Are eSports Really Considered sports?

Nicole Manall, Opinion Editor

After the massive success of Fortnite, eSports are the biggest craze hitting the gaming industry. In a nutshell, eSports is competitive, organized video gaming. Some examples are Fortnite, League of Legends, Counter-Strike, Call of Duty, Overwatch and Madden. Not only do millions of people participate in eSports, but millions watch them on a daily basis. 380 million people worldwide will watch eSports this year alone, and out of that 380 million, 165 million are frequent viewers.

Even though eSports is a billion-dollar industry, that does not mean that it falls under the category of a sport. A sport, by definition, is an activity involving physical exertion and skill in which an individual or team competes again another or others for entertainment.

“I feel that a sport requires one to actually move around and be active,” said junior and member of the Charger eSports team, Bria Lemon-Johnson. “eSports really just work out your thumbs and mind. It’s on the same level as chess if people wanted to consider chess a sport.”

While this is the dictionary definition of a sport, some do consider eSports to fall under the sports umbrella.  

“Some may say ‘oh well there is no physical activity when it comes to eSports, so it isn’t a sport,’ but these people are usually short-sighted,” said president and founder of Charger eSports, Charles Kmiec. “There are mental and physical requirements to playing eSports, there are teams built around it, and people watch every day for entertainment. The beauty of eSports is that you can compete against any team from any place around the world. This makes it widely accessible to a large number of people!”

Though this debate continues, eSports is already becoming mainstream. South Korea has fully invested in eSports, and some players are as popular as Nick Foles or Rob Gronkowski.  

eSports are being taken somewhat seriously in the United States as well. The University of California Irvine acquired a full eSports area, and some students attend the university on scholarships to play eSports. ESPN also has full coverage on eSports and the different leagues that teams participate in.

“In my opinion, eSports will become not only one of the most popular things in the world, but it will replace traditional sports altogether,” said Kmiec. “News stations will announce scores of matches that happened the night before. Stadiums will be to see matches live! Halls of fame will be founded, with statues to the great players of past, and records all just waiting to be broken. Children will look up to eSports players as heroes ‘I want to be just like them.’ It’s just the future, and I am excited to be a part of it.”