Top 10: Esports Documentaries
Well...you know what you are doing today, and possibly the rest of your week - watching esports documentaries. That's right, I have compiled my Top 10: Esports Documentaries to date. Each one brings a unique and necessary perspective to esports. Whether it is telling a specific story, or giving a snapshot in time of an era long forgotten, these documentaries deliver.
They are also necessary viewing material for anyone wanting to make esports more than just their passion. This is esports history. Many also show perspectives rarely seen in esports media and content today. Enjoy.
Not all esports documentaries can make the Top 10. Here are my picks for honourable mentions or documentaries that should be on the list but just aren't available today.
GGL Fragumentary - One of the earliest esports documentaries to exist, showcasing life as a pro-gamer. Sadly unavailable on any platform today.
GGL Following ImmortaL and Socrates_ - A fantastic behind the scenes look at pro-gamers lives and motivations on becoming the best. Sadly unavailable on any platform today.
A New Hero: The Rise of College Esports - A good look at necessary steps and trends in esports to help it grow. Follows the story of Heroes of the Storm collegiate players. [watch now]
MTV True Life: Im A Gamer - Not exactly a documentary, but who cares. It is interesting and gives insight into the early days of competitive gaming and esports. [watch now]
Team Liquid | Breaking Point - This probably should be in the Top 10. Even Thorin says this is one of the best esports documentaries ever made. Follow Team Liquid's LoL team as they strive for victory. [watch now]
#10 - compLexity: Redemption
I mentioned coL Redemption in the Top 10: Counter-Strike Frag Videos, so how could I not include it here? Redemption is exactly that, a story of how everyone and their mother had written off coL and how they persevered despite overwhelming negativity. You follow the team through one of the years biggest events and watch them perform upset after upset making a name for themselves as a top NA contender.
#9 - All Work All Play
If there is one company that understands the community and excitement behind esports, it is the ESL. Who better than to bring you an exciting and fresh take on what esports is and where it is undoubtably heading in the near(ish) future?
Sadly, this is behind a pay-wall, but definitely worth checking out if you are interested. I can't think of a faster paced and more fresh take on esports in a documentary.
#8 - THE FOREIGNER
It was a sad moment when IdrA bowed out of the esports scene. He injected life and excitement to a game that (in my opinion) has since lost it. IdrA wasn't the only foreigner giving non-Koreans hope in Starcraft 2, but he was by far the most prolific. You either loved him or hated him, but you always wanted to watch him. This mini-doc showcases what he meant to the scene. He is truly missed.
#7 - Liquid Rising
The more I look back on esports documentaries, the more I find them relevant as time goes. With esports being a content-driven industry, we rarely look into the past. It wasn't too long ago that Starcraft 2 was the sole driving force thrusting esports further than it has ever gone. But looking at this documentary covering arguably the communities favourite team, it feels like a lifetime ago.
#6 - Starcraft: WCG 2005 by National Geographic
The other side of THE FOREIGNER are the Koreans. The world's best professional gamers in the majority of staple esports. A nation so powerful that the rest of the world pretty much gave up even trying to compete in Starcraft up until Starcraft 2. National Geographic gives you a very early behind the scenes peek at what this really means.
#5 - G4M3RS
Hello world. Esports back in the day where a BYOC LAN event meant lugging around your beast of a tower AND a CRT monitor. Most gamers I know today haven't even seen a CRT screen in person before. G4M3RS is a snapshot in time of an era long forgotten. This is esports history.
#4 - Rise Of The Esports Hero
I am very sorry all I have for you is a trailer here, but it is available on paid platforms and is worth checking out, especially if you are a Starcraft 2 fan. I cannot think of an esports documentary that does a better job at giving you an unfiltered look behind the scenes of one of the most prolific teams and players in esports. Starcraft 2 was definitely EG's era and this documentary takes you back.
#3 - Free To Play
One of the most popular esports documentaries to ever come out, Valve's Free To Play gives you insight into why esports is such an important phenomenon around the world.
#2 - Sons of Starcraft
It's funny, at the time this came out a lot of people were annoyed that it didn't tell us anything new or interesting about Tastosis. Looking back on those comments now, they couldn't have been more wrong. This docu-series is a testament to two individuals who brought Starcraft to the world. They did so with sincere passion - something current esports tends to lack.
This should be required viewing for anyone looking to become involved in esports in any capacity.
#1 - FRAG
You might be wondering - why FRAG as #1? Simply put, FRAG is raw and honest and does a good job of actually documenting aspects of esports as they were at that time. There isn't any glitz or glamour, no fancy lights and fast-paced music to get your heart rate up. It is just a good old fashioned honest snapshot of esports. A necessary snapshot, given the subject matter.
Other documentaries tell different stories in esports, some give a snapshot of the scene as a whole during a specific era, and some give you a peak at an often unseen underbelly. Enjoy.
Well that was either a trip down memory lane, or much needed historical education for some of you.
Do you think I missed any? What was your favourite? Join us on Discord and let me know! You can also spam us via Twitter if you'd like.