Should eSports be considered a sport?
Electronic sports also known as eSports goes all the way back to the late nineties. ESports is now becoming accepted as a sport and competitive gamers are now being identified as athletes within society. ESports has even been introduced in colleges in the form of an intercollegiate athletic sport. Some university athletic departments have made eSports an official sport where scholarships are granted to collegiate eSport athletes. The association of eSports and athletics bring into question whether eSports should be considered a real sport. I believed that eSports should be considered a sport.
One of the biggest arguments involving eSports is whether competitive video gaming can be defined as a sport. The definition of sport has been experimented countless times, and a broad definition has yet to be determined. Most people refer to the Oxford English Dictionary definition, “An activity involving physical exertion and skill in which an individual or team competes against another or others for entertainment.” The first phrase to evaluate is physical exertion. Multiple relationships can be examined between physical and video games. “Modesti conducted a study that showed the basal blood pressure is raised while playing video games” (Kane). Further, physical exertion could also be acknowledged as perceived exertion. An example of perceived exertion is your heart rate. “During video game competitions and training, many eSports athletes exhibited signs that could be considered physical exertion to keep up with the routine of being a professional video gamer” (Kane). This shows it correlates with the definition of sport since eSport athletes show signs of physical exertion during tournaments. Such as when they are playing in a serious match in a tournament that can get them eliminated if they lose their heart rate is going to be high of anxiousness.
The second phrase of the definition to evaluate is skill. To become a professional gamer, a player must learn diverse skills and techniques to further their skill. “Researchers have used video games as a way to interpret how a person establishes skills” (Spradley). In competitive gaming, the most skilled players reign people that play for fun. In eSports, there is a big divide in win and loss record among players that are regarded professionals and those are not. The final phrase of the definition compromises with a person or team that competes against another person or team for entertainment. Playing video games for fun has grown into competition and tournaments with cash prizes. Depending on the game being played, a person can join a tournament solo such as fighting like streetfighter, or you can compete with a team, playing games such as Counter-Strike, Overwatch, and Call of Duty. “ESports are beginning to be broadcasted on ESPN in the United States and various networks around the world” (Spradley). Also special eSports arenas have been created to host these tournaments.
However, Some people may say eSports is not considered a sport. They can argue that gaming does not take a lot of physical exertion like other sports such as football and soccer. In reality it actually does take quite a bit of physical exertion. “In a study performed by Bronner, Pinsker, and Noah, (2013) male and female participants MET’s, metabolic equivalent, raised between 4-9 while participating in video games that involved dancing. Stroud et al., (2010) was able to get their participants VO2, maximal oxygen consumption, and MET at a low to moderate activity level by standing and shaking Nintendo Wii controllers while playing Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Games” (Spradley). This shows video games does take physical exertion while playing video games since their maximal oxygen consumption and metabolic equivalent was at a moderate activity level.
In conclusion, I believe that eSports should be considered a sport. Esports qualifies with the definition of sport. As it states in the Oxford English Dictionary, “An activity involving physical exertion and skill in which an individual or team competes against another or others for entertainment.” It does take some sort of physical exertion such as when a competitive player in a tournament heart rate goes up it can model perceived exertion which is acknowledged as physical exertion. It also takes skills to be become a professional gamer/athlete, a player must learn diverse skills and techniques to further their skills just like a regular athlete. Sports also is entertainment, eSport tournaments are beginning to be broadcasted on ESPN in the United States and various networks around the world. ESport tournaments easily average 120k+ viewers on Twitch, a streaming website, also special eSports arenas have been created to host these tournaments. All in all, eSports correlates with the Oxford English Dictionary sport definition, so point of the fact eSports should be acknowledge as a sport.
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