Should Esports count as sports?

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Oliver Critchley

This is a picture depicting sports equipment scattered on the floor. Included in these pieces of equipment is a video game controller. It has been often debated whether videogames are a part of the sports category and if video game controllers should be considered sports equipment like a tennis racket or soccer ball.

From playing on the couch with your friends to worldwide game tournaments, video games can get very competitive. 

According to www.businessinsider.com, Professional League of Legends players sometimes spend up to 50 hours a week practicing the game, and The League of Legends 2018 World Championship had a prize pool of 6.45 million dollars.

Esports are becoming very popular too; according to esportsobserver.com, the 2020 Overwatch Grand Finals had 1.55 million viewers and was even broadcasted on sporting channels like ESPN and ABC. Even colleges host Esports; in 2019, there were over 130 varsity programs. People are even given scholarships for playing Esports. 

With these high numbers of viewers and the high levels of competition, some people consider Esports a sport. But are Esports actually a sport? 

“Video games are a sport,” Junior Ramzi Mellouk said. “Professional gamers do exactly the same thing that a professional basketball player or any other type of athlete does. They have to practice excessive hours. They have to do training. They have to have coaches so that they can focus on their mental(state of mind). They have to work with a team. Over the years, games have been legitimized because of prize pools.” 

While some people may have similar opinions to Mellouk, others have contrasting opinions.

“Video games are not a sport,” Junior Mason Mills said. “(Sports are) a physical activity that takes skill, hard work and dedication. It has competition and a win or lose aspect to it. With videogames, you’re just sitting in a chair; that’s more of a pass time or a hobby. Since it’s not physical, it’s not a sport.” 

Depending on who you ask, gaming could range from a waste of time to a competitive activity that someone could put hours of time into mastering.

Although video games may not be considered an athletic sport, one cannot deny the rising popularity of Esports.