Amateur Esports: Why Join a League?

In this article, Max Thielmeyer explains why it is that so many amateur players are joining leagues and entering tournaments. Why not give it a go?

As esports grow across the world, more and more casual gamers are looking to make the jump from casual to competitive gaming.

While few players will ever see shares of the massive prize pools offered for popular esports like DoTA, CS:GO and League of Legends, many players find the experience of competing at much lower levels just as rewarding. 

Queueing into competitive playlists in online games offers the chance of head-to-head competition. But it can be difficult to feel like a welcome member of the game’s community while wading through toxic opponents and frustrating teammates.

Luckily for players, tournaments and organized leagues for every skill level allow players to compete like the pros without investing thousands of hours into a game. 

At these lower levels, however, tournaments and leagues offer very different experiences with their own benefits and drawbacks.

Leagues are comprised of a community of gamers who regularly compete against one another to crown a winner based on overall performance.

Leagues in Rocket League, Smash Bros and Apex Legends open for anyone to sign up to.

Tournaments are much less forgiving, but reward the best team on any given day. Even the most dominant teams can have an off-game and end their tournament run early. Conversely, leagues offer the chance to improve throughout the season by working with teammates, opponents, ​or even coaches​. 

On one hand, joining a league is usually a much bigger commitment than competing in tournaments that generally only run the length of a weekend or less. But by committing to a league that runs the course of a few months, you join a community of players that offers a new experience that anonymous online competitions never could. Teams and players have a much better chance to make a name for themselves over the course of a season instead of a single tournament and it becomes much easier to make connections with players on other teams between weekly match-ups.

The ​Indy Gaming League​, for example, has a community of over 5,000 gamers who compete and grow together. It’s not uncommon for IGL members to offer gameplay tips to each other immediately following a fierce match-up, which exemplifies the competitive and friendly spirit of the community. 

Just as the Rocket League Championship Series runs roughly twice a calendar year, lower level leagues often provide players multiple chances to join as their schedule allows. The Indy Gaming League is currently gearing up for its Fall Circuit in Rocket League, Apex Legends, and Super Smash Bros Ultimate. ​Registration is open​ until September 23rd before kicking off six weeks of league play and a competitive playoff period. 

Alongside the rapid growth of esports competitions at a professional level, more and more casual players are looking for their chance to take the jump into a competition of their own. While weekend tournaments might make for a more exciting experience for viewers, committing to a season of play allows gamers the chance to connect with other players, improve over time, and, most importantly, be a part of an active and friendly community. 


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Max Thielmeyer

Max Thielmeyer

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