Why Esports are a Real Sport

Esports are the real deal and should be considered a sport since they share the important characteristics of traditional sports


Photo Courtesy of Esports Michigan

Students play league of legends at Troy High video game club.

Ping-Yu Hsu, Staff Writer

As someone that has been a competitive League of Legends player since 13 and a dedicated League of Legends Championship Series viewer, my experience and exposure to esports, or electronic sports, has led me to believe that esports qualify as a sport beyond all reasonable doubt.

Sports require skill, effort, teamwork and most importantly, competition. To be fair, I don’t think esports will ever be on the same level as the more physical sports like basketball or soccer. Esports fit in more with fishing, hunting and competitive eating. When I watch the competitions, especially the LCS, I see the passion in the players putting all their effort into what they love.
Esports is rising in the sports genre, now showing on ESPN and other sports networks. Just last year, the League of Legends World Championship, a competition held by the creators of the game for the best teams in North America, was held in Incheon Munhak Stadium in South Korea. While the stadium can hold 50,000 people, the total views during the finals exceeded that number with 200 million views, many of which were being watched from streaming services like Twitch. Some universities, like Michigan State University and the University of Michigan, are also giving out scholarships to students who are deemed good enough at certain competitive games, like “League of Legends” or “Counter Strike,” for their esports teams.

Junior Alex Prater is an avid gamer. He plays many games for fun, but never competitively because he doesn’t like to take anything he plays seriously. He thinks that esports is considered a sport, but not in the same way as the traditional sports.

“I think esports is a sport, because you can see the passion in the players and fans about the games,” Prater said. “I feel like a sport is anything like a competition and a display of skill, but I feel like traditional sports and esports are both sports in their own way.”

Junior Justin Byun is a member of the “League of Legends” club at Troy High. He has been playing “League of Legends” since he was in seventh grade and played competitively when he was a freshman. He considers it a sport, but like Prater, not at the same level as traditional sports.

“It’s sort of a sport but it’s not exactly the same as other sports like soccer and basketball since they require actual physical activity,” Byun said. “I think it’s a sport because it’s two teams competing against each other in something that requires skill.”

Though esports don’t require physical activity, they should be considered a sport regardless. The definition of a sport should not be something that requires physical activity, but something that requires skill and competition, which esports do.