Video games have been continuously growing all over the world for many years now, and so has the professional competitive gaming scene. According to the market analyst Newzoo, the esports audience in 2020 grew by 11.7% from 2019, reaching up to 495 million, with 223 million esports enthusiasts and 272 million occasional viewers. This shows that esports is hugely popular as a spectator sport. Large gaming tournaments such as the League of Legends World Championship in 2019 recorded 105.5 million hours of live viewership. This popularity opens professional revenue streams for the players via livestreaming and sponsoring, which in return pushes more gamers to enter the competitive gaming realm. Today, the influence of esports can be felt on mainstream gamers, too, which gravitate towards peripherals similarly specced as esports-grade equipment.
Gaming displays leader AOC has gone hand-in-hand with the growth of esports. They launched one of the first native 240Hz displays (AG251FZ) already back in 2017, specifically designed for esports players. This year, AOC expands its portfolio with many 240 Hz monitors, including the revamped version AG251FZ2E with a faster response time and redesigned stand, or the AG273QZ, combining 240 Hz and QHD resolution, as well as flat panel models from the G2 Series (24G2ZE and 24G2ZU). While models like the AG251FZ2E continue to be the choice for esports teams, aspiring esports enthusiasts or livestreamers can also experience captivating high refresh rate gaming with the new 240 Hz models from the G2 Series.
esports take the lead
Due to the nature of competition, the growth of esports has paved the way for more and more technologically advanced peripherals, ranging from input (gaming keyboard and mice) to output devices (monitors, headsets etc.) with ever-increasing accuracy and speed. With all the new technologies, the aim is to eliminate any variable that can artificially impact the outcome, provide the best feedback, and simply allow the players to demonstrate their skills unimpeded.
In the gaming monitor scene, this change is both very evident and rapid. 144 Hz monitors now have become the norm for PC gaming, replacing 60 or 75 Hz monitors. A player can only react to what’s shown on the display: it’s the primary output of the game world. A 240 Hz monitor is able to display 6 times more frames than a 60 Hz monitor or 1.6 times than a 144 Hz monitor, meaning more up-to-date visual information for the player to process each second.
For example, a user with a 240 Hz monitor will see an enemy player slowly peeking around a corner a couple of milliseconds faster than he would see it if he was playing on a 60 Hz monitor, simply due to the lower amount of frames displayed in the same time period. Users using displays with higher refresh rates can thus react faster and beat their opponents. Not only refresh rate, but also the response time of the monitor is crucial to achieve clean, sharp visuals without any artefacts. Slow reacting panels create issues such as ghosting, trailing, or inverse ghosting. Especially in highly competitive FPS (First Person Shooter) games, being unable to see a single enemy in time – just a couple of milliseconds of delay or blurry images – can mean the defeat of a team from the entire tournament, since the stakes are too high.
Now, gaming monitors often have far higher refresh rates, with 144 Hz becoming the current standard, 165 Hz and 240 Hz pushing the envelope just a bit higher. According to market analyst Context, in Q1 2020, the market of monitors with refresh rates 100 Hz and above grew by 60%, whereas the market of monitors with 144 Hz and above grew by 76% – which shows that the hunger for faster displays is growing.
To satisfy the most demanding gamers, seeking highest performance and immersive gameplay, AOC recently launched new 240 Hz gaming models from both AGON series as well as the budget-friendly G2 series.
The new G2 series 240 Hz line-up includes three curved 240 Hz models with VA panels (27” C27G2ZU, C27G2ZE and the 31.5” C32G2ZE) for gamers seeking more immersive experience, as well as two models with TN panels (24” 24G2ZU and 24G2ZE), that are expected further down the road, designed for esports enthusiasts. In all models, the response time is very fast – just 0.5 ms MPRT (Moving Picture Response Time) using the MBR (Motion Blur Reduction) function. With MBR on, the backlight will strobe in sync with the refresh rate, allowing the backlight to be turned off just in the moment as the pixels are transitioning to a different value. This means that the transition will not be visible to the user and minimise any ghosting effect that could possibly distract the player.
The ZU models include a height-adjustable stand, USB hub and speakers, while the ZE models come with a simpler stand allowing tilt adjustment. Thanks to the VESA mount option the ZE models can regain this functionality and more, using a VESA monitor arm such as that of the AOC AS110D0.
For those seeking a more high-end gear, AOC has also two workhorse models from the premium AGON series up its sleeve. The 27” AG273QZ combines 240Hz refresh rate, 1 ms GtG and QHD resolution for not only fast visuals but also higher details. The 24.5” AG251FZ2E on the other hand is an improved version of the esport tournament-proven AG251FZ. With a new compact base, fully adjustable stand, 240 Hz refresh rate and 1 ms GtG, as well as 0.5 ms MPRT, the monitor produces moving images without visible ghosting, overshoot or similar artifacts, giving competitive edge for the esports athletes.
With AOC’s new 240Hz additions to their gaming line-up, ambitious gamers have now a large variety to choose from to enjoy higher refresh rate models and sharpen their game.
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