A New Perspective of The Title of ‘Sport’

    In 2016, there was tournament held in Cologne, Germany for the popular game “Counter Strike: Global Offensive”. This was just one of the many Esport tournaments held across the world. The one that is being referenced hosted 250, 000 thousand people and another 26 million tuning in on Twitch.tv daily.

    Esports takes just as much practice, time, and dedication of the player than something like football. Sometimes even more because they must be of quality mind and body, because being out of shape could affect their reflexes and overall coordination. This is what separates video games in general away from traditional athletics.

    Video games require more use of your brain. This may seem like a minor thing ,but it deeply affects one’s cognitive state. According to medical new today, video games not only change the state of mind but also the structure of it. Evidence also demonstrates that playing video games increases the size and competence of parts of the brain responsible for visuospatial skills – a person’s ability to identify visual and spatial relationships among objects. In long-term gamers and individuals who had volunteered to follow a video game training plan, the right hippocampus was enlarged.

    There is already an avid community of dedicated and loyal, fans and customers. The Esport scene has really exploded in the last decade with the release of things like League of Legends, Dota 2,  Overwatch, Team Fortress 2, and Counter Strike: Global Offensive. These games are the backbone of the competitive scene with new ones being tried out every day. In 2015, Valve announced that there are 125 million active users on steam. This is more that the populations of Canada and Germany. There is no shortage of people willing to support the move from hobby to sport.

    The popularity and emergence of online streaming services have helped the growth of eSports in this period, and are the most common method of watching tournaments. Twitch, an online streaming platform launched in 2011, routinely streams popular eSports competitions. In 2013, viewers of the platform watched 12 billion minutes of video on the service, with the two most popular Twitch broadcasters being League of Legends and Dota 2.

    Team Siren, an all-female League of Legends team, was formed in June 2013. The announcement of the team was met with controversy, being dismissed as a “gimmick” to attract the attention of men. The team disbanded within a month, due to the negative publicity of their promotional video, as well as the poor attitude of the team captain towards her teammates.

    It’s a virtual sport, perhaps not a physical sport. It requires just as much skill and mental focus. Gaming is incredibly competitive, just as much as any other sport. I guess it all just depends on what you want to make the definition of a sport. Does it have to involve physical movement?

    This is a topic that will continue to be debated and reevaluated for the foreseeable future. There are people on both sides of the debate that will keep pushing on their side of the argument until it has been decided.