You might not find them at your local store but as the scene continues to grow, more and more of the best esports books are easy to purchase online. This growth and expansion is largely due to the associated prize pools and it would appear that esports is now ready to enter the mainstream. However, a leap into the world of competitive esports requires much more than passion or interest and a good business understanding of this arena is just as important as the ability to play and win.
But what titles should you know about when it comes to the best esports books?
In this article, we take a look at some of the best esports books that you should know about and a little of what to expect from each one. Most of these esports books are quite new or recent and the extent of insight and expert opinion is evidenced in the five star online reviews that you should find for each of the following titles.
1. The Book of Esports: The Definitive Guide to Competitive Video Games
The Book of eSports is not just a book about the rise of esports but also an overview of what drives the market and where it might be going. William Collis has written one of the best esports books in recent years and this offering is both comprehensive and concise at the same time. The concepts are explained via frameworks and the information is practical throughout. This is also a nicely written esports book that uses an interesting narrative to convey the most important points. In other words, even though the research and data is not always exciting, Collis has at least outlined this information in such a way that makes it easy to read. You can learn about the overall industry but also parallels with other emerging platforms. There is a nice collection of charts and studies in the book which are easy to interpret and great insights into the wider landscape of virtual gaming. The author also recounts the history of esports and then analyzes and uses this knowledge to discuss scenarios that will inevitably arise for all who step inside the esports space.
2. This is esports (and How to Spell it)
Paul Chaloner is somewhat of a legend in the esports industry and put together this comprehensive guide to the modern world of esports. This is esports goes on to talk about many aspects which affect the industry including corruption and cheating but also insights into the life of esports players and teams alike. This is also one of the best esports books with regard to entertainment, for the author is a famous broadcaster who deploys his wit and charm throughout the book. In fact, you should notice this wit in the title of the book which alludes to the fact that many people don’t even know how to spell the word “esports”. But what makes it any different from the other titles on our list? This is esports is a fantastic “warts-and-all” commentary on the industry that takes readers inside the glamorous world of competitive esports. While it takes a front-line look at this competitive industry, it also touches on the culture and history which underpins this fast growing arena. If you’re looking for tactics and strategy, this is not one of the best esports books but for a light, entertaining and insightful look at the industry – This is esports is worth the read.
3. The Invisible Game: Mindset of a Winning Team
Esports is a big deal for the youth of today but it’s not all about having fun and a proper strategy is needed for players that want to go pro in their chosen area. After all, real tournaments require real money and so it’s not just about taking part but about managing risk and making business decisions on the regular. The Invisible Game goes into the mental side of the game and how players should prepare their minds for the pressures associated with competitive esports. Many young players in particular won’t have the same advantage of mindset over older players which makes this a vital read for those with less life experience. In this sense, this esports book is about the inner wisdom that can help players get ahead and it uses life experience and real examples to convey the most important points. While not every players is open to focusing on this area of gaming, it certainly benefits those who do and The Invisible Game is at least a top entry-level book about the mindset needed to be successful in the esports industry.
4. A Newborn Business: Esports
A Newborn Business dives into the history of online gaming and the future of esports in general. It’s one of the best esports books that focuses on the “meat and potatoes” of the industry and uses a selection of more than seventy questions to help structure the book. That is to say, the author selects a variety of the most-asked questions and then proceeds to answer them in great detail. You will find a piece on many of the top gaming titles like Fortnite, Call of Duty and League of Legends and a quick introduction to many of the most successful esports players. But there’s much more that makes this one of the best esports books as the author also breaks down how to make a living from the industry before taking a look at the future of esports in general. As a rule, for anyone looking to get started in the industry or consider making money from online gaming, A Newborn Business is a good shout for one of the best esports books!
5. Raising the Stakes: E-Sports and the Professionalization of Computer Gaming
Raising the Stakes is rather different in a sense because it specifically looks at the fast rise of esports and online gaming. It’s not the longest read in the world but it certainly details every area the author tries to dissect and explain. But what exactly might you expect from this title? Raising the Stakes manages to connect pro players with much broader issues in the esports industry such as spectatorship, money and notions of play. The author takes a close look at struggles associated with the male-dominated arena of esports and how playful passions have transformed into a much more serious type of play. You will find endless citations and sources in here and a nice introduction to the industry as well as lots of useful facts and data. Much of this data relates to the culture of online gaming which helps it stand out among the other best esports books on this list. In many ways, you might think of this book as a thin version of an encyclopedia for esports but with a dose of philosophy relating to game theory in particular. The author also travels to tournaments as part of her research for the book and talks about the highest-paid players and the importance of referees, leagues, teams and fans.
6. One Up: Creativity, Competition, and the Global Business of Video Games
How might we explain the immense global success of games like Minecraft and Fortnite? This deeply Analytical look at the esports industry tries to guide the reader through the rather complicated world of online gaming. It almost feels like the author is whispering throughout this book such is the insightful nature of the information and there’s also a healthy dose of rationality that makes the author quite like-able throughout. For this reason, One Up is one of the best esports books for those who have a creative or business-minded interest in the space or investors who might be thinking about a new avenue for their finances. That being said, you will also find a lot of history in this book and theory which the authors has amassed over the decades. For instance, he talks about major successes in recent times and not only what we can learn from these achievements but also what they tell us about the future of esports. There are case studies on big companies including Apple, Valve, Blizzard and Activision along with many major drivers that continue to shape and grow the market. Overall, One Up is an excellent account and one that uses factual studies to back up every chapter and the easy-to-read style of this particular book make it another of the best esports books that you might want to consider picking up.
As the esports industry continues to grow at an exponential rate, more and more skills and knowledge will be needed to find success. While online resources do exist, nothing can substitute for the immense information and insight that you will find in some of the best esports books and the titles above should be a good place to start!