A Peep Into The Very First Match Of The Video Game Tournament

The electronic sports has come a long way from the first ‘SpaceWar’ video game tournament of 1972. Let us now dig into the past and review the first match.

What is eSports gaming?

eSports or electronic sports is a form of professional competition using video gaming technology. Most of the times there are competitions that are organized between the professional players and they feature in multiplayer eSports events. These days you will come across a wide range of eSports genres like First-person shooter, real-time strategy, multiplayer online battle arena, etc.

The people in their 40s or 50s would be able to relate to the eGaming more easily than the present generation. Right from our childhood, we have had the experience of playing them by connecting the consoles to our TV sets. It was one of the forms of entertainment and excitement these days. The video gaming has come a long way now, and it has propelled into such a hugely competitive event. Now, you will find players who fight against each other from different parts of the world to find out who wins and who loses the competition. There are loads and loads of money involved in the video game tournaments now as they are attracting huge sponsorships.

A Peep Into The Very First Match Of The Video Game Tournament

When was the first tournament?

The very first known video game competition was held at Stanford University. It took place on October 19th, 1972 and was called the Spacewar. The participants assembled in the Artificial Intelligence Lab of the University and it was the first recorded eSports tournament. The winner of the war was awarded a one-year free subscription to Rolling Stone. The invite was for the first ‘Intergalactic Spacewar Olympics’.  There were only very few locals who had the hardware to run the event. Stuart Brand is the one who was responsible for the competition. He was a writer and an editor at Rolling Stones.

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How many students participated?

There were just two dozen people who had gathered are the Artificial Intelligence Laboratory of Stanford University to take part in the competition. It had people fighting against each other and was held in an arena style. The lab had just one PDP-10 computer at that time. The competitors had to use the SpaceWar among the five ships and had to avoid the enemy attacks, gravitational pull, and other hazards to defeat the enemies.

What were the events and who won the tournament? 

The video game tournament was held at two different events. One was a team event, and the other was the Five Man free for all events. There was stiff competition among the participants who played the first ever world cyber games. The first prize in the team event went to Robert E Maas and Slim Tovar. The winner of the free for all events was Bruce Baumgart. The winners took home the one-year free subscription of the Rolling Stones magazine, and they were all elated at their achievement. Why not? They were the first players to take part in such a war and to beat their cyber enemies was an achievement of sorts.

Review of the SpaceWar video game

The SpaceWar pitted two players against each other, and the war was between two rocket ships. The two fighters had control over the ships by rotating it clockwise and counterclockwise. They were able to fire photon torpedoes to defeat and kill each other.  They also had to define the gravitational pull of the sun that was placed in the center of the screen. It should be said there was great attention to detail and gaming design for the very first video game competition. It was so neatly designed that even a first timer had enough time to keep the enemies at bay.

A Peep Into The Very First Match Of The Video Game Tournament

The main crux was for the fighters to use their spaceship and fire at the nearby approaching spaceships to make a successful kill and register a “+1”.  If the player was killed, it would be accounted as “-1”.

The competitors needed to strike the thrust button to start the orbit before they were attacked by the sun or the torpedoes from their enemies. The SpaceWar fight is over when there is just one survivor or no survivors. A spaceship that gets killed in the battle very early will get reincarnated after 16 seconds and can again join the battle of the ships. A single battle lasted for up to 5 minutes, and a weak player would have perished many times during the 5 minutes. The player or the team with the maximum points was adjudged as the winner.

Conclusion

The SpaceWar video game competition has paved the way to the kind of competitions that are held at the eSports tournaments these days. There is no doubt that the world cyber games have come a long way since the 1972 event.

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