eSports is usually considered to be a competition between two human teams or players. It’s a direct competition between to players to see who’s the best.
But what many don’t know is that eSports has a distant cousin called Speed Running.
Speed Running is when a player plays through a game , with the intention of completing as fast as possible. These games are usually single-player. Meaning in real time, a player is playing against no one, just himself. Speedrun may cover a whole game, or maybe just a selected level or part. While the goal of all speedruns is to quickly complete a game, some runs require runners to complete additional rules while finishing the game. These rules can be to gather all achievements, or all key items in a game.
Players often record their runs and streaming websites for verification, and they spend hours practicing and perfecting a run to get the best time.
The strategy of a speedrun is usually premeditated, lots of practice goes into these runs. Some runs require and encourage the use of exploits, or bugs in the game to compete the game faster, such as running through walls are glitching the game to skip levels entirely.
One event named Games Done Quick, is an absolutely massive one, and invites players from all over the world to compete on sunning popular games. The money goes to charity.
The question still stands, is this an eSport? Most don’t even know what speedrunning is, and those who do consider it a distant cousin of eSports. Speed Running is still nowhere near the level of popularity of eSports, but maybe one day it can be recognized as competitive career.