A stadium full of excited fans, cheering and roaring for their favourite teams. Screens surround the area, giving all the fans a proper view of the game. The stadium is packed, millions of people flood this room, there is barely any space to breath. It is the last few minutes of an exciting match and as the team lands the final blow, millions of people pop out of their seats and cheer for the winning team who had just won $6 Million. The twist? They were playing Dota 2.
Automatically, at the name of a video game, some people turn away. What good could come from a video game? Aren’t they causing violence in kids? Video games can’t be sports because they don’t involve “skill” and “physical activity.”
All of the above arguments are incorrect and can be easily proven as such.
Video games have been proven to boost creativity in kids and co-op video games online develop teamwork and communication skills. Take Counter Strike:Global Offensive or any Counter Strike game for example. Counter Strike encourages teamwork and there is no way you would win a Counter Strike game without it. The same goes for any “real” sport. Unless you’re playing a solo sport, you need to communicate with your team and develop plays in order to overtake the other team. In Counter Strike and Dota, there is no difference. If your team doesn’t have a play set up, you will not win. Ever. This encourages team work in a wider sense and transmits the idea that just because you can play well doesn’t mean you can solo beat a team of five people.
Another common misconception is that video games do not require skill or physical activity. Admittedly, many games do not require physical activity but that does not mean it isn’t a sport. In fact, one could argue that games, while not requiring physical activity, require a player, at least a professional one, to be physically fit. According to the BBC, if you are physically fit, your mind will also work faster which is related to reaction times in games. A “reaction time” is the amount of time in milliseconds or seconds it takes for a player to recognize or “react to” something on screen. For example, if you are playing Counter Strike and an enemy player pops in front of you, your reaction time is measured in how long it takes you to recognize that an enemy is near you and more importantly, the amount of time it takes for you to do something about it.
The myth that watching e-sports are a waste of time is presented by people who generally watch sports. Watching sports and watching e-sports are no different. In each instance, you are watching other people play a game. In each instance, you are watching another team play against an opposing team. There is no reason why e-sports shouldn’t be considered an actual sport. The similarities between the two are too close.
In conclusion, e-sports should be considered sports because skill is required, just like sports, and teamwork is also a major factor. E-sports are sports because there is a fanbase to support it and it requires skill.