Should Esports be considered a real sport?

The idea of Esports being classified as a real sport is controversial to many. Whether it’s a sport or not, the gaming industry has been on a rise and could possibly become a shared sport amongst the world. (Photo courtesy of public domain)

In the ever-evolving landscape of sports, a new contender has emerged – Esports. The debate over whether Esports should be considered a real sport has started discussions among gamers and traditional sports fans.

What are Esports?

Esports, short for electronic sports, refers to competitive video gaming as a form of organized, multiplayer gaming competition, particularly between professional players, individually or as teams. Esports involves a wide range of video game genres, including real-time strategy (RTS), first-person shooter (FPS), multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA), sports, and fighting games, among others.

Key components of Esports include organized competitions, professional players, dedicated fan bases, and often substantial prize pools. Here are some essential aspects of Esports:

  1. Competitive Gaming: Esports involves players competing against each other in video games, typically with the goal of winning matches or tournaments. These competitions can take place at various levels, from local and regional events to international championships.


  1. Professional Players: Just like traditional sports, Esports has professional players who dedicate significant time and effort to mastering specific video games. These players often join organized teams and compete in leagues and tournaments, earning salaries, sponsorships, and prizes.


  1. Organized Tournaments: Esports events range from small local tournaments to major international championships. Major tournaments attract large audiences both online and in physical venues, with millions of viewers tuning in to watch their favorite teams or players compete.


  1. Streaming and Broadcasting: Esports events are commonly streamed live on platforms like Twitch, Kick, YouTube Gaming, and other streaming services. Viewers can watch the competitions in real-time and interact with players and fellow fans through chat. Additionally, major esports events may be broadcast on television or other media outlets.


  1. Diversity of Games: Esports covers a wide variety of video game genres. Popular titles include League of Legends, Dota 2, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Overwatch, Fortnite, and many others. Each game has its own community, competitive scene, and unique gameplay dynamics.


  1. Organizations and Leagues: Professional Esports organizations, similar to sports teams, recruit and manage players. Some games have established leagues, such as the League of Legends Championship Series (LCS), Overwatch League, and others, which follow a structured format with regular seasons and playoffs.


  1. Global Fan Base: Esports has a massive and diverse fan base around the world. Fans support their favorite teams and players, attend events, purchase merchandise, and engage in online communities. Esports events can fill arenas with passionate spectators, creating an atmosphere similar to traditional sports.

What is considered a sport?

The definition of “sport” can vary, and opinions may differ based on cultural, historical, and organizational perspectives. However, some common characteristics help distinguish activities as sports. Here are key elements that associated with the definition of a sport:

  1. Physical Activity: Sports typically involve physical exertion and skill. Athletes engage in activities that require strength, endurance, agility, or a combination of these physical attributes. The degree of physical activity can vary, ranging from highly demanding sports like football to less physically intense activities like bowling.


  1. Competitive Element: Sports involve a competitive aspect where individuals or teams strive to outperform each other to achieve a specific objective or win a game. Competition can take place at various levels, from casual games to professional tournaments.


  1. Organized Rules and Structure: Sports have established rules and regulations that govern gameplay. These rules define how the game is played, scoring methods, and penalties for rule violations. Organized structure includes leagues, tournaments, and governing bodies that oversee the sport.


  1. Skill and Strategy: Athletes in sports develop and demonstrate specific skills and strategies to excel in their chosen activity. Whether it’s shooting a basketball, hitting a baseball, or executing a move in martial arts, sports require a level of skill and strategic thinking.


  1. Recognition and Organization: Many sports have formal recognition from national and international sporting bodies. These organizations establish standards, conduct competitions, and ensure adherence to rules. Examples include FIFA for soccer, NBA for basketball, and IOC (International Olympic Committee) for Olympic sports.


  1. Physical and Mental Conditioning: Athletes in sports engage in training and conditioning programs to enhance their physical and mental capabilities. Maintaining peak physical condition is often crucial for performance, even in activities that may not appear physically demanding at first glance.


  1. Broad Appeal and Fan Base: Sports often attract a significant following, with fans supporting teams or individual athletes. The popularity of sports can lead to large audiences, both in attendance at events and through television or online broadcasts.


  1. Official Recognition: Some sports receive official recognition from governmental bodies or international organizations. This recognition may influence factors such as funding, inclusion in educational programs, and participation in major competitions.

Public and student opinions

Majority of the public may be against the idea of Esports as a sport; however, they follow every element as any other traditional sport does.

It is also worth noting that according to the International Olympic Committee (IOC), Chess is recognized as a sport.

Not all sports are centered around physical activity, but also mental capabilities.

According to several websites such as The Sport Journal, they all believe Esports are considered a sport as they share several similarities in physical and mental capabilities.

In a poll conducted by the @lrhsnews Instagram account, 84% of students who responded to the poll believe Esports are not considered a sport.

“I responded with no to the poll because sitting around on a computer playing Fortnite is not the same as running a race or swimming in a pool,” said Claudia Wright, junior.

Although many disagree with the idea of Esports being considered a sport, the gaming industry has been growing and creating high level competitive competitions amongst several games.


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