This article delves into the ongoing debate on whether esports can be considered a sport or not, with a detailed analysis of the arguments, comparisons, and examples.
In recent years, esports has gained immense popularity and has become a multi-billion-dollar industry, with major companies like Coca-Cola, Intel, and Red Bull investing in the industry. The growth of esports has raised a vital question – is it a sport? The debate on whether esports should be considered a sport has been ongoing for years, with arguments and counter-arguments from both sides.
Arguments for esports being a Sport
Esports involves intense mental concentration, quick reflexes, and hand-eye coordination – skills that are crucial for many sports. Professional esports players spend hours training and competing, honing their skills through practice, just like traditional athletes. This requires a level of discipline and dedication that is comparable to that of traditional athletes.
Esports athletes’ training regimen typically includes practicing and playing for many hours a day to improve their skills and keep up with the constantly evolving gaming landscape. They engage in regular exercise and maintain a healthy diet to stay physically fit and mentally sharp. Additionally, they watch and analyze their gameplay footage to identify and fix mistakes, study their opponents to understand their strengths and weaknesses, and communicate and collaborate with their team members to develop effective strategies and tactics.
For example, a pro esports training regimen for a player on a professional League of Legends team may include playing the game for 6-10 hours a day, reviewing gameplay footage with the team coach and teammates, analyzing replays of professional matches to improve game knowledge and understanding of opponents, and participating in physical training and mental exercises to improve overall performance. They may also practice specific techniques, such as last hitting minions or landing skill shots, to improve their game mechanics. Additionally, they may participate in scrims or practice matches with other teams to improve teamwork and communication.
Studies have shown that playing esports can lead to improvements in hand-eye coordination and reaction time, further emphasizing the physical demands of the sport. A study conducted by the University of Tokyo found that playing esports improved reaction times by as much as 15% in participants.
Esports competitions are organized events where players face off against each other, just like traditional sports. esports tournaments offer large cash prizes, attracting the best players from all over the world. The competition in esports is just as fierce as in any other sport, with players competing against each other in intense, fast-paced matches. The level of competition in esports has led to the development of regulations and rules to maintain fairness and ensure a level playing field, further emphasizing the sport’s competitiveness.
Esports competitions have exploded in popularity in recent years, with millions of viewers tuning in to watch the biggest tournaments. Esports tournaments cover a wide range of games, from first-person shooters like Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, to multiplayer online battle arena games like Dota 2, and real-time strategy games like StarCraft II.
One of the biggest esports events in the USA is The International, which is hosted by Valve Corporation. The tournament is focused on Dota 2 and has a prize pool of over $40 million, making it one of the most lucrative esports events in the world. The event attracts teams from all over the world, with players competing in high-stakes matches to determine who will take home the top prize.
Another major esports event in the USA is the League of Legends World Championship, which is organized by Riot Games. The tournament focuses on the popular multiplayer online battle arena game League of Legends and has a prize pool of over $2 million.
Sportsmanship and Professionalism
Esports players are held to high standards of sportsmanship and professionalism, and cheating and unfair play is strictly prohibited. Major esports events are monitored and regulated by organizations such as the Electronic Sports League (ESL), which enforce rules to maintain fairness and ensure the integrity of the competition. The level of sportsmanship and professionalism displayed in esports events is comparable to that of traditional sports. Players are expected to behave in a respectful and courteous manner during games, both towards their opponents and the officials. For example, in League of Legends, players are not allowed to use any offensive language or gestures towards other players, and they must follow the instructions of the referees. esports events may have penalties or fines for players who violate these rules, and repeated offenses can result in disqualification from the competition.
Esports events also have rules around time management and punctuality. Players are expected to show up on time for their matches, and they must be ready to play when their turn comes up. In some games, players are given a set amount of time to make their moves or complete their objectives, and they must not exceed this time limit. This helps to keep the competition fair and prevent any delays that could disrupt the event schedule.
Arguments against esports being a Sport
Lack of Physical Activity
Critics argue that esports lacks the physical component that is inherent in sports. They believe that being physically active is an essential part of what makes a sport a sport. However, proponents of esports as a sport argue that mental agility and hand-eye coordination are just as important, if not more important, in esports as physical fitness is in traditional sports. Furthermore, many traditional sports, such as chess, billiards, and darts, require minimal physical activity but are still considered sports due to their competitive nature. Metro Esports runs programs such as summer camps to emphasize the physical aspect of esports, with instruction in stretching, breathing exercises, and mentality. Additionally, Metro’s partnership with the YMCA of Doylestown also encourages healthy physical habits. YMCA members have free access to Metro’s Esports lounge, and can come down to train their mind or relax in-game after training their body by working out or playing sports with their friends
Perceived Lack of Skill
Critics also argue that esports does not require a high level of skill and that success in esports is largely determined by luck. However, this is a misunderstanding of the nature of esports. esports games are designed to be challenging and require a high level of skill to master. Players must possess a combination of hand-eye coordination, quick reflexes, and strategy to be successful. Additionally, the competitive nature of esports, with players facing off against each other in fast-paced matches, further emphasizes the high level of skill required to be successful in the sport.
Comparisons to Other Sports
The debate on whether esports is a sport is similar to the debates that took place when new sports like snowboarding and skateboarding were introduced. These sports faced similar criticisms as esports, with people arguing that they lacked the physical component and required less skill than traditional sports. However, as time went by, snowboarding and skateboarding gained recognition and are now considered Olympic sports.
Esports is a new and unique kind of sport that has its own characteristics and demands. While it may lack the physical component of traditional sports, it requires intense mental concentration, quick reflexes, and hand-eye coordination. The fierce competition, sportsmanship, and professionalism displayed in esports competitions make it comparable to traditional sports. Ultimately, the decision on whether esports should be considered a sport lies in the interpretation of what constitutes a sport. But, there is no denying that esports is a new and exciting addition to the world of sports, and it deserves recognition as such.