Gaming for a Living – Speedrunning

Speedrun of Ocarina of Time at Mang'Azur 2013. Photo courtesy of Yves Tennevin.

Rather than playing games, many of us are now choosing to spend our time watching other people play them.

The live-streaming website Twitch was all over the mainstream media recently when it was revealed that it had been bought by none other than Amazon. Just shy of $1 billion was spent acquiring it.

Though the site only launched in June 2011, by January 2014 it had one million active broadcasters and attracted more than 45 million viewers per month.

The most watched games tend to be the same ones which dominate eSports, such as League of Legends and Dota 2, but the platform has also allowed the fascinating speedrunning community to really develop. Continue reading

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Gaming for a Living – eSports

More than 20 million people streamed The International 2014. Photo courtesy of Jakob Wells.

With only a sliver of health left, Daigo Umehara takes the dangerous decision to force his opponent to attack, knowing that he’s about to face a flurry of kicks at blistering speed.

As the attack comes, Daigo is able to parry all of them. A single parry is difficult to pull off at the best of times, let alone 16 times in a row during the pressure of a tournament.

The room erupts, with a buzz to rival the crowd at any other major sporting event. Some people hadn’t known that what they’d just witnessed was even possible to do. Continue reading