Should Esports Be Taken as Seriously as Regular Sports?
The evolution of the video gaming industry has led many people to question the significance of esports compared to regular sports.
Esports are often disregarded globally because of the prevalent mindset associated with them. The general public believes that e-sportsmen lack athletic abilities and are not physically fit. Parents encourage their kids to indulge in activities like studying and playing outdoor sports. Society welcomes other career paths and rejects the idea of esports as a long-time career. Indulging in esports activities like video gaming is considered a waste of time, despite the growth of the esports industry. Slot games are also part of esports activity. According to Kiwislots.nz, playing slot games is fun and enjoyable. Yet, esports is not getting the reception it deserves.
Statistics show that esports is indeed a promising venture. The Southeast Asian, Indian, and Brazilian markets are among the forerunners of the mobile esports revolution. In 2023, the worldwide esports market generated over $1.1 billion. Contrary to popular belief, many scientific studies have linked multiple health benefits to esports. Increased memory capacity, problem-solving, social and multi-tasking skills are some of the advantages of esports.
This article highlights the definition, history, and reasons why esports should be taken seriously as regular sports.
What are esports?
Esport is a short abbreviation for electronic sport. It is a form of competition that involves video games. Esports, like its traditional sports counterpart, has different tournaments and leagues structures. However, esports requires skill, coordination, electronic devices, and internet connection. Esports allows players to play individually or with a team (multiplayer).
Since esports does not require enough physical activity, hence, the reason for the argument. The availability of video streaming platforms like Youtube and Twitch has increased the percentage of people taking up esports as a career. Professional gamers now have a fanbase and are fast becoming superstars. Call of Duty, Counter-Strike, Mortal Kombat, League of Legends are among the popular esports games in the world today.
The history of esports
The origin of esports can be traced to the 1970s. In 1972, home consoles were popular. A decade later, the first worldwide space invaders competition occurred with 10 000 players. In 1981, the historic Donkey Kong tournament took place. In the 1990s, the desire for more esports competitions led to the creation of games like Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat. Golden-eye and other first shooter games came into the picture.
Ten years later, games such as Starcraft, Warcraft, Overwatch, Halo series, and Call of Duty provided gamers with more options. In 1998, Esports made history. The mythological Starcraft 2 tournament on PC captured the attention of over 50 million online viewers, 17 million contesting via Twitch.
The 2000s propelled the momentum of esports. The World Cyber Games and the Electronic Sports World Cup came into the limelight, succeeded by the Major League Gaming (MLG) two years later. MLG is among the most influential hosts in esports today.
Esports has been fruitful since the creation of Twitch. Countries like the USA and South Korea have started recognizing professional gamers as athletes. The perception of esports in the world today is gradually changing.
Reasons why esports should be considered as regular sports
Here are credible reasons why esports should be taken as seriously as regular sports, not ignoring its shortcoming:
1. Esports is a fun sports activity
The debate concerning the definition of sports is eternal and affects the perception of esports. Many traditional sports enthusiasts have different views and definitions of sports. However, the Oxford English Dictionary definition of sport is universally accepted.
The Oxford English Dictionary defines sports as an activity involving physical exertion and skill in which individual battles against each other for entertainment.
Many studies show that physical exertion is observed when playing video games. Further studies show that video gaming helped professional gamers develop different skills in their quest to be the best. Lastly, the availability of tournaments and competitions have enabled gamers to compete against one another while having fun.
2. Esports is beneficial to the brain
A study from Ruhr-University Bochum in Germany published in the Journal of Behavioral Brain Research reveals that video gaming offers many cognitive benefits in the form of visual imagery, problem-solving, and visual processing. These factors were linked to improving the learning process. To be good at some video games, players need to improve their psychological skills.
3. Esports generates reasonable revenue
The esports market is valued at above $1.1 billion. Over 70% of the revenue comes from media rights and sponsorship.
Esports generates revenues for the company sponsoring esports competitions or tournaments. Esports also generates money for professional gamers. Video streaming platforms like Twitch and Youtube pay top-rated professional gamers for the number of interactions on their accounts.
4. Esports requires low-cost to start-up
The cost of starting up an esports team is significantly less compared to traditional sports. A standard football stadium costs lots of money, including renovations and maintenance of equipment and the structure. Travel expenses for participating players are high. Since esports can be done online, a location is often not needed. Gamers can stay anywhere in the world and participate without traveling. The budget to start up an esport competition is relatively low.
5. Esports increases the participation of women in sports
Esports offers women the opportunity to compete against men. The number of women participating in esports is rising. With esports, women can finally achieve their dreams and join in any game of their choice.
Esports is undoubtedly a form of sport for the future. Several studies and statistics have explained why esports should be taken seriously as regular sports. Esports have aided virtual reality development, allowing gamers to explore and experience different virtual worlds. Some virtual reality games require physical movement. Esports do not require any gender label. Hence, the lack of gender identification in the esports community is another debate to ponder over as many people frown at the inequality. Additionally, the definition of skills (i.e. Amateur or professional) in the competitive esports community hinders the recognition of esports as traditional sports.