12 Great Esports Movies

12 Movies about Esports Worth Watching

In this article, I decided to mention all the worthy movies about esports. Here is a place for documentary, comedy and drama films. All of them are valuable artworks you won’t feel shame to show your parents and friends.

The Wizard

Released: 1989

The year 1989 what’s up with esports? But there is enough esports in this move by universal. This was the first time when serious video game competition had been shown on a big screen. Training, scene, viewers, everything looks just like in our times. It is very interesting to watch how things looked like and how Super Mario Bros 3 tournaments were organized in 1989.

National Geographic. World Cyber Games

Released: 2005

This is the very first serious documentary movie on esports from the National Geographic TV-channel. They showed the whole world that computer competitions are not just games. Many people have gaming as their job. The documentary was based on the main tournament of that time – WCG in the StarCraft discipline. But even if you don’t know this game, this movie will be interesting for you. The program authors tell about why esports is beautiful in simple words.

Beyond the Game

Released: 2008

Everything began with this movie. In 2007, MOBA had no special popularity. WarCraft III and Counter-Strike ruled the world of esports at that time. Beyond the Game movie is devoted to two great WarCraft pro players in history – Sky and Grubby. The film touches stories of legends, ways of their glory and esports in general. Their live goals were different but they were lucky enough to become stars of their time. This was the first movie telling about gaming competitions simply.

Frag

Released: 2008

This is one of the first professional movies on esports. Authors visited American tournaments of that time to find out what esports exactly is. They talked to famous players (such as Fatal1ty), game developers and regular fans. The movie touches the other side of esports: about problems. There are enough troubles in careers of pro players: problems with studying, alcohol, family difficulties, etc. And if other movies tell and show sweet stories about gaming competitions then “Frag” is a sad movie about difficulties. Watch this film if you think becoming famous is easy.

The International 2012

Released: 2012

This is the first movie by Valve about The International 2012 tournament. This movie is about participants. It is targeted not for wide audience but for people who know the deal with DotA 2. It is interesting to remind how it passed, how players prepared and worried.

Noobz

Released: 2012

Almost all esports movies are made by people connected to the industry. “Noobz” is the movie many websites called a “Hollywood esports movie”. In fact, it is a comedy indie-movie. It tells a story of players moving to the Gears of War tournament. This film is not bad as the “trash” one. It’s not too funny but still worth watching. Many people write comments like “Why do they make another esports documentary? Try something else!” Well, here is a try to film a esports comedy.

Road to Worlds

Released: 2014

“Road to Worlds” is a high-quality movie in three episodes by Riot Games. This is a movie about players and teams, about personalities of esports scenes. How did players come to what they have?

DotA — An eSports Phenomenon

Released: 2014

Today, esports mean big money and everyday tournaments. Things weren’t that cool in the past. Pro players remind of past years when esports only began to grow.

Free to Play: The Movie

Released: 2014

This is a famous movie by Valve telling about not only the story of the tournament itself. It touches stories of tournament stars and their successes and shows them in a beautiful way.

The Glory: Power of Esports

Released: 2015

This is a Polish movie on esports telling about what exactly competitions are, how to become a pro and to pass the whole difficult way to the top. Becoming a star is a tough quest but one has to be patient and hard-working in order to win desired trophies. The movie is Polish, so Virtus.pro CS team members became its main heroes.

The Celebrity Millionaires of Competitive Gaming

Released: 2015

This is a high-quality movie about League of Legends stars. The glory of victories and desperation of defeats: professional gamers have to pass them all on the way to the desired glory and championship titles.

Esports and Movies

Legends Rising

Released: 2015

“Legends Rising” is the 6-episode documentary film devoted to the 2015 Season World Championship. It touches stories of six representatives playing for six different regions: brTT, Uzi, SwordAr, Bjergsen, xPeke and Faker. Every episode reveals details of lives of pro-gamers starting from their past days and ways of becoming professionals, and ending with their preparation to recent tournaments.

10 Video Game Movies Much Worse than their Source Games

Hollywood has been trying to adapt popular videogame stories during more than 20 years for now. Despite the fact people sometimes can make good videogames based on movies, the reversal direction does not have that success yet. It’s difficult to say why things go that way. Sometimes, screen adaptation rights come to not the best teams. Additionally, there are games just not suiting the format of full-meter movies. In this article, I’d like to talk about 10 movies which are much worse than original games serving as their source stories. Some of these films are still worth watching, other ones are just terrible. I will try not to judge but can’t guarantee that because I’m passionate enough about both movies and videogames.

10. Resident Evil 4: Afterlife (2010)

Resident Evil Afterlife

Director: Paul Anderson

The game: Resident Evil game series became the main example of survival horrors, its real classic. With every new part, developers make gamers happy. This franchise tells a story of the terrifying Umbrella corporation and scary zombies. In addition, games usually offer complicated puzzles and stressful atmosphere.

The movie: unfortunately, movie authors failed to recreate the atmosphere felt by gamers. First movies of this franchise were watchable enough (the first one is my favorite), but the fourth one lost all positions and became one of the worst video game movies I’ve ever watched.

9. Street Fighter (1994)

Street Fighter Movie

Director: Steven E. de Souza

The game: it is one of the most popular fighting games. The very first game appeared on arcade machines in 1987. The Street Fighter title was the revolution in fighting videogames. Nobody could see anything like that before.

The movie: the screen adaptation attracted many people with Jean-Claude Van Damme playing the role of a main hero. The story tells of a mad dictator taking hostages and demanding money for their lives. The mission of the fearless colonel William Guile is to find the headquarters of bad guys and neutralize them. In fact, the movie has nothing in common with the game except of a title and character names.

8. Mortal Kombat: Annihilation (1997)

Mortal Kombat Annihilation Movie

Director: John R. Leonetti

The game: Mortal Kombat is another one of most popular fighting videogames. The franchise contains more than 10 games, movie series, full-meter movies and some comics. Gamers all over the world take part in Mortal Kombat tournaments.

The movie: unlike the first part of the movie which is definitely worth watching, the sequel became a total failure for “Mortal Kombat” series. Game fans mainly criticized dull dialogues and weak actors. Additionally, many people did not like the low quantity of cruel fighting scenes which the Mortal Kombat videogame is famous for.

7. Wing Commander (1999)

Wing Commander Movie

Director: Chris Roberts.

The game: Wing Commander is the space battle simulator released mainly on PC’s. The game got a quite big fan base thanks to its simple but interesting story. Gamers liked the attractive and involving gameplay and a special visual style as well.

The movie: unfortunately, the movie failed to become equally successful. Viewers got some battle scenes good enough for their time but other moments accenting on dialogues and screenplay were just too bad. Fox studio had serious financial losses after the launch of this movie, and this fact led the game series into oblivion, too.

6. Warcraft (2016)

Warcraft 2016 Movie

Director: Duncan Jones

The game: the universe was created in the fantasy style including steampunk and Asian culture elements. Blizzard developers created the world of Azeroth including four continents: Eastern Kingdoms (the homeland of humans), Kalimdor (elven lands), Nothrend and Pandaria. Additionally, the universe included worlds of Argus (draenei homeland) and Draenor (the world of orcs). The story of the universe mainly describes the battle of the Alliance and the Horde, and their fighting against the Burning Legion which is a threat for Azeroth.

The movie: this one is one of my favorite, but I’ll still try to be unbiased. Despite all attempts to make fans be happy, authors of this movie only showed a bunch of average graphic effects. Viewers criticized weak action, too: the movie did not get worthy epic scenes and big-scale battles. Mostly, viewers and criticists said the Warcraft film to be very weak considering the status of the universe.

5. Need for Speed (2014)

Need For Speed Film

Director: Scott Waugh

The game: the game is a top-rated racing action franchise. The first game was released by EA back in 1994. Nowadays, the Need for Speed series is the most successful racing videogame series in the world and one of the greatest franchises in the whole history of gaming.

The movie: it has Aaron Paul, Dominic Cooper and Dakota Johnson. And that’s all. The dull story only tells about the car mechanic having illegal racing competitions as his hobby.

4. Alone in the Dark (2005)

Alone in the Dark Movie

Director: Uwe Boll

The game: the main hero is the private detective Edward Carnby hired by a collector to create an inventory of the mansion property. The game conquered millions of gamers with its horror component. The first part was connected to stories by Howard Lovecraft and became the precursor of all survival horror games.

The movie: was the work of the world’s worst video game movie director Uwe Boll. Every film by him is a total failure, especially if you belong to the group of people familiar with original games.

3. Assassin’s Creed (2016)

Assassin’s Creed Movie

Director: Justin Kurzel

The game: the Assassin’s Creed series became very popular and lived long without entering big screens. As a result, the French Ubisoft studio sold screen adaptation rights. The original series tells of adventures of assassins during various periods of human history in different countries having real historical events as background like the Third Crusade or the Great French Revolution. They also added elements of science fiction and cryptohistory.

The movie: people had big hopes about it. But who would think Michael Fassbender to participate in a shameful movie? The main problem was the try of screenwriters to make the film as realistic as possible. All in all, the Assassin’s Creed movie is discombobulated, has weak playing and minimal correlation with the original game universe. Not good.

2. Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time (2010)

Prince of Persia Movie

Director: Mike Newell.

The game: one of the strongest game series ever appeared in late 1980’s. It tells of adventures of a nameless hero with multiple deadly traps on his way. Gamers all over the world liked this game. In 2000’s, the project was reanimated and became one of the most popular franchises of its time.

The movie: it cost a lot for its authors. According to some data, the budget of the film exceeded 200 million dollars. It was the most expensive videogame movie and the highest-grossing one. But the project by Jerry Bruckheimer still failed to fulfill expectations of “Disney” studios. Of course, fans of original games were disappointed because of screenwriters who decided to rewrite the story in their own way for some reason. Still, as for me, the film is quite watchable for those who never heard about Prince of Persia games.

1. Postal (2007)

Postal Movie

Director: Uwe Boll.

Игра: Postal used to be the cult thrash-game of its time. In the city of Paradise they build a huge entertaining center and one shop receives a delivery of cool toys. These toys are wanted by two groups of people: terrorists want to use them for attacks and hippies wand to steal them and earn money. The main hero balances between two groups in addition to his own life problems.

The movie: yes, this is another failure by Uwe Boll. The screen version of a satiric game is filled with bad jokes and toxic scenes. The film contains many silly moments and the director tries to show people’s indifference about modern problems. You won’t find any plot here.

Best Interactions between TV and Esports

It lived exclusively in the Internet for a while but success and incomes completely changed the game. Television is interested in esports industries but doesn’t know how to work with it most effectively yet. Let’s take a look onto the most interesting and remarkable interactions of esports and television.

Esports on TV

First Marks

Eastern countries were pioneers of esports topics adapted for TV’s. At early 2000’s WCG tournament series appeared on big TV-channels of South Korea. In Europe, serious esports broadcasts began in Sweden first. The TV6 channel regularly shows Stockholm DreamHack tournament events, CS:GO majors and The International.

It should be mentioned, that the initiative to do that was not their own: the contract between the provider and local government had the obligatory point to show the competition on local TV channels. The initiative was successful, and more than 100 DreamHack matches were shown since that time already.

Development of Esports on TV

In South Korea, USA, Sweden and China where virtual sports develop perfectly and use support of fans and governments, channels and TV-shows touching the topic are not rare. One of examples: esportsTV channel from ESL. The channel is available after the subscription for various digital platforms like: Skylink, Viasat, Canal Digital, etc. This allows it to appear on TV-screens of Baltic and Scandinavian countries, Africa, some European countries and the USA. Viewers can watch ESL One, IEM and Pro League tournaments.

Disney became one of the greatest “family” esports distributors. On channels like Disney XD, ABC and ESPN there appear broadcasts showing the Overwatch League, EVO series competitions, and Injustice 2 tournaments. Together with Nintendo, the corporation launched series of TV-shows devoted to Nintendo Switch family competitions where children and parents play Super Mario Odyssey and Just Dance 2018 together.

Thanks to the cooperation with ESL and Riot Games, the ESPN broadcasting network got expanded with matches of North American League Championship Series and ESL One, Pro League and IEM tournaments. One of the greatest Disney’s competitors, the Nickelodeon channel, added esports content to their assortment, too. They invested $15 million to develop the Super Gaming League for Minecraft and some other disciplines to broadcast matches on the TV-channel.

Negative cases exist, too. The Czech COOL channel decided to show all 84 matches of the DreamLeague season 2. But they failed to attract enough viewers and never came back to esports.

Esports and Television

What Can Prevent Esports from Development on TV?

Esports develop rapidly in terms of incomes and audience numbers. Still, these factors do not guarantee its success on TV channels. There are some reasons that might prevent it:

  • “Another” audience. Mostly, people who watch TV are at their 35 or older while esports are interesting for younger ones. Fans are used to search for interesting contents on Twitch, Facebook, YouTube and other platforms. They don’t have enough motivation to switch TV-sets on for that yet.
  • Different formats. People watching esports tournaments are used to the possibility to communicate with commentators and other viewers via chats. TV can’t offer such interaction with the audience. Many sponsors often provide giveaways on their steams (keys for unique skins, free games etc.). If there is a choice between watching a TV or a usual stream offering a reward, then the choice is obvious.
  • Match durations. In regular sports, match timings are strictly limited, so TV managers can organize broadcasts precisely enough. DotA 2 matches last for 40-50 minutes but can last longer. So, even a bo3 matchup is extremely difficult to be timed. Additional difficulty is that many channels have to show ads during certain periods. Ads in the middle of an esports match won’t help the channel increase ratings.
  • Age ratings. Scenes from some games like DOOM or Counter Strike can’t be shown during any TV-time due to age restrictions. Gamers know many different stories about videogames causing violence and cruelty. So the appearance of such contents on TV-screens can cause even more noise and unexpected consequences.
  • Staff. On the TV, there often are people who are busy with esports but don’t really understand the topic. This causes a bad and biased approach towards video games.

Esports Development

Esports successfully develop without television, too. Appearance on TV screens can increase its reputation just as the adding of virtual sports into the program of Olympic Games. It is not as important for esports as for the other side.

Nevertheless, this acceptance will help attracting new people with professional skills and fresh ideas into the industry. Maybe this will take some more years to try, but the result can have positive effects for both esports and television.

Top 5 Video Game Movies Worth Watching

They say that video game screen adaptation movies are guaranteed to be bad. They’re right. Throughout the whole history of cinema there was no video game movie worth saying: “Wooooow!” Uwe Boll is called the worst cinema director of all times, and he is not accidental to film video game screenings. That is why all that hype about the “Assassin’s Creed” movie before its release wondered me very much. I used to say: “Hmmm, that’s a video game picture. Really, what can go wrong?”

Assassin’s Creed Videogame Movie

They gave me counterarguments like “Ubisoft” is in control of the process and they’ll make it all interesting, the plot is cool, there is a budget and cool actors… The result was still usual.

Why does it happen that way? I think the reason is obvious: gameplay. Here is the point: in the video game, the gameplay process is the most important. This means if developers pay too much attention to their story there appear too many cut-scenes and the player gets bored as a result. That is why even if the game has an interesting, original and unusual story, the most important thing is how to play it.

I can give you a bright opposite example: there was an attempt to make a quest videogame basing on a “Murder on the Orient Express” movie. Developers worked hard, made a beautiful design, chose good music… and I dropped the game after first 30 minutes. There were TOO MANY dialogues, no action, so I decided to quit.

But let’s go back to video game movies. Despite the overall piteous situation, there are some movies which can be acknowledged as acceptable. They are not cool, not masterpiece movies, just acceptable. I really like only two of them (one screen version was rather just “based on” the game). Still, to write this Top 5 article for you, I came up with three more movies which at least can be watched without a risk to harm your eyes and minds.

1. Mortal Kombat, 1995

MK Videogame Movie

This movie was incredibly stupid even for middle 90’s. A ridiculous plot, flat characters, weird dialogues, terrible graphics (yes, it was TERRIBLE even for those times). But! The movie is still watchable. Screenwriters turned a not-story fighting video game into a movie with a plot, worked with combat footage and even brought a star into the frame – Christopher Lambert from “The Highlander”. And there are some cool scenes in the overall madness: at least, the glorious “Your soul is mine” phrase by Shang Tsung.

2. Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, 2010

Prince of Persia Movie

This is the most expensive video game movie ever. It is based on a perfect game series. Its main concept is time travelling. Its atmosphere is the desert and the sand of Middle East. Its producer was Jerry Bruckheimer. Its main actors were Jake Gyllenhaal and Ben Kingsley. So, what could go wrong?

Probably, the “Disney” studio was the reason. Another company would have a chance to make a dart action movie with a brutal main hero on the screen.

“Disney” turned it into a kind tale for kids. Beautiful, humorous but… empty. The plot is regular. Heroes don’t make you feel them (moreover, only the prince and the vizier were present in the source video game as characters). Enemies are no-name bots instead of terrible monsters.

And the main point of games – the time travelling – was used less than two times during the whole movie. I was disappointed by this picture in cinema, and it has never made me watch it once more.

3. Warcraft, 2016

Warcraft Videogame Movie

In 2016, fans expected two video game screen versions at once: Warcraft and Assassin’s Creed. Both were met in a pretty restrained manner. But if the second one was totally failed then Warcraft could be called watchable enough.

Creators worked a lot to create computer models of heroes and general decorations, battle scenes were interesting, the plot did not concentrate on a certain side of the conflict: the viewer can “choose” the side to “play” for.

The main lack of this movie was the fact they made it totally fan-oriented. There were many unexplained things you can’t understand unless you played all games of the setting, there was no way to understand rules of the universe and so on. All in all, this is a typical guide how to please fans while not caring about the rest of the audience.

Still, as for me the lack of explanations was not something bad. I think modern people just got used to thoughtless consumption too much. For me, Warcraft made an impression of a huge universe with many unseen places and hidden parts. Still, I’m not fond of fantasy settings in general, so I’ve never felt the will to explore those places.

4. Resident Evil, 2002

Resident Evil Movie

Here we go with a movie I actually like. Though not being a fan of zombie movies, the first “Resident Evil” was good. A pure action, massive shooting and a bunch of bright remarkable scenes were there too.

Mila Jovovich literally found her role. This actress brilliantly combines her natural sexuality with brutality, while many female action-heroes lack this. I’ve not played the Resident Evil series. As I know, the movie made many steps away from the game but is it that important if it was so lucky? The film ending was promising and I was sure: the sequel will be even brighter and better than the original movie.

Unfortunately, I was wrong. The second movie was watchable enough, but still not that bright as the first one. The third part came into a senseless mix of plot turns and pointless action scenes. Unfortunately.

5. Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, 2001

Lara Croft Movie

Well, I love this movie! In general, the genre of adventures and artifact searches never left me indifferent, no matter if it was the epochal “Indiana Jones” or a light “National Treasure” movie.

Directors of Lara Croft tried to recreate the game atmosphere as closely as possible, added mystery, plot turns, magic items and of course a beautiful main hero. Lara Croft has been known as the most beautiful video game character according to many gamers. And Angelina Jolie hit the role perfectly. This movie was not only interesting to watch it because of a plot, it was a visual pleasure.

Honestly, I don’t understand why its ratings were so low: just 5.7 on IMDB and terrible 20% on Rotten Tomatoes. Of course, it is not a masterpiece, but it is interesting to track Lara’s adventures and the ending time reversal scene made me very glad.

These are my Top 5 video game movies worth attention. Unfortunately, even last two of them are not perfect.

As a bonus, I’d like to mention not a film, not even a cartoon, just an episode of cartoon series. No, it is a part of the “Futurama” episode. There, Fry asks the What-If Machine a question:

What if life was more like a videogame?

And it showed aliens from the Nintendo planet. Aliens were video game characters: Donkey Kong, Space invaders, etc. And the courageous general Pac-Man stands against them. It was a curious episode with many references for video games. The funniest thing was the fact that aliens wanted humans to give them… quarters! This means 25-cent coins which made old game machines work.

In 2015, the “Pixels” movie was released with Adam Sandler. In fact, the movie tells a pretty similar story. Still, it was just weird and contained all the worst things from Adam Sandler’s comedies. I felt much regret about such a cool idea destroyed by wrong people.

And what watchable video game movies do you know? I’d like to know your opinion.

Esports and Movie Theaters Suitable and Profitable Partnership

Esports Can Gain Much Fun and Income by Partnering with Cinemas

These two branches of the modern entertainment industry got a perfect way for earning a lot of cash. They only need clients.

Super League Gaming (SLG) dares towards hosting events connected to esports in theater venues to give players the experience off spending time in a venue with their hobby friends competing on big cinema screens. Cinemas will get profits by renting their physical spaces instead of just wasting it and its time. The question appears: will gamers who are real clients for this business model wish to use this proposition?

Good news first for field businesses: looks like the answer is “possibly enough”.

What’s the Deal?

SLG (super league gaming) started a Minecraft league for six weeks last fall. The final of the league came up to the championship in December and awarded a 10-year old boy named Julien Wiltshire and his crew with a collective sum of 15 thousand dollars.

Over one thousand participants played in league competitions taking place in cinemas all over the country. Players had to visit a “certified” cinema and go in for a competition distinguished by Minecraft game modes. As SLG officials said, gamers had to show:

  • Creativity;
  • Teamwork;
  • Critical thinking skills.

Why Minecraft?

Minecraft was chosen for the competition partially because of its open-source nature: SLG were able to create special modifications to deliver the required experience for theater gamers. The event was successful enough, because another league tournament of this type was announced for a start in February. Super League Gaming monetizes the competition through visitor tickets for tournament events placed in cinemas. Theater venues get some piece of revenue from the SLG.

Brett Morris, COO of Super League Gaming said the scale is all that matters here. If to take a look at the business model itself, it can be explained through the Star Wars franchise movie example. People can watch Star Wars on more than four thousand cinema screens nowadays. The same principle works for SLG. Their level of success is to be dictated by the quantity of screens and cinemas conducting their competitive events.

The company has connections with cinemas that belong to the biggest chains like Regal, AMC and Cinemark at the moment. Connections with less serious ones (iPic Entertainment, etc.) are also available for them. There are some theaters behind iPic which seem to offer more of a luxurious experience: top-quality seats, cool menus and cafes nearby, and other things.

Some More Interesting Data

iPic CEO named Hamid Hashemi who gained more than twenty five years of cinema industry working experience thinks that SLG remains a good possibility to sell out his company’s cinema space. The competition is interesting for 9 to 14 year old children mainly, and Hashemi said this to be one of the most attractive aspects for business. Why? Because this gives cinemas the opportunity to schedule competition events for time which is usually “dead” for cinemas: afternoons.

The content of SLG Minecraft competitions was set to be some kind of alternative for cinemas and organized as if someone paid the theater space owner for any meeting organized inside it. Nevertheless, Hashemi noted that such kind of contents does not influence much on the cinema’s earnings: it takes 2 to 3% of overall revenue. Still, it is much better to have the auditorium full of people than to keep it empty at any case.

Hashemi stated that his company had been looking for opportunities to use gaming for business. Gaming is predicted to become the top-viewed sport within the nearest 5 years. So, cybersports is big.

Cinemark marketing vice president stated the company is open to organize upcoming SLG events because of being satisfied with the existing results. At this moment, almost 30 cinemas of the company are properly equipped to show SLG content.

The premiere of a Minecraft competition is considered as successful by these two theater companies and SLG as well. Super League Gaming planned to set partnerships with companies developing videogames in order to provide cinemas with new titles to rotate shows.

SLG aims towards getting every game suitable for theater shows. The most challenging and difficult thing for this business is to choose following games. This offers developers profitable income options they couldn’t really have in the past. This means, they can sell real tickets to people willing to watch cybersports events and to spend some time with their likeminders.

Minecraft is not a thing people can consider as an esports discipline. Still, implications play a much more serious role. Video game experience can be wanted by customers ready to bring real money for the opportunity to get it. Super League Gaming representatives agreed with cinema companies about their competition to be known by parents. There can be found esport titles created exactly for big cinema screens.

Nevertheless, a thousand participants is literally nothing for the scale of national levels of esport events. SLG has some far plans to set more partnering contracts leading to increase the number of interested gamers and competition participants.