Esports: When Gaming Meets Competition

Some might call it silly, while others refer to it as a waste of time. As opposed to what: Monday Night Football? Among all the nay-sayers, I can agree only with those that say esports are not really sports. It is my opinion that esports is a sport the same way chess could be considered a sport.

That being said, I still enjoy following professional tournaments in games like Street Fighter, League of Legends, Heroes of the Storm, and a few others. Some of my friends have been trying to get me to play Hearthstone, but it’s not really my thing. Let’s focus and explore the phenomenon that is esports.

Classifying Esports as Sports

While I have stated my personal opinion on the subject, there are a few valid arguments that we cannot ignore. Esports is considered to be sports for several reasons. First of all, there is the popularity of the event. If it is a sport, companies can sponsor the teams. There are other legal reasons why this could benefit many of us. A League of Legends player Shiptur came from Canada to America using a visa that is designated for athletes.

While there is no actual physical exertion, it is important to point out that many sports don’t require you to sweat because of the strain, as long as you employ planning, timing, and execution of your skills. In 2017, the International Olympic Committee recognized esports as sports. Some might argue that this discipline is a type of mind sports like chess, go, math competitions, or Mensa games. The classification is still turning heads.

Training

While it may seem to an outside observer that it’s just a bunch of kids taking a video game too seriously, there is a significant amount of skill involved in these games. Esport tournaments feature not only one-on-one fighting games but also 5v5 MOBA tournaments. In other words, you need to play your part perfectly and hope everyone else on your team does as well while coordinating with them.

Sportsmanship

Like in other sports disciplines, these e-athletes have to follow a certain code of conduct. Verbal abuse, substance abuse, cheating, public displays of inappropriate behavior, as well as fixing the game with bookmakers- all of these could get you banned from playing professionally for a while or permanently.

How Much Is It Worth, Anyway?

If you consider the tournaments, the media coverage, the sponsorship deals, and the overall popularity, you will probably not be too surprised when you find out that esports is worth more than $100 billion. So consider that next time your child tells you they want to play video games professionally. If the right team recruits you, you are set!