Everything You Need to Know About Mindsports and eSports

The modern gaming industry is incredibly diverse, with plenty of rich and engaging experiences available across the spectrum. While video games undoubtedly dominate the market, with popular franchises like Fallout and The Witcher ranking highly in terms of downloads and plays, there are several other segments of the gaming market that take gaming to a new level.  

Mindsports and eSports are currently sweeping the world, as more and more gamers realise they can turn their hobby into a career. This article will take a look at both sectors of the industry, so if you’re looking for inspiration to try something new then you’ve come to the right place.  

Everything you need to know about Mindsports 

So, what exactly are mindsports?  

In short, they’re a group of games that test mental agility. In the same way physical sports will test physical strength, stamina, endurance, and aptitude, a mindsport tests a participant’s knowledge, mental endurance, cognitive abilities, and decision-making skills.  

Back in 1997, the Mind Sports Olympiad was held for the very first time in London, England by the Mind Sports Organisation. This event was the first of its kind, bringing together players from across Europe to compete in an array of strategy games like backgammon, chess, draughts and bridge.  

Since then, the Olympiad has taken place on an almost annual basis and more gaming disciplines have been added under the mindsports umbrella such as poker and casino games like roulette and blackjack.  

Gaming technology has also undergone huge transformations over the decades. As a result, here in 2021 mindsports are widely available to play online and even as mobile apps, making them more accessible now than they’ve ever been before.  

Take a game like roulette, for example. It may be a modern-day mindsport in its digital incarnation, but roulette is a game that is actually centuries old - even the name itself, which means little wheel in French, can be traced back to the 18th Century.  

Prior to the advent of online gaming, to participate in the game players would have had to visit a brick and mortar casino. Digital versions remove barriers to entry such as location and demographic, making the game a lot more inclusive to budding players.  

As in the example above, anyone can get involved with mindsports at any level. Not everyone who plays a mindsport wants to compete on a professional scale; for many gamers, their favourite mindsport is simply a hobby that keeps their brain in tip-top shape.  

Everything you need to know about eSports 

Aren’t eSports (electronic sports) also considered to be mindsports? Well, theoretically yes, since pro video gaming is a great test of mental endurance and acumen. However, because eSports are centred around video games such as League of Legends or Fortnite, they’re typically classed as distinct from other mindsports like chess or poker.  

While some mindsports are hundreds of years old, eSports are very much a product of the 21st Century. For the uninitiated, eSports are competitive video gaming tournaments that also have a spectator element to them, just like more conventional sports do. Pro eSports battles are contested in arenas that can house thousands of audience members and the leading tournaments, such as The Invitation, offer some truly staggering cash prizes to the victors.  

ESports games are co-ed, meaning players of all genders are welcome to participate and tournaments can be played either as a solo gamer or in teams, aka eSports leagues. While games like Fortnite have opened up the field for solo playing, it’s arguably the league battles that draw in the biggest crowds.  

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Teams like Team Liquid, Fnatic, OG and Evil Geniuses are the rock stars of the pro gaming world, and they have the net worth to match! Liquid is currently the highest-ranked gaming team in the world, having played over 2000 tournaments in games like Counter-Strike, League of Legends, Starcraft 2 and Dota 2, where they’ve amassed a net worth of just under $38,000,000.  

Like mindsports, eSports are totally inclusive and open to any gamer who wants to give them a try. There are plenty of amateur tournaments in play around the world at a grassroots level, where all it takes to enter is a passion and enthusiasm for gaming, and the mental fortitude to play for long hours. 

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Last Updated: Aug 26, 2021