North Texas Daily

Esports deserve the same recognition as any other sport

Esports deserve the same recognition as any other sport

Esports deserve the same recognition as any other sport
September 14
20:56 2019

Esports have been on a meteoric rise in recent years, but why don’t we view it in the same area as football, basketball or any other sport out there?

In other areas, esports are viewed on par with other respective sports, but not in the United States. In countries such as South Korea, esports have become a staple in entertainment, reaching Olympic heights and mass popularity in media. Why is it that the United States can’t reach that level with esports?

It seems that esports’ biggest claim to fame was when ESPN decided to begin showcasing big name esporting events back in 2016. However, competitive gaming has been around since arcades were big. Way back then, competitions would be limited to whoever got the high score on an arcade machine, but then the games got bigger and more connected. Nowadays, with the help of the internet, we are able to play against one another on various different platforms.

ESPN currently is one of the biggest suppliers to esports coverage in the United States that showcase titles such as League of Legends, Hearthstone and Apex Legends. Along with this, their coverage is usually a combination of talk show and super-cut footage of tournaments that have occurred. While they have gained a respective following, even ESPN cannot fully bring esports to the level that it is in places like South Korea. My question still remains as to why this is the case.

Video games have never been really seen in a positive light by many people. To some, video games can be seen as a waste of time and to a more extreme degree, some believe it can cause violent behavior among those who play video games. It is also often stereotyped with the “nerdy and lazy” archetype. When it comes to the view of esports, it seems that people do not consider it a sport since there is a lack of a “physical” factor within it.

What people do not realize is that there is legitimate skill and strategy to compete in the big leagues of esports, just like any other sport.

Players in esports practice with their team just as much, if not sometimes more, than a regular sports team. Competitors practice hours upon hours to make sure that they hone their skills properly for their next challenge. Just like regular sports, every competitor plays differently and strategizes in a different manner. While it may seem that someone is just sitting in a chair playing, there is actually a lot at stake including name recognition and money.

It can be said without a doubt that esports is on a continual rise. With new games being released, there is bound to be a league that will appeal to the competition. Society is slowly but surely accepting this as fact.

Places such as Arlington, Texas, have even opened up their very own esports arena and many universities are beginning to star their own esports teams. With such a wide array of games, there are many possibilities for esports leagues and competitions which further allows epsorts as a whole to continue adapting and developing into something greater. I look forward to seeing what developments and future competitions come for esports along with the hope of seeing it gain the respect that it so rightfully deserves.

Featured Illustration: Kylie Phillips

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Matthew Moreno

Matthew Moreno

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