Reflection: Esports Needs More 1v1 Contests

by Kevin Knocke

Internal competition is more fun to me than competing against others.

Growing up, I always had this drive to do things that were definitely skill based, but not necessarily team based. I originally grew up playing and teaching the piano, and it was fun to learn consecutively harder and harder pieces until I could play super technical stuff.

In college, I started bowling. Eventually it became an obsession for me and I loved watching my average climb and it was a huge moment when I finally broke a 200 average over a season.

Even in video games, I loved running up achievements and leaderboards and trying to break into the top tier of solo game leaderboards. Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved top 100 player (for a short while), right here.

Esports have always been the same. I was originally drawn to Starcraft II due to the 1v1 nature of the game, and over the total sum of my esports experience I've played Hearthstone more than anything else. Again, a 1v1 game where I can be self critical and competitive but don't have to rely on others.

I grudgingly started playing more team based games and such, but I've always found that solo queueing is all I do in competitive games, even team based ones.

Overwatch? Solo queue.

CS:GO? Solo queue.

League of Legends? Mute everyone and solo queue.

That experience has always been more appealing to me. It's not inherently that I don't enjoy any team based games or competitive environments, it's that I've always had this drive to do solo competitive events and wish there was more diversity in esports for that sort of outlet.

In traditional sports, there are plenty of individual competitions that are major sports. Tennis, golf, combat sports, and many forms of auto racing continue to be individual events with tons of global interest and attention.

As esports continues to broaden its viewer base and games continue to diversify, hopefully some more individual or 1v1 games will make their way into the top tier viewed esports again.

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