Is Esports A Sport?
Starting from the first day that the word “Esports” was coined, people have been arguing over whether it should be considered an actual sport or not. While Esports was certainly not something that big about twenty or so years ago, now it has become a behemoth that is taking over the entertainment industry by storm.
Despite all that, there still are different opinions on whether Esports should be considered a sport or not. Here will be diving deep into this topic, and we will try to answer this question.
What Activity Constitutes A Sport
Before we start talking about whether Esports should be considered a sport or not, we must first define what actually is a sport and what activities can be considered a sport. According to the definition of sports, a sport is an activity that involves physical exertion and skill where individuals or teams compete against each other for the entertainment of others.
In other words, for any activity to be considered a sport, it has to have certain features. First of all, the activity must include individuals or teams competing with each other. For example, in table tennis, two players compete with each other, or in basketball, where two teams of basketball players compete with each other. Both of these can be considered sports.
Secondly, there is the entertainment factor. For an activity to be considered a sport, it needs to provide an entertainment value to a crowd. For example, a football match or a snooker match. Both of these are considered sports, and they manage to attract and entertain large crowds. While one of them manages to attract a much larger crowd, both of them are still considered sports as providing an entertainment value is all that matters.
Lastly, there is the involvement of physical exertion and skill. For an activity to be considered a sport, it needs to have some level of physical exertion. Also, for the activity to be considered a sport, it needs to be able to allow training for particular skills so that they can either be improved or maintained. For example, as you play basketball, you train your skill of shooting hoops.
Why Esports Is Considered A Sport
To answer the question of whether Esports should be considered a sport or not, we will have to break it down into all the requirements for an activity to be considered a sport. Those requirements are namely competition, entertainment of spectators, involvement of physical exertion, and skill.
First of all, let’s talk about the competition. Esports and competitive video games, in general, are super competitive. Esports easily checks this box as there are tons of games played at the professional level that include either two or more individual players competing with each other, or two or more teams competing with each other.
For example, Esports events for any battle royale game can include over 50 players competing with each other in the same match. Also, for games like CSGO and Rainbow Six Siege, both of which have a massive Esports scene, there are always two teams competing with each other.
Now let’s talk about the entertainment factor. Esports events these days manage to attract millions of viewers with their live streams. Not only that but with certain events, whole stadiums are filled out with spectators. Needless to say, Esports easily checks this box as it provides tons of entertainment value to its spectators.
Lastly, let’s talk about physical exertion and skill. First of all, there is tons of skill involved in Esports. Esports players reportedly spend tens of thousands of hours on just a single game so that they can perfect their skills. The most common skills involved in Esports include aiming and strategic thinking.
There is not much physical exertion in Esports, but it is still there. Esports players move their hands as they move the mouse around and press buttons on the keyboard. Besides that, there is also the mental exertion that Esports players have to deal with as they try to strategize a winning plan in tough situations with a limited amount of time.
So, when it comes to the definition of sports, there is no reason why we should not consider Esports as a sport. Esports are competitive, they promote competition, they have entertainment value for spectators, and they involve both skill and physical exertion.
The Argument Against Esports Being Considered A Sport
The main argument that people have against considering Esports to be a sport is that there is not enough physical exertion required for Esports. However, throwing darts or playing snooker does not require that much physical exertion either, yet both of those activities are considered sports.
Along with that, Esports athletes have to practice for tons of hours. They have proper training sessions for gaming with coaches. Just because Esport athletes do not exert themselves a lot physically as they compete, this does not mean that they don’t have to be in shape and stay healthy. It means that they have to work even harder to keep themselves in shape because for most of the day, they are required to sit on a gaming chair.
Does It Even Matter
At the end of the day, it doesn’t really matter to gamers and professional Esports players whether Esports is considered a sport or not. Esports has its own growing ecosystem, and it is growing at a rapid pace. Millions of people from around the world are Esports fans, and it seems that the popularity of Esports will cross many conventional sports.
There is nothing that will stop Esports fans from loving the ecosystem and Esports players from competing with each other in large-scale tournaments. A certain number of people not considering Esports to be an actual sport is the last of the problems that people from the Esports community have on their minds.
The debate of whether Esports should be considered a sport will not end anytime soon as there will always be arguments for and against it. However, if you are an Esports fan, Esports is definitely a sport for you.