Competitive video gaming has been around for a long time. There are thousands of tournaments all over the world each year, and the scene increases in size every month. People come from hundreds of countries to take part in the competitions, and some of them leave with a heavy wallet. With that in mind, we wanted to take a look at whether or not most people think competitive gaming is a sport. The players who take part promote that view, and there are some reasonable arguments. So, we’re going to set the record straight by looking at both sides of the question and drawing a conclusion.
Why competitive gaming should classify as a sport
Many competitive gamers will spend a long time perfecting their skills. Some play a single title for years to ensure they master all the controls. Even during tournaments, many gamers will head back to their hotel rooms for practice between matches. So, the situation is not unlike that which you might find among snooker players. There is a lot of training involved, and competitors constantly try to improve.
Believe it or not, chess is classed as a sport in most Western countries. So, shouldn’t it make sense to put all competitive gaming in that category? People who win video games tournaments have to plan their strategy in the same way as chess players. The need backup plans, emergency moves, and more. Those who think gamers simply sit down and pick up the controller are wrong. They often spend weeks writing their strategies down and recording their game plans.
There are plenty of sites that offer Esports betting these days, and that should tell you something about the industry. Esports is just an official name for competitive gaming. So, people all over the world are currently placing bets on the same tournaments we don’t now consider as sport-related. Some of the best sports betting websites have also added a section for Esports in recent times. If the gambling institutions treat it like other sports, maybe we should too?
Number of competitors
You might find this hard to handle, but there are officially more than 100,000 competitive game players in the world today. That doesn’t include people who enter a competition from their bedrooms. We’re talking about those who actively attend tournaments and win prize money. With an industry of that size, surely we’re dealing with sport, right?
Why competitive gaming should not classify as a sport
No athletic requirements
People who are against the idea of competitive gaming becoming a sport often highlight the same issues. Firstly, they mention that competitors do not engage in any form of athleticism. While that is true in most cases, you could say the same thing about darts or pool. It’s also pretty safe to assume that professional chess players engage in less exercise for their sport than people playing games. So, we’re knocking that argument straight out of the park.
No official governing body
Again, some people think that competitive gaming is too spread out. Many different companies run the tournaments, and they’re not controlled by an official body. However, that is something the industry could solve overnight if they believed it would encourage people to consider it as a sport. They could easily create a governing body to handle all the ins and outs of the league if the need arose.
Too many games
Unfortunately, this is an issue we can’t resolve quite as quickly. People have a point when they say there are too many different games available. It’s hard to judge the skills of a player if they’re not consistently using the same platform. Therefore, it would be impossible for someone to rank as the best gamer in the world. That is the case, merely because they would have to win tournaments playing every title ever released. So, we feel that’s a legitimate complaint.
Conclusion – should we consider competitive gaming as a sport?
After assessing all the arguments and evidence, we believe competitive gaming should fit the category. The people involved are following the same processes as all over sportspeople, and that’s good enough for us. As we mentioned only a moment ago, creating an accurate ranking system based on skills is tough. However, it’s possible to determine the best in the business by looking at their results. Do we think competitive gaming works like most other sports? Of course, not, but therein lies the beauty. Whoever said sports had to follow a standard format? We think it’s about time people in the competitive gaming world got the credit they deserve.
It’s a sport!