Esports should be considered a real sport


After three semesters’ struggle and experiencing multiple personnel changes, Ashland Esports League of Legends team finally got cut this winter. This move raised a heated debate among students about why we consider Esports as a sport.

Indeed, when people mention the word ‘sport’, the first couple impressions that come to mind must be physical, passion and fast.

On the opposite, Esports players compete chilling in the chair and through the Internet. The form how they compete seems to be the opponents’ biggest doubt.

However, if you deliberately care about the form of competition, horsemanship has been a member of the Olympic family for a couple decades. Can you say that horsemanship is competing among horses instead of athletes themselves?

So I have a couple reasons for why Esports is supposed to be a sport for opponents.

First of all, the criteria for classifying sports types are diverse, including physical, motor, animal assistance, coordination and mentality. We can roughly categorize Esports into the mental sports category, so there is no problem in the sport category.

Secondly, the fact is that Esports has a lot of social impacts. In this sense, Esports has surpassed many other traditional sports, especially among youth generations. Some research shows by 2021, the annual growth rate will be approximately 14%. It also shows that the number of casual viewers will grow to 307 million and there will be 250 million Esports enthusiasts, making the total audience 557 million.

Thirdly, unlike bodybuilding which tried to be a member of the Olympic family but failed, Esports has the most important element of sports – skills to be presented.

Of course the required skills will be different depending on the specific project, but it can be roughly attributed to the following three points: faster reaction speed, stronger power and changeable strategies. Esports perfectly fit these requirements.

An important measure of whether a project is considered “sports” is whether the project participants are healthy. In this aspect, esports players are actually no different from traditional sports players.
The vast majority of Esports players emphasize the importance of maintaining a healthy diet and body, which is more conducive to their level of play in the game. This ultimately builds a healthy mind, which strongly counters the stereotype that “gamers are unhealthy indoorsman”.

In addition, the real top Esports players are paying attention to shaping their positive, healthy and sunny public image.

Last but not least, Esports has almost become an Olympic sport which is recognized as a large-scale comprehensive sports event. In the 2018 Jakarta Asian Olympic Games, Esports was included as an exhibition tournament among all Asian countries. After observation of the Olympic Organization Committee, the day Esports becomes official is around the corner.