The Esports industry continues to grow bigger and bigger each year due to increasing popularity and investment.
However, some still wonder, can online video games really be considered as a legitimate sporting competition?
The industry has seen a huge growth year by year, both in viewership and revenue.
The growth of the industry can be attributed to several factors such as increased awareness, coverage and investment.
However, some “traditional sports enthusiasts” and people who may not be very familiar with Esports may question its legitimacy as a sport, due to its “perceived lack of skill and physicality.”
Colin Mcneil, Supervising Editor at theScore esports, said: “To me a sport is a competitive endeavor that involves an element of physicality, which Esports does, because they involve intense hand-eye coordination and reaction time.”
“Esports around the world is normally filling stadiums, and it’s certainly attracting millions of viewers, millions and millions of dollars, attention and fandom just like traditional sports.
“Esports is already established as a legitimate sporting competition, any argument to the contrary would be ridiculous in my opinion.”
Some may question if a career in gaming requires as much skill and dedication as careers in other sports such as football or basketball.
Besides having good hand-eye coordination and excellent reaction times, Esports demands just as much dedication and hard work as any other sport.
David “Diamond” Bérubé, a professional Esports player for the gaming organisation Flyquest, said: “Being a professional player Esports player is very taxing, mentally and physically.”
“Our schedules are very jammed with very little breaks, and has a similar season as other sports, so it’s quite similar in that sense.
“You obviously have to be very skilled, persistent and willing to work above and beyond for your passion and what you stand for.
“It’s a team game, so not only is it important to be a good player yourself, but it is also important to find ways to patch up weaknesses from your teammates and make everyone around you better.”
Several well-known personalities and organisations from “traditional sports” have already invested in the Esports industry, some of them include: Paris Saint-Germain, FC Schalke 04, West Ham United and David Beckham
But Esports isn’t just being looked at by those already in the world of sports, even major corporations and well known celebrities have invested in Esports.
The League of Legends 2020 World Championship was the biggest Esports events of 2020, bringing in an impressive 139,000,000 hours of total watch time.
The revenue and viewership is not just limited to the professional scene, streaming platforms such as Twitch have enabled even the most casual of players to make a living out of playing online games.
Top streamers are able to earn six-figure salaries just by playing video games to a live audience.
Some of the most popular streamers such as Michael “Shroud” Grzesiek have amassed millions of followers and average tens of thousands of viewers every time they stream.
Second year Sports Journalism student
Passionate about sports and esports