Would You Consider e-Sports a Legitimate Sport?

Plato once said, "You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation". Video games or eSports, being a part of popular culture, helps individuals find competition and enthusiasm while involving in it which are two very important elements any sport requires.

Computer gaming or eSports has become an international obsession in the past decade and the industry is churning out billions of dollars. This is simply because of the popularity of MMORG (Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game). Games such as "Lineage" and "StarCraft" have given rise to a new youth culture and are rapidly growing leisure activity in eSports.

Playing eSports require the players to engage in multi-sensory and complex learning processes which are a highly recognized characteristic in any kind of sports. In the USA, more than 8 in 10 (83%) young individuals have a gaming console at home, and a majority (56%) has two or more. About half (49%) have one in their bedroom and just over half (55%) have a handheld video game player. Gaming is not cognitive, but also physiological in nature. Gaming requires the player to involve in a variety of complex learning tasks to get through to the next level. Each new task can get more compelling and complex. A player must make multiple decisions that could affect the final outcome similar to a captain's role in any sport.

Though video games have been seen in a negative light when it comes to the implications on health, some studies have shown that eSports have been used as a form of physiotherapy or occupational therapy in different groups of individuals. Mostly used as a form of physiotherapy for arm injuries.

It is interesting to know that eSports is considered athletic and a game of skill by many. The reason eSports is becoming a legitimate sport is that there has been an uncanny boom in this industry seeing tens of millions of people flocking to these sites to watch world championships. Not only daily streamers, but professional eSports gamers and entertainers garner tens of thousands of viewers daily. Since the inception of the League of Legends, a multiplayer online battle arena, eSports has taken hold of young audiences or the youth all around the world from America to Europe and Asia. For a long time, eSports had wide popularity only in Asia, and in particular, Korea. After the introduction of the word eSports into the dictionary, it had gotten recognized as a professional sport by many.

With the potential for connectivity between individuals and the ability to bring nations together is one of the major influential powers of any sport. And eSports is doing just that by becoming a subculture all over the world and developing towards a globalized community with a steady increase in its popularity.

Coco-Cola, one of the biggest sponsors of the Olympic Games and the NBA have recently joined Logitech and Red Bull as eSports tournament sponsors. eSports are now ranked amongst sporting world biggest prize purse. Events like the Valve's The International for DOTA 2 saw players or competitors share $2.8 million prize money. This is surprising when we realize that the winner of the English FA Cup would earn €1.8 million (Lockley, 2014).

Organizations have started investing in building team houses for eSports athletes where the team players can live and play under one roof similar to sports hostels. Most professional sports require an atmosphere in which fans can be avid supporters of their favourite team. In this perspective, eSports have proved that its fan following is huge. In the year 2013, League of Legends came in with the second highest amount of views in a single event with 27 million viewers trumping every other sporting event except for the Superbowl. eSports have training sessions and there are sports psychologists working with the team to ensure they are physically trained and are healthy. They work on things like eating healthier, sleeping enough, yoga, physiotherapy and prepare them for high stake games. Their main aim is to steady their mental state so that they don't get tripped up by other player's smack talk.

Now were you aware that gaming has actually gotten so serious and that eSports is actually a game changer!

Yoo, T. (2012). The Journal of Asian Studies, 71(3), 814-817. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/23263611
Adams, M. (2009). Engaging 21st-Century Adolescents: Video Games in the Reading Classroom. The English Journal,98(6), 56-59. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/40503460
Parks, N. (2008). Video Games as Reconstructionist Sites of Learning in Art Education. Studies in Art Education, 49(3), 235-250. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/24467881
Griffiths, M. (2005). Video Games And Health: Video Gaming Is Safe For Most Players And Can Be Useful In Health Care. BMJ: British Medical Journal, 331(7509), 122-123. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/25460165

0 Comments Write your comment

    1. Loading...