eSports is quickly rising in the overall world of sports and entertainment

Will Amos, Online Editor

According to the Oxford Dictionary, a sport is defined by “an activity involving physical exertion and skill in which an individual or team competes against another or others for entertainment,” and eSports are defined as “multiplayer video games played competitively for spectators, typically by professional gamers.”
When someone thinks of a sport, basketball, baseball and football are some of the many words that come to mind. The most up and coming sport there is, eSports, despite some saying it is not, eSports are 100% sports.
“It requires a great amount of skill and practice, arguably more than actual sports,” eSports supporter and cross country athlete Emily Francis (’19) said. “If people consider cross country a sport, which requires no athletic ability, we should give the gamers this.”
Out of the students and teachers surveyed, the majority of responders said eSports were not sports, about 71%, 28.5% said yes and the remaining .5% said they didn’t know what eSports were.
From all the yes’, no’s and I don’t knows the majority of people were ill-informed. When I refer to eSports I do not mean you playing Wii Sports or a similar game; eSports are competitively playing games, with a team or on your own, for a salary like any other professional athlete, with tournaments and prize pools of millions of dollars. eSports do require physical exertion and a great amount of skill, are competitive and can be team-based or individuals.
To compete at a high level in anything there’s going to be people competing, whether that be individual or in teams. Teams practice together to get to a level to where they work well together and have custom tactics and plans depending on who they’re playing or where they are playing.
“They are competitive and require immense skill and practice,” eSports supporter Tim Mahoney (’19) said. “While not as physically taxing as say, rock climbing, they still require control over one’s body and mind, along with hand-eye coordination.”
The one thing that is preventing most from placing eSports in the same category as other sports is physical exertion. ESports are nothing like football or soccer that take the rigorous training sessions. The cardio and weight training needed to become a professional player in those sports are much different than those of eSports.
ESports do require a lot of a time and effort spent practicing, but the physical aspect is different. Hand-eye-coordination is a big part of eSports. Knowing what buttons to press when, where to move the mouse to when you need it to and doing both together requires a lot of muscle memory.
A professional gamer spends hours a day playing their select video game, similar to how an NFL or MLB player would do with theirs. The players must train their muscles and minds to work the way they need to, working them out every time they play their game.
It might not seem like a lot of physical exertion, but there was no level of physical exertion specified. Physical exertion is physical exertion, and eSports require it to be the best of the best.
Players even push their bodies to the point of injury sometimes. It’s nothing like tearing you ACL, but there have been more and more cases of players having overuse injuries due playing for a long amount of time without getting up and walking around or stretching.
When one is playing a game, they can put their body under a lot of pressure. If they are tense for a long enough time the tension you see effects. “When a muscle and a tendon are tense for a long time, it becomes so stiff that blood cannot flow through it,” John Svärd, a chiropractor who has worked with professional gamers before said in an article by Mashable.
The injuries caused by this overuse can be just as devastating as breaking a bone because you don’t feel the pain immediately. The injury builds and builds and builds until it gets to the point where they get seriously injured, effecting the players’ careers.
“The physical skill required in some eSports has created a gray area in what a sport is,” professional Rocket League player Kiernan Nedeau (’19) said. “Limitations like physical strength are not prevalent, games are simple and easy to understand and [eSports] are purely skill-based.”