draft. Those players move on to the live draft and have a chance to be picked up by one of the 23 2K League teams to start their careers as professional players. You can find all the details on the qualifying process on the 2K League website, under Qualifier Information. Chiquita Evans: The first woman in NBA 2K League During its first draft, the NBA 2K League was surprised to find that only a single woman made it into its combine pool and did not make it in to the draft. The league wouldn’t have to wait long for that problem to resolve itself, however, because in the second combine and draft, a star emerged in Chiquitae126. A 30-year-old who worked at Foot Locker while grinding her way into the qualifier pool, Chiquita Evans became the first woman to be drafted into the NBA 2K League. She was picked as 56th overall by Warriors Gaming, the Golden State Warriors–owned 2K League team. Evans made it in to the draft pool in spite of facing moments in the process in which other players wouldn’t pass her the ball, forcing her to prove her skills through defensive moves and rebounding. In her first season, Evans was a star on and off the virtual court. Because of her high visibility and sincere candor about the lack of women in esports, many believe that Chiquita will encourage other women to aspire to the highest levels of professional esports. In addition to being the only female player in the NBA 2K League, Evans is 30, which is also inspiring. Although 30 is far from old, in professional esports years, being in your 30s usually signals the end, not the start, of a career.

View Article
Madden Football: Tackling a Gaming Juggernaut

Article / Updated 04-24-2020

John Madden Football debuted in 1988 as an Apple IIe game (see the following figure). The game didn’t gain wide recognition until 1990, when John Madden Football was released for the Sega Genesis and Super Nintendo consoles. In 1990, the Madden game for Genesis was considered the first “killer app” for that generation of the console wars, ranking as one of the highest-rated and highest-selling titles for the life of that console. Madden rose to the top of the football gaming pile for two reasons. First, it was fully licensed with the NFL; second, John Madden, a Super Bowl–winning coach and well-known sports commentator, gave the game not only a celebrity name but also access to his understanding of how football playbooks worked, helping to implement that knowledge in video game form. The Madden series became the football game that could simulate real football, though the 1990 version was nowhere near the level of the game’s artificial intelligence and the mechanical polish that the 2019 version offers. Having the only license in town In 2020, Madden NFL 20 is the only title that has the NFL and NFL Players Association (NFLPA) license. Having this license means that although other companies might try to make a football game, Madden is the only one that can have the actual NFL teams, players, and stadiums. It makes Madden and EA Sports the only game in town. Possessing this license also highlights a way that Madden competition differs from other esports. In a Madden competition, you play as an NFL team with an accurate roster. Although the game has a creation suite, competitions don’t welcome customized players or rosters. To compete, you need to understand the real-life counterparts to your in-game team, at least to some degree, because everyone that you use in-game is meant to perform in a way that corresponds to the way the players perform on the field. Madden even updates after each week of the season to tweak the ratings of players, move any player who was traded, and rotate injured players out of the play rotation. Who is John Madden? Although his last name has become synonymous with the EA Sports football game, contemporary fans might not know much about John Madden, the man behind the initial game. From a game-design standpoint, he pushed the field by insisting that programmers find a way to expand their early game prototype of 7-versus-7 players to 11 versus 11 so that it would look like real football, and he pushed for years to get realistic commentary — originally delivered by Madden himself — into the game so that it would, again, feel like real football. Here are some interesting facts about John Madden: He was college player at California Polytechnic State University (Cal-Poly U) and was drafted by the Philadelphia Eagles, though he was injured in training camp and never played in an NFL game. He coached the Oakland Raiders from 1969–1978, achieving a Super Bowl win in 1976. He worked as an NFL commentator from 1979–2008. Over that span, he worked for every major network. He ended his career working Monday Night Football with Al Michaels. He refused to fly, and instead drove from game to game as a commentator on a tour bus called the Madden Cruiser. The only regular NFL event Madden never covered was the Pro Bowl, because during his tenure as an announcer, it always happened in Hawaii and he didn’t want to charter a boat. Madden esports You can find local tournaments for Madden that have their own house rules, but the primary mode of competition for Madden is the standard mode in which each player picks an NFL team. Rosters update weekly during the actual NFL season and then lock, barring some major change that might result in an off-season update. From August through January, the game updates regularly, but from February through July, rosters remain generally unchanged. The other popular competitive mode for Madden is the Madden Ultimate Team (MUT). This mode uses virtual card packs and allows players to collect and build teams in a style similar to deck building in a collectable card game like Magic: The Gathering or Hearthstone. This mode has a highly competitive online ladder mode and community, but using MUT as a drafting tool to build teams for competitions is also common. MUT has pay-to-win issues, though, because paying for packs will get a player better players, so no official tournaments utilize it as their actual competition mode. You can find a number of EA Sports-sponsored Madden tournament events (the Madden Championship Series) through the webpage. Here you will find events like the following: The Madden Classic: A classic-style, head-to-head, on-ground tournament with several regional qualifiers. The Madden Club Championship: A bracket-style tournament in which one esports competitor is selected to represent every real-life NFL franchise. Each NFL team runs its own qualifier. The Madden Challenge: A 16-player tournament that uses Madden Ultimate Team drafting to build teams. Madden Bowl: The culmination of all the other events here, with players who rank in the top two of each various event coming together along with players from the top six of the last-chance qualifier (LCQ) offered online. The winner can boast to be the champion of the annual Madden Championship Series. The Madden NFL Championship series is one of the largest sports simulation esports events in the world, largely as a result of the sponsorship of the event and EA Sports and the NFL’s partnership. The prize pool has exceeded $1 million each of the last two years, and major sponsors include Pizza Hut, Snickers, Starbucks, and Bose. Sadly, a Madden 19 video game tournament at a bar in Jacksonville Landing, Jacksonville, FL, was the scene of what has been the only mass shooting associated with an esports event as of this writing. See the sidebar “The Jacksonville Landing shooting” for more information. The Jacksonville Landing shooting On August 26, 2018, a solo gunman opened fire during a Madden 19 video game tournament at GLHF (Good Luck, Have Fun) Bar in Jacksonville Landing, Jacksonville, FL. Three people died, including the shooter, who killed himself. Another 11 were injured. It was, to date, the only mass shooting associated with an esports event. Two things make the incident particularly chilling. The first is that the shooter was a participant in the tournament, and after losing, he refused to shake the hand of his opponent and left the bar. He would return later, we now know, having retrieved a handgun from his vehicle. Witnesses say that he specifically targeted his first victim from a distance. Other participants claim to have seen the red dot of a laser scope on the chest of the first victim. The other chilling element of the shooting is that it was witnessed live on the Twitch.tv streaming service because someone was streaming the tournament when the shooting took place. Although nothing of the shooting can be seen because the stream shows the game itself, the gunshots can be heard, as can the panicked reactions of several people before the feed cuts. In the days, weeks, and months following the Jacksonville Landing shooting, numerous esports organizations and tournament organizers reconsidered security at events. As a result, most major events now include metal detectors, and participants have their bags searched before entering venues.

View Article
How to Stream Games on YouTube

Article / Updated 04-24-2020

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. 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.

View Article
How to Stream Games on Twitch (The New TV)

Article / Updated 04-24-2020

Twitch is the name most often mentioned in esports spaces, surpassing even Twitter. Co-founded in 2006 by Justin Kan and his partners Emmett Shear, Michael Seibel, and Kyle Vogt as Justin.tv—which livestreamed Justin's life 24/7—and relaunched as Twitch in 2011, Twitch.tv was born from the idea of streaming media live. The site has become quite popular. Twitch has 15 million active users every single day! Twitch is an amazing resource for esports players because you can find people playing all the most popular games on it 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Professionals stream. Casual players stream. Tournaments and leagues stream. If you want to watch esports, Twitch is the place to be. Signing up on Twitch As with all the services described in this chapter, you should use your gamer tag as your name when you register at Twitch.tv. As a viewer, you will be identified in chat and when you interact by this tag, but more important, if you choose to stream yourself, the address of your stream will be twitch.tv/your username. You want your gamer tag to show up in your stream address. To register to start using Twitch: Go to Twitch.tv. In the top right, click the Sign Up button. On the screen that pops up (see the following figure), enter your username (gamer tag), a password, your date of birth, and your email address; then click the Sign Up button at the bottom of the screen. Twitch sends you a verification code. Check your email and enter the code into the boxes. Click Submit to complete your registration. When you’re logged in to Twitch, you can click the icon in the upper-right corner and scroll down to Settings to customize your profile . On this screen, you can change your profile picture or banner image by clicking the Update button next to each photo. You can also enter your bio into the bio text box below the images. After making changes, click the Save Changes button at the bottom of the screen to commit your changes. Twitching from channel to channel Twitch functions like a mix of a television network and a social media platform. As a user, you have a channel, and if you are streaming, it appears on your channel. Think of a channel as being like a profile page; it’s a landing place for people to see your content. The channel page also has space for text content, a header, and other customization. Each channel also has its own chat room. One of the key aspects of the Twitch community is that a streamer reads and responds to the chat while streaming, creating real-time communication between the viewers and the caster. When you find a channel that you like, you can mark it as a favorite by clicking the heart icon just above the video feed. Marking a favorite adds you to the notification system for that channel. It also adds that channel to your Favorites menu. The channels you have followed appear in the left sidebar of the main Twitch page when you log in. If you love a channel and want to reward the content creator, you can show your love through money. Many channels owned by Twitch affiliates and partners allow you to subscribe using money. In those cases, you also gain special benefits that vary from channel to channel, such as custom emoticons or access to special in-game items or giveaways. How Twitch changed the esports game Most esports happen online. Before the advent of Twitch, fans had a hard time seeing competitions live. Even face-to-face tournaments were limited to those who could travel to be there in person. With Twitch, anyone with access to a computer and the Internet can watch esports. Fun fact: Twitch was named for the twitch muscle reactions needed to be an elite esports player! With the massive user base, Twitch is always on, and esports fans have constant access to content. Twitch also offers the incentive of potential profit generation to make sure that streamers can see the clear benefit of using the service.

View Article
How to Join the Horde on Discord

Article / Updated 04-24-2020

Esports gamers have used numerous Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) services over the years, from Ventrilo to TeamSpeak. A VoIP is a service that allows numerous people to speak via vocal chat over the Internet. The most pervasive, and most functional, VoIP option mixes voice communication with a clean chat interface. Discord is a VoIP chat service that enables you to chat with other gamers quickly and easily, at the press of a button. People usually use it while wearing a cool gamer headset, though Discord also works with smart phones, and some people set up actual, free-standing microphones to use it. Sign up on Discord Discord is quickly becoming a favorite of all gamers, so you’re going to want to join it. It’s a free download for your computer or for your phone, and you can register an account by following these steps: On the main page, click Login in the upper right of the screen. On the page that appears, click Register under the Login button. The Registration page, shown in the figure, appears. Enter your email, a username, and a password. Click the Submit button. Discord walks you through the rest of setup via a series of questions. How Discord works Instead of working as one gigantic system, Discord has servers. A server is the basic name for a Discord community and includes a series of text and voice chat "channels" with topics set by the server's administrator(s). Each server is owned by a person or an organization, though the term owned can be misleading in that the servers and the service are free. People or organizations with their own Discord server can set the different channels and discussion topics for the server, as well as create a series of user roles or labels that define what a user can do. They can, for example, allow someone to read only and not comment or serve as a moderator with full control. Server owners can also color-code the users, which is particularly useful in helping players of a specific game find other players on a server. For example, all the Overwatch players might have a yellow user role label. Because Discord servers are free, anyone can easily start a community. Because of Discord's high usage among gamers, Discord servers are a great way to gain access to the community. You’re not advised to start by creating your own Discord server, though you certainly could. Discord is particularly useful for an esports player because of all the communities you can find and join. You can mine your local scene as well as national and world competitions to locate all sorts of clubs and leagues on Discord servers. If you go to a competition, Discord will almost certainly be the VoIP of choice. Discord gives you a real-time space to look for opponents, friends to team up with, events, and so on. Users who can see you on a public server or who have you on their friend's list can see what game you are playing listed under your name and vice versa, which means that you can literally look for people playing the same game you’re playing — while you’re playing! Most Discord servers operate by invitation only. This doesn’t mean that they are particularly exclusive, though. Finding communities to join isn’t hard at all. However, you aren’t likely to find Discord servers within Discord itself. If you look on the other social media platforms discussed in this chapter, you’re sure to find people offering links to their Discord servers. Also, if you know someone who has a server or is on a server, don’t be afraid to ask to join! Discord communities are welcoming and love getting new members. Unlike the other services discussed in this chapter, Discord allows you to change your display username for each server that you join. This feature makes it less important for you to use your gamer tag as your primary account name; also, it gives you the freedom to be known by different names in different places. Remember, though, that if you’re building a reputation as a player, you want everyone to know who you are, so I recommend that you still use your gamer tag in some way in your Discord names on each server. For example, on a few servers I belong to whose admins request your full name as part of your tag, my gamer tag appears in the middle of my name, as in Phill "DrPhill" Alexander, whereas on one server that has shorter nicknames, I'm just DrP.

View Article
How to Set Up to Stream eSports or Games

Article / Updated 04-24-2020

To be an active esports streamer, you need to know and work with three sites: Twitch, YouTube Gaming, and the newest streaming site, Microsoft’s Mixer. Here, you see how to set up an account at Mixer and how to gather the information you need from Twitch and YouTube so that you can get started streaming to your audience. Obtain a Mixer account Microsoft’s streaming site is Mixer. (See what I did there? Mix — Mixer.com?) The setup process at Mixer is similar to Twitch, but Mixer also sets you up to stream as you create your account. Here are the steps to sign up to use Mixer: Go to www.mixer.com and click Sign In at the top right. On the screen that appears, select to sign in with your Microsoft account if you have one. If you don’t have a Microsoft account, click Create One. If you have a Microsoft account (perhaps through an Xbox or from playing a Microsoft game online), skip to Step 4. The same Microsoft account that you use for Xbox Live will control your Mixer account. On the main Mixer.com page, click the icon inside a circle in the upper right. A new screen opens. Scroll down to the Broadcast Dashboard entry on the menu and click it. On the next screen, read the paragraph above the Get Started button that’s midway down the left column; then click Get Started. A new screen opens and begins a series of videos that orient you to how Mixer works and what the rules are. (Mandatory) Watch each video and click the Next Step button at the bottom when a video completes. On the next screen, click the blue Request Your Stream Key button to request your stream key. Clicking this button triggers a review process, and Mixer takes about a day to send your key to you. At this point, you need to stop and wait for your stream key. I recommend leaving that browser window open so that you can go back later, or if you want to power down your computer, bookmark the site in your browser. When your account is ready, you can copy your stream key from the page located at Broadcast on the menu at the top right of the Mixer screen that you used to get started in the list above. If you just completed the preceding steps, you might currently have a timer onscreen telling you how long it will be until your key is available. Go back when that timer reads 00. Copy that code. As I say elsewhere, I recommend creating a file with all your stream keys for easy access. After copying your stream key (you’ll need it later), click the Next button. Read the Streamer’s Pledge and click the Accept button at the bottom of the screen if you agree. Click the Finish button. Clicking this button returns you to your Mixer dashboard. Gather your stream keys After you have your accounts set up at each site, you need to collect a set of codes called stream keys. Think of your stream key as a pregenerated password that indicates where your account is and gives external software (like OBS, which you can read about shortly) permission to access your page on the streaming service. The stream key is what enables you to broadcast live content. If you opened a Mixer account, you either have that stream key or are awaiting it. Now you need to get your keys from the other major streaming sites, Twitch.tv and YouTube. All three of these major streaming sites frequently update their user interfaces, so this book’s instructions for obtaining their stream keys might not lead you directly to what you need by the time you’re reading this. In such a case, you can find the new location of your stream key by typing stream key into the help system on any of these three sites. Getting your Twitch.tv stream key If you have a Twitch.tv account set up, you’re ready to get your stream key for that site. To obtain your Twitch stream key, follow these steps: Go to twitch.tv and click Login or your profile picture in the upper-right corner to log in. A pop-up window appears in which you can enter your username and password. If you’re already logged in, a menu appears below the profile picture. Navigate the menu below your profile picture, scroll down to Creator Dashboard, and click Creator Dashboard. On the screen that appears, you see the Dashboard menu on the right. Click Channel under Settings near the bottom of the menu. On the screen that opens, you see the heading Stream Key and Preferences. The first entry is your stream key for Twitch. Copy it and save it to your file of stream keys. Make sure that you’re specifying which keys are for which sites on your list! You can now close the window. Getting your YouTube stream key If you have a YouTube account set up, you’re ready to get your stream key for that site. To get your YouTube stream key, follow these steps: Go to YouTube.com and click the Login button in the upper right of the screen. If you’re already logged in, your profile picture appears there instead. On the screen that opens, click your profile picture in the top-right of the screen and then, in the menu that appears, select YouTube Studio. Click the image of a red circle with black arcs radiating from it (a broadcast symbol) that appears just below your profile picture. If this is your first time looking at live streaming on YouTube, you will have a 24-hour wait, similar to the one on Mixer. When your account is ready, click the broadcast symbol just under your profile picture to launch the livestream dashboard. Near the top of the screen, you see three options: Webcam, Stream, and Manage. Click Stream. Give your stream a name in the blank at the top of the next screen. Also select the radio box next to Yes, It’s Made for Kids or No, It’s Not Made for Kids based on whether your content is kid friendly. When finished, click the Create Stream button at the bottom. A pop-up window appears. Next to the number 2 on that list is your stream key. Copy it. You can now close this window. With your stream keys in hand, you’re ready to set up an encoder on your machine where you can mix the input from your camera and your games along with any other graphics or audio you might wish to offer. Encoding your streams To broadcast your gaming streams to Mixer, Twitch, or YouTube, you need to use an encoder, a software program that mixes the input from your camera and microphone as well as your games, sound, and pictures from your computer itself. The most common choice for an encoder is Open Broadcaster Software (OBS) Telling you how to use an encoder is beyond the scope of this book, but you’re not out of luck. OBS is free to download, and thanks to an active community of expert users, you can learn how to use it through free resources. You can download OBS for Windows, Linux, and MacOS. In addition, master user and generally nice guy Adam Taylor (YouTube user EsposVox) has compiled a lengthy, in-depth set of video tutorials that you can access at going to YouTube and searching for “OBS Studio Master Class.” You can also find support on the OBS discussion forums. There will be a bit of a learning curve as you create your stream setup within the encoder because you need to create overlays — the graphics that are situated around your gameplay window, your camera window, and any other information or imagery you choose to use. The number of graphics you want or need depends on the game you choose to stream, but if you want to be taken seriously as a streamer, you need to do more than just stream your face on camera or yourself playing a game. Master your layout The layout is the arrangement of items being displayed onscreen, and esports streamers have basic layout standards that they attempt to maintain. To see an example of a layout, take a look at the following figure, which shows a stream of the Miami University varsity esports team playing League of Legends. As you can see, the majority of the screen is devoted to the game itself. Insets show the team names next to each score, and statistical blocks help the viewer follow the action, but the overlay additions are minimal. LoL streamers tend to keep their additional graphics small and few so that the viewer can see the game being played. Most solo streamers also include a webcam in one of the four corners of the screen so that the viewer can see the player. In a five-versus-five match, having ten of those windows would greatly detract from the ability to follow the action. The following figure shows a clip from a streamed Tespa Hearthstone match. A casual first look might leave you with the impression that this stream is highly similar to the LoL stream shown in the preceding figure, but they differ in several key ways. First, the left third of the screen is devoted to nongame match graphics. You can see the logo of the tournament organizers in the center, and to the top and bottom are video feeds of the teams playing. The team images display the number of victories (currently zero for each) and the class of their Hearthstone decks. The rest of the screen shows the entire game board, but because this feed comes from the tournament organizer, the display includes an inset at the top showing the opponent’s cards so that the audience can follow along. Because Hearthstone happens in such a small space compared to a game like LoL, in which players could be anywhere on a huge map, the smaller play space works here, and the ability to see the competitors adds to the viewers’ enjoyment. For your streaming display to look professional, you need to include the following elements. You can hire someone to create these elements through the website Fiverr or Upwork by searching for Streaming Overlays or Streaming Kits. Background: You need a background or set of background images to use as a base when you use multiple windows so that you don’t leave blank space. The background is also useful for intervals between action, such as for a “Stream Starting Soon” screen. Use a high-resolution still image that doesn’t have any intricate details that could clash with the elements you place over it. You could even use a solid color or gradient. Theme: Choose a theme for how you will handle framing or decorating the various elements. For example, you want something to surround your video camera image so that it isn’t just a rectangle sitting on top of whatever else is onscreen. See the figure for an example of a frame around a camera window. Color scheme: Choose a color scheme and font (or fonts—but never use more than two different fonts—okay, maybe a third one as well, if used sparingly) for creating any onscreen text you want or need. This will include buttons that you might place on your Mixer, Twitch, or YouTube account pages. Logo: Choose a key graphic to use as a logo, a thumbnail, or both. Game logos: You need clean images of the logos for any games you plan to play or organizations you plan to stream through. You should look for high-resolution PNG files of these logos with no backgrounds so that you can place them anywhere you might need them. Your initial stream “scenes,” or the collections of images and video inputs that you assemble like those shown previously will likely be minimal. That’s okay; it’s a learning process. You want to keep four ideas about your stream in mind, though: Keep it simple. More often than not, the biggest problem that new streamers have is trying to put too much information on the screen at one time. Think about how the viewers see the screen Ask a few friends if your layout looks too busy when you first start streaming. Always lean toward having less on the screen at any given time. Keep the image and sound quality high. Make sure that you’re using high-resolution images and video input, and light yourself well while using your video camera. Likewise, don’t use music that makes hearing your voice too difficult, and set the audio levels on your games high enough for people to hear the game while also being able to hear and understand you. Be consistent with your “brand.” Viewers will think of your stream the same way they might a television program. As you move from game to game or from topic to topic, give your layouts and screens the same basic style and colors. Viewers should never feel like they have changed channels. Make your design match your tone. The style of your design work should be consistent with the tone of your streaming and should match the style to your chosen game. If you’re trying to be funny and entertain with humor, your graphics, colors, and fonts should reflect that, though I recommend never, ever using Comic Sans. You can choose among numerous playful fonts with soft edges that will serve you well if you’re going for a humorous look, like the font Slugfest. If you’re trying to be ultra-competitive and serious, you should likewise have serious graphics and fonts. The standby font Helvetica is a great choice because of its clean lines and neutral styling. The figure shows an example of a stream logo using three different fonts to give a humorous feel, a serious feel, or a game-centric feel for a stream. The serious font is Arial; the fun font is called CC Jim Lee and is free for use from DaFont; and the game-styled font that mimics Pac-Man is called Crack Man and is free for use from Fontsc. The ultimate goal of your streaming is to produce the sort of quality content that results in a healthy and growing viewer base. The path to quality content is paved with careful consideration given to yourself and your audience.

View Article
page 1
page 2