Is It Time to Call eSports a Sport?

ESports is booming. From what began as a relatively niche market that was popular in South Korea, eSports has become a global phenomenon. A report by Ovum forecasts that eSports will be worth almost $2 billion by 2022. That might not be a mind-blowing figure, but it doesn’t take into account every facet of the industry. This research looked at the core of eSports, namely the organizations, leagues, teams, and players. When you factor in that eSports is part of the video gaming industry at large, the true value is worth upwards of $100 billion.

By all measures, money is flowing into eSports and, in turn, it’s becoming a behemoth in its own right. However, anyone that loves sport will know that it’s not all about the money. Money is important, of course, but it’s not the only thing that makes an activity a sport. Indeed, if we look at the definition of a sport, Cambridge Dictionary offers this:

“A game, competition, or activity needing physical effort and skill that is played or done according to rules, for enjoyment and/or as a job.”

The Changing Definition of Sport

That’s a standard definition that we’d all accept. However, it doesn’t take into account activities such as chess which, in many people’s opinion, is a sport. Yes, there is some physical activity in chess but, compared to conventional sports, it’s not really that physical. The same argument could be made for eSports. There are some movements, but tapping buttons or clicking a mouse isn’t really physically demanding. Therefore, it’s easy to see why eSports doesn’t share the same space as football, soccer, tennis, and all those other games we regard as a sport. However, the industry that’s built up around eSports does resemble what we see in other sports.

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Simulator, Esports, SimSource: Pixabay

The top leagues are sponsored by major brands such as Red Bull, Intel, Honda, and Coca-Cola. Fans also have access to a wealth of information and supplementary entertainment. For example, in the same way you can bet on football and basketball, you can also speculate on eSports tournaments. You can find the best eSports betting sites at winners.net and they’ll all cover the major events. From the League of Legends World Championships to the Fortnite World Cup, eSports bookmakers offer odds on teams, head-to-head matches, and many other outcomes.

eSports’ Infrastructure is Growing

On top of that, eSports review sites also rate the best platforms. From the promotions they offer to the payment options and more, these reviews provide a complete overview of the eSports betting sector. What’s more, they stand as an example of how eSports is adding to its infrastructure. When you combine this with the fact there are shows dedicated to eSports, one being the Red Bull’s Cultivation show, it’s easy to see why this industry is about more than just games. Even though it lacks the physical effort of soccer et al, gaming has become a global phenomenon.

Game, Remote, Gamer, Video, Entertainment, TechnologySource: Pixabay

There are superstar players that have earned their places at the top through a combination of skill and hard work. There are betting opportunities within the industry, shows dedicated to the best events and players, and major sponsors are putting money into eSports. By almost all measures, eSports is a sport. Yes, you might not get out of breath playing a video game. However, you can’t become a professional just because you think it’s easy. eSports is a sport and it’s a tough one to be good at. Fortunately, as the industry grows, there will be many more opportunities to enjoy it as a fan. 

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