Is Esports a Sport?
This topic has been discussed quite a lot in Mainstream media as well in Esports circles. I thought i could give my 2 cents about the whole thing. Esports existed already back in 90’s with titles like Netrek and later more known titles like Quake and Starcraft I.
Esports has come long way since 2000’s to this day, terms of popularity and exposure. Some could say that it was Starcraft 2 and League of Legends which brought Esports to Mainstreams attention and awareness. These games have been able to get huge sponsors like Nissan, monster energy drink, Redbull and Intel to get interested investing their money to the scene. While Esports is hardly profitable from raw stream numbers, we still see lot of new and old sponsors interested sponsoring teams on every region.
Definition of a Sport
But thats all jibber jabber. The thing i want to discuss is about what people perceive Esports as. To look from technical standpoint what is sports, this quote is taken straight from wikipedia.
Sport (or sports) is all forms of usually competitive physical activity which, through casual or organised participation, aim to use, maintain or improve physical ability and skills while providing entertainment to participants, and in some cases, spectators.Hundreds of sports exist, from those requiring only two participants, through to those with hundreds of simultaneous participants, either in teams or competing as individuals.
So based on technical standpoint you could consider Esports titles as Sports. Although they may not be exhausting as other sports that doesn’t/Shouldn’t exclude them. But i think people like Riot Games are looking this from wrong angle, Esports is its own thing and shouldn’t be associated with Sports. We don’t need to be on Olympic Games or X-games. Its highly irrelevant to the scene, sure it may bring more viewers and people interested, but in the end of the day; platforms like TV and radio are yesterday. Streaming platforms like MLG.TV, Twitch, Hitbox or even Azubu.tv are where everything is going to be viewed in 10-15 years.
To summarize my opinion is that; we are not dependent on mass media or people outside gaming to be successful. We don’t need to be called a Sport, we are not defined by other people and what they say. Is Esports a Sport from technical standpoint? Yes it is, but thats irrelevant. There will be always people who will disagree with that statement.