Opinion: iOS 11 & Microsoft Might Be Mobile Gaming's Gateway into Esports

iOS 11 & Microsoft Might Be Mobile Gaming's Gateway into Esports

Esports — and, subsequently streaming it — are possibly some of the more surprising products of the 21st century so far. Who would have thought that people would be watching professional gamers play, the same way we've watched pro sports players on TV for more than half a decade?

The fact remains however that esports and its popularity mostly extend to AAA games. The teams that draw the stadium crowds are almost exclusively PC gamers, and while Twitch has provided an outlet for gamers of all platforms to stream their content, one area of the gaming world is still sorely left out — mobile.

It's certainly not surprising — mobile gaming isn't even considering "true" gaming by many in the community. Gaming on a smartphone is highly associated with freemium, shovelware titles that don't particularly lend themselves to Twitch viewership or gigantic competitions.

Image by ESL/YouTube

While it's true that the iOS and Google Play app stores are overflowing with these kinds of games, it's unfair to say that mobile gaming lacks the depth and functionality that consoles and PCs can provide. Games like Monument Valley — and now its sequel — show off how games can be strikingly beautiful, while games like Asphalt 8: Airborne demonstrate mobile's multiplayer capabilities.

Mobile may have a leg to stand on yet. Microsoft recently acquired Beam — now called Mixer — a platform that allows up to four gamers to stream at once. The good news for mobile is this functionality is heading to smartphones, allowing players to stream from new platforms.

Combine that with iOS 11's native screen recording, and you might have the recipe for mobile gaming to make more of an impression in the esports world. As Gadget Hack's resident mobile gaming expert, I, for one, would love to watch people go head-to-head in the best racer on iOS — Cro-Mag Rally.

Classic Mac users know what's up
Cover image by Porcupiny/Flickr

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