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Fighting Games Remain a Vital Part of the Modern Esports Landscape

3 min

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Fighting Games Remain a Vital Part of the Modern Esports Landscape
They're here to stay forever

Esports comprises a long tradition – one that extends far back beyond its recent mainstream surge in popularity, and further still than its halcyon days in the internet cafes of 00s South Korea from where its modern definition took shape. In truth, esports are as old as gaming – with major tournaments first achieving prominence in the arcades of the 1980s. There, one game-type above all others would come to be considered the premier competitive video game genre.

We are, of course, referring to fighting games – otherwise affectionately known as Beat ‘Em Ups. While the initial Street Fighter set the template for all future fighters to come, it was rival Mortal Kombat and Capcom’s ambitious response to this, Street Fighter II, that cemented the genre as esports royalty.

Esports in 2024

Since then, much has changed. While the likes of CS:GO 2 and League of Legends are well known today to be the established incumbents of the modern esports scene, the fighting game crowd must also contend with the very definition of esports evolving in 2024.

A key component to this is thanks to Twitch streamers. There’s a growing trend of streaming titles most commonly to be found among the offerings of a leading online casino, many of which have acquired the cultural cache of being referred to as mindsports. Anyone who has played such games knows well that like any conventional esport skill and strategy can be decisive factors that determine competition. This broader container even includes popular legacy strategy titles like chess which finds itself campaigning the IoC vying for a spot in the coming Paris Olympics.

Unparalleled PvP

Yet even in a changing landscape, the pedigree of top level fighting events endures. As the prevailing flavour of modern esports increasingly goes over to team and squad based events, nowhere else offers the unmitigated thrills of one-on-one match-ups at the highest level of gaming.

Of course, that’s not to say Beat ‘Em Ups haven’t had to evolve with the times, incorporating everything from live service seasonal DLC to light RPG elements in a bid to remain both accessible and appealing to the legions of Fortnite aficionados.

Community Dialogue

Though truth to be told, fighting games knows its audience – and those that are into them know nothing compares. Street Fighter 6, the latest and arguably greatest modern entry in this storied franchises’ history, has made sure to introduce the kind of quality of life improvements advocated by its community from hitbox visualisations and in-depth control scheme options.

If there’s one thing the rest of the esports world can learn from today’s fighting games, it’s that they have made a point of listening to their community – and by doing so, retain a faithful following that can weather the tides of change taking place around them.

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