Board games seem to have been supplanted by computer games in recent years, but there is still an enormous community of analogue game fans around the world.


Countless new board games and appear every year the best games stay up to date for a long time. While eSports are gaining more and more attention in the media, the board and card game competitions are only known to real fans of the scene. Now, however, these two branches of the game could get mixed up, as more and more board games are becoming available as apps or games. But do the digital board game variants really have what it takes to establish themselves as esports disciplines or are they not exciting enough for the general public.

Board games in big competition

Tournaments for various classics are held around the world. Chess is particularly popular. The legendary game that has been played around the world since the 7th century and counts as a brain teaser, is perfect for competition. Intelligence and anticipatory thinking are crucial in chess and the outcome of the game is not left to chance. But also games like Bridge and mah jong are only too happy to be played against each other. In these parlor games, however, there is always a small random factor, which is why the winners cannot prove themselves through sheer skill.

This is precisely why many other games are not regarded as official brain teasers. Many of the newer card games now rely on complex game systems and long processes. For example in the game Die Settlers of Catan, which was played at the German Board Game Championships in 1995. This year the games were Race to the New Found Land, photosynthesis, Pioneers and Santa Maria selected as the disciplines of the German competitors (status: 2018). Almost every game is suitable for tournaments, as long as it requires a certain amount of practice and skill.

Board games are going digital

These classic board or card games are increasingly used as templates for apps and games on computers and mobile devices. Especially well-known classics like solitaire, the Chinese Go, Sink ships and Memory available in countless versions in the Google Play Store or as browser games. This has certain advantages, because if you are new to the game, you can usually learn all the important rules and moves in a short tutorial. This is usually more intuitive than reading through a manual.

The world champions of parlor games
Baccarat, also known as baccarat or baccarat, is played with classic French card sets. Six packs of 52 cards each are required to play the game of chance.

Most of these board games are not actually played in company, but are controlled by an artificial intelligence. Competing against the computer can be helpful as an exercise and serve as a pleasant activity for lonely hours. Nevertheless, a certain fun factor is lost, because after all, these games are designed for a nice group of friends or family. Some of the board games for tablets, smartphones or the PC therefore connect their players online so that you can at least play with each other. The social factor remains low, however.

How do board games work as eSports?

At the moment there are only a few board and card games in the eSports sector. However, one game has prevailed and is now one of the most important and largest disciplines in eSports: Hearthstone. This trading card game is played with digital cards and is very reminiscent of the forefather of trading cards; Magic - The Gathering. Hearthstone is played full-time by many esports players and is represented in the ESL, the largest global esports league. Hearthstone counts alongside games like CS: Go, Dota 2 and League of Legends to the most important eSports of the last few years. This is mainly due to its complex gameplay, which can only be perfected with a lot of training. In addition, the game is regularly expanded and new challenges are constantly emerging.

Gigantic arenas are used for the tournaments of Hearthstone and Co. filled with numerous fans and broadcast to the whole world via stream. at Betting providers like Betway can set odds on all competing teams viewed and bets placed on the results. Other casual games have not yet caught on. Due to their simple gameplay, many of them do not have enough tension build-up to captivate the masses for a longer period of time. Hearthstone could soon face competition now. The new Magic - The Gathering Arena could be suitable as eSport and become a real alternative to card games.


Most board games are not suitable as eSports, despite digital implementations or mods for tabletop simulators. They're too short-lived or too simple to make it onto the big stage. Many of them also have too high a random factor, which is why they are difficult to implement as a sport. So far, only the card game Hearthstone is available as a representative of the parlor games in eSports. We are curious to see if there will be more!