E-sports are all the rage now. While many of the most thrilling tournaments feature world-famous franchises such as League of Legends or Call of Duty, a different kind of game has recently enthralled audiences. GeoGuessr just celebrated its first-ever world cup, bringing together loving fans and strong competitors. But GeoGuessr isn't based on a regular video game. Instead of entering a fictionalized digital world, players are “dropped” on a random place on Google Maps, and they have to figure out exactly where they are using only Google Street View imagery.
To play GeoGuesser, participants must exploit their geographic knowledge and make sense of the visual information available in their digital surroundings. Once they've determined the location, they must point to it on Google Maps. There are five rounds in a game, and players get more points the closer their guess is to the original location. Of course, being dropped in the middle of a big city full of landmarks is very different from being placed on a rural road with little signage, but the best players can find clues everywhere. Anything from the surrounding landscape to lines on the road can be a clue.
This became clear in some of the most intense rounds of the GeoGuessr World Cup. In a round captured on video, we see two players presented with a desert road somewhere in Australia. It's all flat and gray, and there is not much information other than one road sign. But the competitors quickly determine its location down to the actual road, off the exact location only by a few miles.
The winner of the GeoGuesser World Cup was Patrick “Consus” Noordijk, from the Netherlands. The finals, which took place in Stockholm, attracted over 70,000 viewers across various platforms.”I could never imagine being here,” the champion admits. “It feels crazy, amazing. I hope everybody just enjoyed the show.”
If you're curious about the game or want to increase your geographic knowledge, you can play GeoGuesser for free on the official website. Who knows? You may soon be a world champion yourself.