8 Documentaries that Will Change your View on Esports

Esports and gaming have been documented in films years before Esports took off as an industry.  These films give a glimpse of certain Esports teams, discuss triumphs and troubles of gamers, and most importantly, celebrate the awesomeness of Esports and gaming. Here are some of the best Esports and gaming films to check out.

Girl Got Game (2018)

CLG Red is an all-women Esports team and one of the first women’s teams to land a major sponsor. This documentary tells their story of setbacks and success as they prepare to the first-person shooter game Counter-Strike: Global Offensive in a massive competition, the IEM Tournament in Poland. It was produced by Studio 71 and aired on the CW tv network in July 2018. Given that there is not a lot of coverage on women in Esports, this documentary is a must-see and a gem among recent Esports films.

Frag (2008)

It is all too easy to glorify Esports as a fun and easy way to make money playing video games. This documentary shows the harsh reality of American Esports players through the eyes of famous players, game developers, and fans. From issues with family to using alcohol to cope with intense pressure, this film provides a sobering look at what Esports players experience when they aren’t gaming. The film is also one of the first professional Esports films ever made. 

FGC: Rise of The Fighting Game Community (2016)

Fighting games make up one of the fiercest parts of competitive gaming thanks to its massive community. Featuring discussions from prominent FGC members such as James Chen and Seth Killian, this documentary displays the community’s humble beginnings, the competitive scene, and how it currently thrives. It also features East Coast Throwdown tournament series and follows D-Link’s Steve “LordKnight” Barthelemy as he talks about his competitive and Evo goals.

Living The Game (2017)

Speaking of the fighting game community, one of its most popular games is the Street Fighter franchise. The documentary living the game focuses on five  Japanese Esports players of Ultra Street Fighter IV  as they aim for wins and respect in and outside of competition. It’s a really interesting look at how Esports is viewed in Asian countries, different player styles and lives, and the growth of competitive Street Fighter gaming.

State of Play (2013)

Focusing on South Korean Esports players during the 2012 Starcraft Pro League championships, State of Play is part one of a two-part documentary series. Following three male players at different points in their career, this documentary focuses on how a championship can make or break a player’s career and the fame of Esports players. 

The second part of the series, Rise of King, focuses only on one player Jong-Hyeon Jeong, aka IM-MVP and chronicles his rise to fame as one of the most successful Esports players ever.

Real Future: Hate In Esports 

The Fusion tv-series Real Future is a documentary video series discussing society and technology. In this particular episode, female professional gamer Hafu Chan discusses how despite her success, online harassment from trolls has discouraged her from competing. This particular video is crucial for understanding how women in Esports can be treated poorly due to sexism. 

Girl Gamers (2015)

Produced by gamer, journalist, and game designer Latoya Peterson for Fusion, this five-part documentary video series takes a look at the fun and challenges women gamers face. This documentary series focuses not only on women players, but also on game designers, game characters, and how your personal identity impacts how you’re seen as a gamer.

Gaming In Color (2015)

Gaming In Color is a documentary focusing on LGBTQ gamers (or gaymers). Discussing the queer gaming community, gaymer culture and events, and the rise of LGBTQ themes in video games, Gaming In Color gives a voice to an often-overlooked demographic of gamers. Directed by Philip Jones, this film is a must-watch for anyone looking to making gaming a more inclusive place.


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