It just so happens that the unanimous monitor choice among professionals is the BenQ Zowie XL2430 series. We assembled the list of teams below for their consistency and competency in eSports. Each has claimed the international throne at least once, in addition to winning more tournaments than almost any other team they’ve been pit against. See if you can spot a common thread.
In League of Legends and DotA 2, players are expected to micromanage a multitude of ongoing gameplay systems as well as their direct surroundings for threats and strategic opportunities. These games are like a flowing river, and the best players are those who know how to navigate along the path of least resistance. While instant muscle response is still important, it’s more essential that the player has at their disposal all possible visual information their machine can display. On top of this, the necessity of commanding multiple units, items, and abilities all at once drives players towards keyboards and mice that have the available customization for their desired key bindings.
Though CS:GO and Overwatch may be very different games, they both still require strict attention to twitch movements. For a pro, the moments between spotting an enemy player and firing their weapon must be negligible (especially in CS:GO, where it’s likely most kills are instant headshots and death is permanent). It’s often the determination between life and death, and a win or a loss. This means that even more than the MOBA players, professionals of FPS games need exactly that: more frames and more visual information squeezed into every valuable second of time.
I believe this is why the pros choose the 24 inch XL2430. Not only does it provide a beautiful color saturation, but it consistently runs the best on 144 fps over most other monitors on the market offered at similar price brackets. With all this extra visual information on hand, players are certainly at an advantage over someone with a 60 fps monitor. It also goes to show that the pros would rather have this kind of extra visual information in time, rather than the extra spatial detail provided by a 4k monitor. While they may look stunning, the strategic advantage garnered is much less noticeable.
It appears the other pieces of hardware are less of a deciding factor. Clearly, each team has sponsors and sets of equipment they use as a result. For the most part, a whole team is outfitted with the same gear. Often one or two players will have a differing preference, but judging from the fact that there is no unanimous use across different eSports of certain mice, keyboards, sound systems, these factors must be less important. Even so, they use some flashy stuff and you should definitely check it out. Some of these players and teams have become so popular and well known that hardware companies will strike deals to create exclusive product lines with them.
But as I sit here in my DotA 2 jersey, I begin to wonder: how much of an advantage does hardware give non-competitive gamers? It seems there is somewhat of an illusion that equipment alone can bring you to the next level, but for what sport has this ever been true? Industrial leagues of all kinds market products in similar ways. Fans and players of most sports flock to stores to buy the exclusive gear for their favorite players. I remember when I was young buying an Argentine football jersey that said Messi on the back for $80 and feeling some sense of power with it. Just because I wore the same clothes as Messi, and bought the same shoes as Messi, did not make me Messi. Where does this come from? Perhaps with physical sports, there is a real difference between eSports and virtual gaming. Here we are all on the same playing field, all of us being ranked on the same online scoreboards, in the same server systems. Perhaps we really do have a chance at becoming professionals simply by putting in the time and effort. If that’s the case, then what about talent? Is there not some sort of fated power that comes along with a professional player of any game?
If you’ve never played an eSport, maybe you’d think so. Anyone who has must realize that talent is just as essential as intelligence and physical response time. Maybe we can’t all be pros, but at the very least we can try to feel like them. The best way to do that is to gear up and start playing.
League of Legends
|Duke||SK Telecom T1||Top||BenQ XL2430T||Razer DeathAdder Chroma||Razer BlackWidow Chroma||Razer Kraken 7.1 Chroma||Razer Goliathus Speed||DX Racer|
|bengi||SK Telecom T1||Jungle||BenQ XL2430T||Razer DeathAdder Chroma||Razer BlackWidow Chroma||Razer Kraken 7.1 Chroma||Razer Goliathus Speed||DX Racer|
|Faker||SK Telecom T1||Mid||BenQ XL2430T||Razer DeathAdder Chroma||Razer BlackWidow Chroma||Razer Tiamat Over Ear 2.2||Razer Goliathus Speed||DX Racer|
|Bang||SK Telecom T1||AD||BenQ XL2430T||Razer DeathAdder Chroma||Razer BlackWidow Chroma||Razer Kraken 7.1 Chroma||Razer Goliathus Speed||DX Racer|
|Wolf||SK Telecom T1||Support||BenQ XL2430T||Razer DeathAdder Chroma||Razer BlackWidow Chroma||Razer Kraken 7.1 Chroma||Razer Goliathus Speed||DX Racer|
SK Telecom T1, a South Korean team, won 3 League of Legends world championships and MSI in both 2016 and 2017. Find out more about League of Legends pro settings here.
|Fear||Evil Geniuses||1||BenQ XL2430T||SteelSeries Sensei||SteelSeries 6Gv2||SteelSeries Siberia Elite Prism||SteelSeries DeX||CyberpowerPC||NeedforSeat|
|UNiVeRsE||Evil Geniuses||3||BenQ XL2430T||SteelSeries Sensei||SteelSeries 6Gv2||SteelSeries Siberia Elite Prism||SteelSeries DeX||CyberpowerPC||NeedforSeat|
|SumaiL||Evil Geniuses||2||BenQ XL2430T||SteelSeries Sensei||SteelSeries 6Gv2||SteelSeries Siberia Elite Prism||SteelSeries DeX||CyberpowerPC||NeedforSeat|
|ppd||Evil Geniuses||5||BenQ XL2430T||SteelSeries Rival||SteelSeries 6Gv2||SteelSeries Siberia Elite Prism||SteelSeries DeX||CyberpowerPC||NeedforSeat|
|zai||Evil Geniuses||4||BenQ XL2430T||SteelSeries Sensei||SteelSeries 6Gv2||SteelSeries Siberia Elite Prism||SteelSeries DeX||CyberpowerPC||NeedforSeat|
Led by DotA 1 legend Fear, American team Evil Geniuses won the International in 2015 receiving one of the largest prizes in eSports history. Find out more about DotA 2 pro settings here and check out the ranking of the pros here.
Counter Strike: Global Offensive
|Player||Team||Mouse DPI||Hz||Windows sens.||sens. / zoom||Mouse accel.||Raw input||Resolution||Monitor||Hz||Mouse||Mousepad||Keyboard||Headset||Computer||Chair||Source|
|dev1ce / device||Astralis||400||1000||6||2.5 / 1||0||1||1024x768 / 4:3 / black bars||BenQ XL2420T||144||Zowie EC2-A||Zowie G-SR||ZOWIE GEAR Celeritas||Sennheiser G4ME ONE||iBuyPower||#1|
|Kjaerbye||Astralis||400||500||6||1.8 / 1||0||1||1440x900 / 16:10 / black bars||ASUS VG248QE||144||Zowie FK1||Corsair MM200 XL||Corsair STRAFE RGB||Corsair Gaming H1500||Alienware||AK Racing||#1|
|Xyp9x||Astralis||800||500||6||1 / 1||0||1||1680x1050 / 16:10 / black bars||BenQ XL2420T||144||Zowie FK2||Zowie G-SR||Corsair Vengeance K65||HyperX Cloud II||iBuyPower||#1|
|gla1ve||Astralis||400||1000||6||2.2 / 1||0||1||1280×960 / 4:3 / stretched||BenQ XL2430T||144||Razer DeathAdder Chroma||SteelSeries QcK+||SteelSeries 6Gv2||#1|
|dupreeh||Astralis||500||1000||6||1.43 / 1.2||0||1||1680x1050 / 16:10 / stretched||BenQ XL2411T||144||Zowie FK2||SteelSeries QcK Heavy||Razer BlackWidow Tournament Edition||HyperX Cloud II||iBuyPower||#1|
|Player||Team||Mouse DPI||Hz||"cm" = 360°||OW sens.||OW zoom sens.||FOV||Resolution||Monitor||Hz||Mouse||Mousepad||Keyboard||Headset||Computer||Chair||Stream|
|Taimou||EnVyUs||400||1000||62.98||5.5||33||103||1920x1080||BenQ XL2411Z||144||Zowie EC2-A||Zowie G-SR||Corsair STRAFE||HyperX Cloud Revolver||DX Racer||#1|
|harryhook||EnVyUs||800||1000||28.86||6||103||1920x1080||BenQ XL2430T||144||Zowie FK1||Zowie G-SR||Corsair STRAFE||HyperX Cloud Revolver||DX Racer||#1|
|chipshajen||EnVyUs||800||1000||34.64||5||38||103||1920x1080||BenQ XL2411Z||144||Zowie FK1||Zowie G-SR||SteelSeries 7G||HyperX Cloud Revolver||DX Racer||#1|
|cocco||EnVyUs||1600||1000||21.65||4||103||1920x1080||BenQ XL2430T||144||Zowie EC1-A||HyperX Cloud Revolver||DX Racer||#1|
|INTERNETHULK||EnVyUs||1600||1000||28.86||3||34||103||1920x1080||BenQ XL2430T||144||Zowie FK1||Zowie G-SR||CODE 104-Key Illuminated||HyperX Cloud Revolver||DX Racer||#1|
|Mickie||EnVyUs||400||1000||28.86||12||32||103||1920x1080||BenQ XL2411Z||144||Zowie EC2-A||Zowie G-SR||HyperX Cloud Revolver||#1|
|KyKy (coach)||EnvyUs||800||1000||35.27||4.91||35||103||1920x1080||BenQ XL2411Z||144||Logitech Gaming Mouse||Logitech G640||Logitech G Pro Mechanical Keyboard||Logitech G633 Artemis Spectrum||Alienware||NeedforSeat||#1|
Though Overwatch is still new to the eSports scene, it has over 24 million players and a rapidly growing competitive league. Team EnVyUS is an early favorite. They have won 24 tournaments and $222,000 in prize money so far. Find out more about Overwatch pro settings here and check out the team rankings here.