No matter what background you come from, the one factor that unites a grand majority of people across the world is the undying love for competitive sports. But for an everyday fan of, say, football, a gaming tournament like ESL One New York may not be seen as something relatable. I'm here to tell you to squash that assumption, because the event is just as wild and thrilling as our favorite sports.
ESL One is already a well-known and established tournament in the gaming world. But for someone like myself who never attended before, it was difficult to understand it at first (see all the things I learned from day one here). Yet it quickly became clear that my appreciation for soccer and basketball mirrored the love these players had for eSports—and it was awesome!
This comparison was most evident in the match between teams Fnatic and Team Liquid, which was the most intense highlight from day one. I could feel the rush of the fans' excitement course through my body and throughout the main stage, as the majority of eventgoers passionately cheered for their favorite team. Chants of "USA! USA!" and "TEAM LIQUID!" immediately reminded me of when the Denver Broncos scored a touchdown during Super Bowl 50, or even when a wrestler pounds his competitor to the ground in a WWE SmackDown.
The fans wore the jerseys emblazoned with the teams' logos, waved their foam fingers proudly and wasted no time using those noise makers to electrify Barclays. It definitely reminded me of the frat bro culture we all experienced throughout college!
Throughout the madness, myself and Sarah (Fuse's social media/external video director) managed to make friends with some fans of Team Liquid. We learned the teenage boys had been friends on the Internet for years, and ESL One New York gave them the opportunity to finally meet in person. That connection based on a pure admiration for the art of gaming is not unlike creating a fantasy football team, organizing a March Madness bracket and chatting with online friends while playing NBA 2K17 on your Xbox One.
Whether you opt for playing Counter-Strike: Global Offensive on a computer or like to hit up Yankee Stadium to enjoy a baseball game, the underlying love for the game is what ties us all together—no matter how different the worlds may seem to be.