eSports deserves just as much recognition as other sports

When I tell people that I write about eSports the same way that other writers write about other sports, like ice hockey, they tend to scoff at me. “how can you write about video games? They aren’t even sports?”. But video games are quickly becoming legitimate sports, with each game representing a new sport. And it is fast gaining a larger audience worldwide then many other “real” sports.

Frankly, eSports are here to stay and you might as well embrace it. Because it is not just a fad but is rather a massive worldwide movement towards video games as legitimate sports. But why do people who sit in their parents basement and play video games deserve as much recognition as the hard working hockey player? (I am Canadian so ice hockey is my go-to sport)

Well this is because of the dedication and effort it takes to become a professional player. As well as the technical skill, the strategic thinking, and pure mental and physical (I’ll get to it) power required to compete on the world stage of video games.

First the dedication. Video games have a relatively low entrance requirement. Meaning just about anyone can compete. So in order to become among the worlds best you have to compete with literally millions of people who are very serious about video games. This means thousands of hours need to be put into honing your craft.

Those hours are spent mastering your technical skill. By technical skill I mean literally the ability to push the buttons you need to and to land the shots or abilities that you need to. It is surprising hard to pull off headshot after headshot. Especially with everything else going on in a game. Each and every game requires a massive amount of pure technical skill. Reading the screen, instantly understanding what to do and then being able to do it.

Understanding what to do also has to be in line with the strategy that you are going for against a particular team that is running certain composition. Each game that is considered an eSport has the feature where you can instantly switch heroes, or champions, or weapons. Except maybe LoL. But that happens at the beginning. This means that you have to have a strategy in place for every single contingency. And you have to be able to adopt them on the fly. In line with this is that every team has a particular playstyle that would need to be countered and every team has their weaknesses and strengths.

This takes a lot of mental strength. But regarding the physical strength. Yea its true that they sit in a chair and don’t sweat nearly as much as a hockey player. But is physical prowess necessary for something to be considered a sport? Consider golf. That does not require heavy lifting, fast running. In fact it is one of the sports that is most played intoxicated. Carts are part of the game. And gaming for 15–18 hours a day does require a lot of dexterity and ability. Also, many gamers do actually work out because of the mental benefits of having a good workout routine.

One argument I here a lot is why would you watch the game when you can play it instead? But that argument falls on its head when I ask, why don’t you play soccer instead of watching it? Or Ice Hockey? or literally any other sport. Because the pro players are so much better then you that it is a joy to watch. It’s the same thing with eSports. Those guys are so much better then me that I can learn from watching them.

Basically, you need to think about video games the same way you think about other sports. They are here to stay and you may as well learn to appreciate them the same way you appreciate other sports.

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