Esports is in the Air

Tue 14th Feb 2017 - 7:14pm

What would it be like to play your favorite esport - while on an airplane? Just imagine, an eight hour flight where instead of watching movies you've probably already seen, you could play league of legends, dota, hearthstone, counterstrike, or whichever competitive game it is you play. For one of these games this is already reality - if you're willing to pay the price, so maybe the others aren't that far off either.


Wifi on Planes

I recently had the luxury of enjoying wifi on a plane for a few hours, and I had two thoughts; the first was to watch ESL ONE Genting live on twitch, 10,000m in the air (which worked), and the second was to play hearthstone, which also worked. A proper 4G connection on a train is more problematic due to tunnels. The connection on the flight was flawless, there wasn't a single hiccup and I could play or browse to my heart's content, which brought up the thought; when are we going to see tournaments between players in the air? Isn't it insane that two of the best hearthstone players in the world could play a final match on two different airplanes halfway across the world from each other? We've already had a whole e-sports tournament onboard a cruise ship, so airborne tournaments may not be that far off.


A Few Issues

If you're willing to shell out half a month's internet costs for a few hours, I recommend giving a game or two of hearthstone a try. Which is where come across our first problem; costs. For individuals atleast, a few bucks an hour is a little bit extreme, but as with many things these costs will likely go down as more people begin to use this service available on select flights. Tournament organizers, could easily partner with an airline to set up the competition. Streaming live may still be a ways off, but maybe the crowd gets seats in the plane to watch live? You could party with your favorite hearthstone player in a plane when he won, although the atmosphere may be a little less enjoyable if you're stuck on the losing plane. 

The next issue would be space (for us the plebs). While playing Hearthstone on your phone or Vain Glory on your tablet may work in economy class, you can't comfortably whip out your laptop or PC and play your favorite (slightly more intensive) esport. We found proof that it is possible in business class however; this young man even hooked up his playstation controller for extra comfort, we apologize for not being able to get a clearer shot. 



Playing the less intensive esports on planes is already possible, and it seems like it will just be a matter of time before we see a whole flight of hearthstone players duking it out for a seat in first class, or a fancy holiday destination. At this point we're just happy we could experience some high quality live esports, as well as our own pub level of play once. If there are any games you've managed to play while flying high, let us know!