Esports are real sports. If you disagree, then get in line because it's a mile long, and you're all wrong. Bring on all of the "NERD" insults you want. I've heard them all. When espn 2 aired a tournament for the video game Heroes of the Storm championship twitter went nuts.
It's time to get real about Esports.
The Twitter Reaction
@MikeZawack21: "Why is there a bunch of nerds playing video games on ESPN2"
Because there are an even greater number of nerds who want to watch it. In fact over 100 million users watch video games being played on twitch every month. If I'm a CEO of a company I look at that and go "yes please I want that money."
Even still let us assume his definition is correct he scoffs at the idea that esports do not have any physical requirement. That is quite narrow minded. Does it require running miles and spending hours in the gym everyday? No it does not. However gamers have to keep their bodies and minds in pique physical condition in order to compete.
Why does anyone argue against esports? What do you possibly gain other than putting other people down? Congrats you insulted a nerd... do you feel better? Did you miss the days when you could stuff them into lockers so much that you have to keep putting them down long after high school to make yourself feel good? Let us nerds enjoy something for once. At the end of the day it's all about entertainment and yes I am entertained. Why does that bug you?
@NAThinks "Are we now calling video games a sport? Is that why this is on ESPN 2?? That'll help America's obesity problem"
Oh yes that's the main cause of America's obesity problem watching other people play video games. I hear you typing away furiously "Kids who play football or soccer or REAL sports are more active." Sure you may have a point, but are kids who WATCH those sports any more active? Hell we just had an event that is nationally renown for it's massive consumption of unhealthy food and sitting around doing nothing... the Super Bowl... you know... football? Newsflash watching any kind of sport doesn't help obesity problems as it's for entertainment purposes.
@J_Murray14 "Really hope whatever is on ESPN2 isn't some start of a trend. Ill really be disappointed if my kids get hype for this instead of sports on TV."
Really? It's not the fact that your kids spend hours a day in front of a TV screen that's frustrating you? You couldn't stand the fact that your kids would find something slightly different than what you find entertaining could you?
First of all let me give Mr. Smith a lesson in basic writing. Using the trope of "Here is a definition of a word" was overused once you graduated ninth grade. Not only is it amateurish but I can also just give my own definition for sports from Merriam-Webster which states a sport is "sexual play." Hmm that doesn't sound like many "sports" I know, but man do I know a lot of websites dedicated to "sports."
The Case Against
Of course there are always individuals who will disagree with the categorization as a "sport" due to a technical basis.
Gabriel Smith has an unbelievably narrow focus on such a topic.
Mr. Smith starts off with "A sport is defined as 'an activity involving physical exertion and skill in which an individual or team competes against another or others for entertainment.' Video games do not require any physical involvement."
Mr. Smith goes on " Gaming is not the same as playing a sport. Gamers are not athletes much the same way cashiers are not investment bankers." Good try Mr. Smith but your metaphor needs a little work. Gamers are to sports as stock brokers are to investment bankers. No they are not the same but at the end of the day they both handle money. Just like how at the end of the day all we want from our athletes is entertainment. Let us not forget that only a handful of years ago everyone scoffed at the idea of snowboarding being a sport. Gamers and Athletes may have their differences but at the end of the day it's all about entertainment.
The Case For
At the end of the day it really doesn't matter what you think because esports is a real phenomena. It's crazy. Did you know more people watched the League of Legends championships than they did the NHL Stanley cup? They even had more views for league of legends than the NBA championships. You personally may not enjoy watching esports but there are millions upon millions of nerds that do. You want to know what sport is truly universal now a days? Esports. It allows individuals from America to China to Croatia to Korea to connect over something they enjoy. Hell it's even possible we see it in the Olympics here soon.
What does this all translate to? Money. If it's one thing this election has taught us it's that money speaks louder than actions, words, or anything else. There is certainly money to be had in esports.
Over the years the older generation has constantly categorized new things as "not belonging" or "not real (insert genre)." Think about people who refused to accept snowboarding as a sport, or Jimi Hendrix as rock and roll, or gay marriage as marriage. It'll all come back to haunt them... admittedly some more than others.
James Dator, Of SB nation, put it best as "This is not the death of kids getting outside and playing baseball, it's the evolution of competitive chess. That's what people need to realize.
A handful of members within the gaming community have hypothesized that esports will soon come to the olympics. Before we can know If that would be possible we have to take a look at the requirements to become an olympic sport.
1) Olympic Proposal
2) Added value to the Olympic Movement/Appeal to millennials
3) Have an international federation.
5) Business model behind it.
No where in that listing does it require that a sport have a certain amount of physical exertion. Let's break down each piece point by point to prove that Esports have every right to be considered to be an Olympic sport.
1) Olympic Proposal- Anyone could fairly easily write such a proposal. Gaming communities around the globe have undoubtedly written such proposals for their own pleasure, because that's what nerds do. Additionally there are dozens of Esport corporations whose sole job is writing such documents.
2) Added Value to Olympic Movement- The sheer force with which Esports has essentially come out of no where adds great value to the Olympic movement. It is not only an expression of constantly evolving technology but speaks for an entire generation. It would open up new chapters for the Olympics and evolve it into a brand new form.
3) Institutional Matters (rules)- Every mega Esport already has its rules set in place for how tournaments are conducted. They are easily accessible and fully laid out.
4) How Popular it is- There is nothing the Olympic committee could add that would be more popular than Esports. If the league of legends championship can have more active viewers than the Stanley Cup I think it can beat out archery...
5) The business model behind it- Money is to be had in Esports. As such the businesses backing it are incredibly capable out of sheer necessity. Businesses dedicated solely to Esports have been around since the inception of the Korean Esports Association at the turn of the century nearly 20 years ago.
There is not a single argument that can truly be had against Esports as an Olympic sport and if it is an Olympic sport how could you possibly argue against it being a sport in general? Good try son but if archery and table tennis are sports then Esports are coming up to join the party.