The Future of Cloud-Based Esports

When Google first announced Stadia, I was certain that it was the future of gaming. However, as soon as Stadia launched, all those hopes are dreams were shattered and my heart shut it’s benevolent doors to the possibility of cloud gaming. However, there a bleak hope of a distant future wrapped in cloud-based gaming was investing in hardware is a thing of the past. While Google Stadia is becoming better every passing day, however, small the improvements maybe, Microsoft’s XCloud is what reignited my passion for cloud gaming.

First and foremost, before I present my case for cloud-based esports, let’s get something out of the way; Professional esports will never be cloud-based, not unless the input and processing lag is less than 3ms. Even in the age of coronavirus, where a lot of esports tournaments are taking place online instead of a local connection, players have suffered from a high ping and input lags, and that’s when the processing was happening locally. So cloud-based professional esports tournaments are not feasible, at least not for a couple of decades.

But esports are not simply about professional tournaments. Esports are about people like you and me. Esports aren’t always about fast paced shooters like Valorant, it’s also about games like Dota 2, Rocket League and World of Warcraft, where 3ms input lag does not occupy the highest degree of priority. While the games I mentioned are not quite demanding that you’ll need a $2000 gaming PC to run them, the prospect of having access to my favourite titles on the go is certainly an alluring idea.

I recently had the chance to try out Microsoft’s XCloud on my mobile and the experience was miles apart from Google Stadia. Forza Horizon 4 and Gears 5 looks absolutely gorgeous. Sure, Forza and Gears 5 isn’t exactly what comes to mind when one says fast-paced esports games, but it’s a milestone to the ultimate destination.

What is cloud gaming? Google Stadia and Microsoft xCloud explained - The  Verge

The mobile ports of PUBG and Fortnite were an absolute hit, primarily because of two reasons-

  1. Portability
  2. Acess on non specialised hardware (a smartphone)

Cloud gaming checks both of the boxes that made PUBG and Fortnite’s mobile port so successful. While I still have my reservations against the statement that ‘Cloud gaming is the future of gaming and gaming hardware will be obselete’, I can see cloud gaming becoming a mainstream phenomenon within this decade itself.

Henceforth, I believe that, as long as you have access to a stable and fast internet connection, you’ll be able to enjoy your favourite esports on your mobile devices soon enough.

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