[Student reporter/Oscar Chan]
As of now esports is not considered a sport officially, and it has been a debate for years. The argument many have against esports being a sport is the dictionary definition “An activity involving physical exertion and skill in which an individual or team competes against another or others for entertainment.”. The issue with this is that sitting at your desk playing video games is not considered physical exertion, however if this is a valid argument then why would chess be considered a sport?
Gleneagle runs a esports club which has teams for games like Overwatch and League of Legends. Players are put in tournaments facing against other teams from other schools. Other schools have a varsity team for esports and some even give scholarships to successful players. This is very similar to sports teams in schools giving scholarships and going against other teams, so why can’t esports be considered a sport? It works similarly to sports.
Chess is recognized as a sport by the International Olympics Committee since 2000. The reasons why chess is considered a sport includes the need to be in a good physical condition to compete with a good mindset. Players are required to give 7 hours of complete concentration. Chess is also heavily strict with cheating. The difference between esports and chess is that chess is known worldwide and almost everyone knows how to play it.
Esports should qualify as a sport and for the same reason chess and poker are sports. First, esports is in a category called “Mind Sports”. By definition “A mind sport is a game of skill where the competition is based on a particular type of intellectual ability as opposed to physical exercise,” esports requires a lot of mental exertion and is a game of wits and intelligence. it does require players to be physically fit to perform at the highest level, mainly because during a chess game, most players heart rate and blood pressure rises and the game becomes stressful. Therefore performing mentally taxing tasks will also transfer physically.
The esports community is similar to any sports community [soccer, basketball, etc.]. Players cheer for teams, hype over plays, and yell equally as loud as any football fan. Video games have major events that almost every player either attends, or watches. The biggest esport game currently is League of Legends. Players that play League of legends show how passionate fans are about their teams and players. Many people cheer for their favorite teams, and some players buy merch from their team to show their love and support. And just like basketball, people praise their favorite players and quote them often.
The main problem comes from the fact that esports has multiple games, which can become a problem as some games aren’t as challenging or are luck based. A solution to this problem would to be divide the games into seperate tournaments. Scheduling would be easier for viewers displaying what times a certain game would be live. One of the main reasons that chess is a sport that has a general audience whereas esports has a more narrow audience compared to chess because esports’ audience is mostly gamers, not everyone has a computer, and old people usually don’t play video games, chess however is timeless and everyone knows about it, this narrow audience that esports has makes it hard to implement as a sport because not everyone is familiar with it.
It looks like esports will become an official sport soon, the consideration has been brought up multiple times and esports have been broadcasted on television before.The only thing missing is making esports an official sport and we’re well on our way to the sports status.