Must-See Esports Documentary Movies

Many video game movies enjoy worldwide popularity. Movies like Sonic the Hedgehog are some of the highest-rated big-screen movies. Nevertheless, a different kind of gaming films, documentaries, and TV series are increasingly becoming popular.

Esport documentaries and movies provide insight into the lives of professional gamers. Investigative journalists and filmmakers use these motion pictures to tell stories of the players, game developers, and Esport tournaments, among many other things. 

Here are five of the most fascinating Esports documentaries and movies to watch right now. 

Players (Pseudo-Documentary)

Players is a brainchild of ‘American Vandal’ co-creators Tony Yacenda and Dan Perrault. This humorous faux documentary is a brilliant, heartfelt story about adolescent gamers who got way too rich at a way too young age. 

Players blends fiction and facts into its documentary-like structure. The director’s clever use of head-style interviews brings each character’s storyline to life. 

Additionally, by grounding everything in the all-so-familiar League of Legends, the show accurately depicts today’s gaming culture. 

The series has an interesting arc with twists and turns that keep you hooked on the players’ journeys. This fictional saga will have you rooting for the loveable Fugitive Gaming Crew as they navigate various complexities of gaming and the gamers’ culture. 

Free To Play (Documentary)

This documentary is an hour-long movie created by Valve in 2014. It follows three professional gamers on their journey to win the very first Dota 2 tournament, The International, in 2011.

At the time, The International (Dota 2’s first world championship) had the largest prize pool in the Esports world. It was the beginning of 1 million+ Esports tournament and one of the first tournament where you could place Dota 2 bets on your favorite teams.

Covering this historic encounter showcased the sacrifices, struggles, and gambles that players have to make during their heartbreaking losses and spectacular wins. 
In Free to Play, Clinton “Fear” Loomis, Benedict Lim “hyhy” Han Yong, and Danil “Dendi” Ishutin fight to win the $1.6 million TI tournament. Their heroic quest is told in such detail that you’re bound to get immersed in their story. 

Free to Play can be viewed on Netflix. An unofficial release of Free to Play is also available. It features behind-the-scenes material and a funny commentary track by Toby “TobiWan” Dawson.

State of Play (Documentary)

Released in 2013, this 90-minute documentary takes viewers to one of Esports’ original scenes—South Korea’s StarCraft: Blood War. State of Play documents the life of some of the most successful gamers, aspiring pro gamers, and the fandom culture surrounding the top pro gamers. 

One of StarCraft’s biggest scandals had just surfaced when Steven Dhoedt filmed State of Play. Interestingly, he merged three storylines to explain how controversy influences gaming. 

Through State of Play, you will dive deep into the lives of Jaedong Lee, a legendary pro gamer, and two upcoming hopefuls Yohan Park and Joonhyuk Kim. This gripping documentary provides a stark glimpse into what it takes to succeed in professional Esport gaming. 

Smash Brothers (Docu-Series)

This four-hour documentary by Travis “Samox” Beauchamp is an absolute must-see for all Esport enthusiasts. The 9-part series tells the story of the Melee competitive scene of the early Super Smash Bros.

This is an intricate, unadulterated, yet highly entertaining tale of seven notable Super Smash Bros Players, including Daniel “KoreanDJ” Jung and Jason “Mew2King” Zimmerman. Stories are told in a light comical tone. However, the editing and presentation bring forth the strong personalities and lifestyles of competing professional gamers. 

1UP (Movie)

American filmmaker Kyle Newman teamed up with Buzzfeed Studios and Lionsgate to create a hilarious comedy movie about competitive gaming. 

Written by Julia Yorks (known for ‘Trolls’ and ‘The Adventures of Puss in Boots’), 1Up follows a female gamer Valerie ‘V’ Lee. Valerie bands up with her friends to form an all-girls Esports team to take down a team of obnoxious male gamers.

Newman directs a cast of familiar actors, including Ruby Rose of ‘Orange Is the New Black,’ ex-Disney star Paris Berelc and Taylor Zakhar Perez from the ‘Kissing Booth’ among others. 

Head on over to Amazon Prime to stream 1Up.

Honorable Mentions

Breaking Point-- a two-hour documentary that follows a popular league of legends team, Team Liquid, during the 2016 LoL Championship Series.

All Work All Play-- a 90-minute documentary by ESL focusing on the 9th season of CS: GO’s Intel Extreme Masters

High Score-- A Netflix documentary about the origins of popular classic games 

Readers, please feel free to share your opinion by leaving your comments. As always your valuable thoughts are highly appreciated 

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