How social media changed eSports forever

Twitter has made competitive gaming bigger than ever.
Written by Joshua Nino De Guzman
4 min readPublished on
A picture of a team before a tournament

How social media has changed eSports

© Ongamers

Social media has been a catalyst for the growth of eSports, making competitive gaming news more accessible than ever before. Thanks to Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, gamers are able to discover more about the world of competitive gaming while a range of businesses look to capitalise on one the fastest developing forms of entertainment. Here's how social media has helped eSports. 
Twitter brought the global community together
Before the emergence of Twitter, online forums were the focal point of communication between members of the community. Even today, they continue to serve as one-stop shops for the latest news, team changes and gossip. They’re hives of eSports activity and a medium for discussion on anything from gaming and sport to music and fashion.
Limited by cultural barriers that fragmented the community, forums have since submitted to Twitter, the social media site making it easier to communicate with players and fans.
Also the user experience on forums suffered when topics in different languages overcrowded the list of threads. Some users would be fluent in multiple languages but it meant that news and articles were confined to a narrow audience and, consequently, members flocked to alternative websites that catered to their preferences, fragmenting the scene.
Twitter has helped to bring the eSports community together. The social media giant exists harmoniously alongside forums but leads as a source of breaking news, opinion and rumour. Shorter, concise messages are easier to break down and digest for the wider audience and, as a result, players from across the globe are more likely to be heard.
Improved interaction with fans
A picture of Parasite, a prolific Call of Duty eSports tweeter

Parasite has a lot of followers on Twitter

© Gamespot

The likes of Twitter, Facebook and Instagram offer more intimate ways for players to engage with their fan base. Twitter provides the ultimate medium for daily communication with followers; a fast and easy way for pros to reply to fans on an individual basis, creating a more personal experience for each follower. It is a powerful tool to help improve a player's reputation as a responsible professional in eSports, valuable not only in building their audience but also in attracting prospective sponsors and organisations.
Facebook provides a chronological archive of a player's journey as well as their future endeavours. Instagram offers an insight into their daily lives; the person behind the screen. Fans yearn to learn more about their gaming idols beyond the competitive arena. Exposing their human side is the ultimate way of relating to the people that are the lifeblood of their eSports career. 
The integrity of eSports has improved
Twitter exposes frauds and eliminates rumours as quickly as it creates them. Though hardly devoid of controversy, any disagreements are a shadow of the hostility that once plagued forums. Maturity, regardless of the topic, is expected from players trying to get their point across. Distasteful comments are shunned by the rest of the community and taints the culprit for offensive behaviour.
Twitter is a force for good in helping to uncover the bad eggs of the scene as professional players are expected to lead by example or risk a damaging reception in face of sponsors.
Follow tournaments and get breaking news as it happens
A picture of an eSports broadcast

Fans find out about tournaments on social media

© [unknown]

A live feed of the latest news is just a click away. Following and liking Twitter accounts and Facebook pages of events, players and teams will deliver fans news as it breaks.
Announcements of eSports tournament dates, team changes and general eSports news is universally distributed via social media. Information circulates quickly, no longer at the mercy of eSports coverage websites to produce an article. Players and fans alike get links to live streams, forthcoming events, online competitions and teams' activity.
It has also helped to raise the bar for coverage by websites which are now unable to rely on delivering topical news first. Instead, they are expected to create higher quality insight and analysis in order to continue to attract an audience.
Who to follow on Twitter
Hundreds of professional players, personalities and organisations take to Twitter on a daily basis to connect with followers and discuss the latest eSports developments. Here are some of the most prominent accounts in the scene. We've probably missed some out so feel free to add more in the comments...
European Gaming League - @EGL
Gfinity - @Gfinity
Multiplay - @Multiplay
Dreamhack - @Dreamhack
Major League Gaming - @MLG
UK Commentators
John Bain - @TotalBiscuit
Alan Brice - @Bricetacular
Oliver Whitfield - @TheVPbrothers
Chris Tunn - @_tunn
Alex Gooch - @Goochhyy
Ben Bowe - @Benson_EU
International Commentators
Chris Puckett - @MLGPuckett
Mike Rufail - @hastr0
Ryan Wyatt - @Fwiz
Sean Plott - @day9tv
Marcus Graham - @djWHEAT
Dan Stemkoski - @Artosis
UK eSports Organisations
Dignitas - @TeamDignitas
Infused - @Team_Infused
Reason Gaming - @ReasonGaming
International eSports Organisations
Optic Gaming - @OpticGaming
Complexity - @ComplexityLive
Fnatic - @Fnatic
Alliance - @TheAllianceGG
And, of course,