Are eSports a Real Sport And Should We Treat It Like That?
People keep thinking that professional gamers ended up as professionals by pure chance and I think that we need to change that. Can we compare eSports to regular sports for a bit here?
Professional athletes commit a big part of their lives to training, they spend most of their day on training, improving their game and working on their skills with hardly any breaks. Sounds familiar?
3 thousand years ago the Greeks started facing off in different disciplines where they tested their skills and competed with each other. That defined the term “sports” as we know it and gave birth to Olympic games in the Greek city Olympia. In 1896 the first modern Olympic games were held in Athens and the rest is history.
I know that we have a lot of sports that aren’t Olympic disciplines but probably deserve a spot there. I will take Speedcubing – fastest time to solve a Rubic’s cube as an example. How is that not a test of both physical and mental skills?
The Definition of Sports
“Sport is a physical activity, exercised as a game or competition, whose practice involves training and subjection to standards.” This is how a sport is defined today and it brings up a big question. How come eSports is not an Olympic discipline? Most of the pro players spend over 10 hours on training, and it’s not only individual training. There are multiplayer games like Dota, LOL and Counter Strike where teams of 5 have to act as one, need to know how to coordinate and try to get the best out of one another. If you never had a chance to watch the “Free to play” movie you definitely should. The stories of these Dota 2 players are just amazing and inspiring.
Are eSports hobbies and recreational activities? To an extent, yes but when it comes to professional gaming there are more than that. These guys are devoting their lives to something they love and enjoy doing to be the best of the best and I think that deserves more credit.
eSports are Growing Bigger Rapidly
It’s a little-known fact that some big soccer clubs are getting involved in the eSports scene. Numerous stadiums and venues have been filled by hosting eSports events such as the IFEMA in Madrid (Gamergy), or the Madison Square Garden in New York, the home of the New York Knicks.
Some of them have their own eSports teams like Schalke04 and PSG on an international level and Valencia CF and Baskonia nationally.
Can We Accept eSports As a Real Sport?
The answer is definitely yes. There are argues where people compare eSports to chess. Chess is considered a sport but in its competitive version, so playing chess in an amateur or uncompetitive way would not be a sport. I think this argument is invalid because where there is competition there are sports. We keep playing the same game over and over to get better at it and to get better than our opponents. Just like tennis players, basketball players, soccer players…
My personal opinion and I think that a lot of you will share it, is that eSports should be treated as any other sport. Pros put in sweat, time, commitment to be the best of the best and it’s the same across all sports. I think it is time that we bring eSports to the Olympics and show the world what true commitment is. I am also sure that any eSports event would be the most watched Olympic discipline in TV history.