First of all, do you know what is eSports? If not, don’t worry! I’ve got you covered.
In today’s society, you could easily observe a lot of changes happening specifically, in the world of gaming. If you are a totally beginner about the world of eSports, I am here for you to answer if what is it all about. Well, eSports is becoming more and more mainstream, since these days, a lot of media are covering the world of video games.
Nowadays, competitive gaming is becoming more popular pastime. Esports are simply video games which played by a lot of professional players or gamers in professional competitions. According to the study of Ford James, “the money and industry around the top eSports games is a relatively recent development”. This means eSports is almost a multi-billion-dollar industry. In addition, it’s industry is very productive and expected to grow more in the future because of growing usage of the internet.
Actually, eSports are classified into many different genres. It includes Real-time strategy, shooting, racing, sport games, multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA, it’s the most popular genre because it has a lot of participants and views), and many more.
Are you familiar to these following games?
• Counter-Strike: Global Offensive or CS: GO (Genre: First person shooter)
• Fortnite (Genre: Battle royale game)
• Dota 2 (Genre: Multiplayer online battle arena)
• Call of Duty or COD (Genre: First person shooter)
• OverWatch (Genre: First person shooter)
• Arena of Valor/ Honor of Kings (Genre: Multiplayer online battle arena)
The games mentioned above are some of the top eSports game in this year of 2020 according to Games Radar. Those were not in a particular order and was based from some of the factors such as total viewers, total income, and overall success.
So back to main topic, Is eSports a real sport?
During 2015, the channel ESPN 2 started broadcasting an eSport event in which tons of people complained why did they broadcast this and stated that video gaming is not a real sport. This sparked an internet debate whether or not eSports is a real sport.
I’ve started watching eSports since 2015 and my first watched was 2015 World Championships in League of Legends in which it was also broadcasted in the Philippines in the local channel TV5, eSport is a real sporting event.
As what I’ve said, eSport is a real sporting event! People who argues that games play a part in a sports should not be considered a real sport would be absurd. If you will compare athletes playing basketball or any sports and eSport players playing video games such as League of Legends (LoL), both of them required to have a skill such as concentration, competitiveness and of course training.
Let’s tackle why they say eSport is not a real sport.
A sport requires physical strength while gaming does not. Chess does not require a lot of physical activity, NASCAR is a car racing event which does not really require much physical strength unlike other sports like basketball or baseball, why is it that they are considered as a sport? The problem lies in the comparison of two different things or categories to be exact. Chess requires a lot of thinking to out-wit the opponent while NASCAR driving requires your quick hand-eye coordination as well as fast-paced decision making or you will end up in an accident or lose the race. All these attributes, outwitting, hand-eye coordination and split-second decision making is also involved in eSport games such as League of Legends where it is the deciding factor whether you will win or not. They are called “mental sports”.
A sport requires skill while gaming needs little to no skill. I will assume that you know the video game Tekken, a very popular Fighting game back in the arcades and still to this day. In the game, you need to “combo” your moves or push specific buttons in a matter of seconds to initiate a command for the opponent to be defeated, this requires an good hand-eye coordination and a quick reflex as the opponent will also try to defend and defeat you. For those who doesn’t know, how can you win a game without skill? How can you win a game with a sluggish reflex? Of course, any fast pace games such as the ones that are play during eSport events require the players to have a very good reflex and a hand-eye coordination which is a skill in almost all games including “physical” sports such as football, basketball, etc.
Lastly, a sport requires strategy while gaming requires little thinking and strategy. A sport requires strategy, like having some thoughts and preparations for them to outplay their opponents and then, executing those strategies to successfully win the game. For the majority of "sports" that involves physical activities, do you think it’s their brute strength or their individual skills that wins their game? Do you think that they don't use strategies to win their game? A “pro-gamer” or professional players/gamers of eSports (whatever you like to call them) are. Gamers or players do not just go blindly to a game without having some preparations and thinking of what they are supposed to do and this kind of scenario applies to “physical sport”.
The main problem in the debate whether it is a real sport or not is actually the fact that most people think that “video games are bad for people”, “video games don’t do any good to people”, “video games are for lazy people”, without thinking that it is an industry that has a contribution to society. Whether or not this mentality fades in the coming future, the debate whether gaming can be considered a real sport will continue.
These bad stereotypes define what the gaming industries look like today. But if you will say tor think that eSports is like “it’s just a game”, this kind of implication could totally hurt the community. Most people today grew up with video games, the ever popular Super Mario, Legend of Zelda, Pokémon, and more. These games are not “just games” they are stories, great ones, greater than Rocky’s training montage.