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eSports is not a real sport according to ESPN president

By Shawn Knight · 34 replies
Sep 8, 2014
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  1. Competitive gaming, or eSports, is bigger than ever. Valve recently partnered with ESPN to air coverage of The International Dota 2 Championships back in July with $10 million in prizes up for grabs. Even still, however, eSports aren't thought of...

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  2. MilwaukeeMike

    MilwaukeeMike TS Evangelist Posts: 2,839   +1,183

    Maybe I just don't understand how they'd work, but in order to watch a call of duty match, wouldn't you only be able to see people's screens? Watching an NFL game would be terrible if you only got to see it via a helmet cam of the player with the ball. Wouldn't eSports need some sort of way of showing spectators the action from up above or something? Or do they already do this?
  3. GhostRyder

    GhostRyder This guy again... Posts: 2,198   +593

    Well with that type of thing they normally just switch perspective every so often as there is no free cam mode (That im aware of since I do not watch CoD tournaments but sometimes play). Games like LoL, Dota, and Halo have ways to view the action from the top or in a free cam mode where everything is visible or at least enough to center on the action.
  4. TomSEA

    TomSEA TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,633   +695

    According to Merriam-Webster, the definition of sport is: "a contest or game in which people do certain physical activities according to a specific set of rules and compete against each other."

    Although the physical part may not be on par with traditional sports like football, basketball, baseball, etc., the rest of the definition certainly matches competitive computer gaming.

    I'd say the ESPN President isn't very forward-thinking. Gaming is an 8 billion dollar a year industry, making more than music and movies combined. You'd think they'd want in on a little of that action.
  5. davislane1

    davislane1 Inquisitor Posts: 4,494   +3,495

    The definition is based on the origin and historic use of the word. It's a simplification. Once you understand that sport originates from athletics, the idea of gaming being a sport becomes absurd.

    I actually applaud him for sticking to his guns. Selling out your culture for money isn't forward-thinking. It's weak and short-sighted.
    Lurker101 likes this.
  6. CJ100570

    CJ100570 TS Rookie Posts: 18

    Exactly! eSports is nothing more than a bunch of lazy basement dwellers trying to legitimize their loser lifestyles. I'm willing to accept the claim that it's a job if they get paid for it but it sure as hell isn't a sport.
  7. mailpup

    mailpup TS Special Forces Posts: 7,103   +422

    I can agree that eSports is more of a competition than a real sport but ESPN doesn't seem to have the same objection when they broadcast coverage of the World Series of Poker. I think a reasonable argument could be made that poker is also a competition not a sport.

    IAMTHESTIG TS Evangelist Posts: 1,154   +394

    I agree gaming is not a sport. I also agree poker is not a sport.
  9. Agreed. Poker, eSports, pie eating, apple bobbing, chain smoking, binge drinking... Not sports. Competition yes.
  10. Nero7

    Nero7 TS Addict Posts: 231   +72

    One german word.

    "thinkingsport" or "mindgames"
  11. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 7,986   +2,878

    I wouldn't go so far as to say the network president isn't forward thinking, after all screening this esports thing nets them good money but what he says is quite true, esports isn't sport at all, it's more of a competition.
    Lurker101 likes this.
  12. Hexic

    Hexic TS Maniac Posts: 310   +151

    A "sport", in current day, is defined however the masses define it as. It's how the classification works. I believe the president of ESPN is being short-sighted in his analogy.

    All sports are, as stated by a prior post, 'officially' - a contest or game at which certain players use physical manner of some sort and adhere to a set of rules whilst competing.

    eSports satisfy every requirement in said definition; albeit in different ways. I'll give it some time before the short-sighted individuals in control wake up to how much money/press coverage they can gain. Poker is broadcasted as a sport? I thought I smelled irony..

    In the real world, there is no such thing as 'selling out your culture' when you run an entertainment business - it's who is paying out. Econ 101: Why do you create a business? To make money. Education on the reality of eSports to those who are the first to shut it down would help tremendously.
  13. Axiarus

    Axiarus TS Maniac Posts: 228   +108

    Right, it is not a sport. It is an eSport. Just how EMail is not actual mail. How is this hard to understand?
  14. AnonymousSurfer

    AnonymousSurfer TS Guru Posts: 452   +40

    I feel like people get too worked up about whether or not eSports are sports. People should stop trying to group them with other sports and start accepting eSport as the correct category for the activity. We don't group motocross, Nascar and Indy racing in the same category as most sports, so why should we try to put video games in the category of most sports? In my mind, eSports should be seen in the same light as Motorsports. Yes they require physical activity and meet the rest of the criteria to be called a sport, but they also do not meet the general standard when it comes to physical requirements needed to be called a sport. Yes it's physically exhausting practicing 6 hours a day, whether it's driving or gaming, but it's not the same kind of exhaustion that you would get from 6 hours of swimming, basketball, football, track, etc.

    People need to stop blowing up about the definition of sports and should start accepting the fact the eSports will never be considered sports in the minds of others, so why try and fight it? There are many more people out there not willing to accept it as a sport than there are fighting for it, so in the end we'll just be in the same situation sometime down the road, arguing the legitimacy of eSports and their proper categorization.
    baN893 and robb213 like this.
  15. davislane1

    davislane1 Inquisitor Posts: 4,494   +3,495

    Well, that's certainly a coherent position. If only such a rigorous standard could be applied elsewhere in life.

    Because silence is generally taken as an endorsement in these matters. If you don't defend the principles something is based upon, those principles will be redefined at the people's whim, as Hexic so brilliantly observed.
  16. "the executive likened eSports to chess and checkers – by that, he means it’s a competition, not a sport."

    says the same guy who seems to think poker is a sport, judging by espn's nonstop coverage of it.
  17. Poker or esports are not sports. If I played a flash game of basketball, does that become a sport too? No. It does NOT. If two people pick up a piece of paper and read it as fast as they can to finish first it's still a competition not a sport. The term "sport" when used on its own always implies an actual physical activity.

    The oxford definition: "An activity involving physical exertion and skill in which an individual or team competes against another or others for entertainment:"

    Not mental exertion, physical exertion. Moving your fingers is not an exertion unless you're in therapy or have some type of muscle/physical/mental defect of some sort. Exertion implies something that is done with more than minimal effort, such as doing more than moving fingers on a controller. Like running, jumping, ect. In fact, merriam's definition gives examples:

    The merriam-webster definition:
    ": a contest or game in which people do certain physical activities according to a specific set of rules and compete against each other

    : sports in general

    : a physical activity (such as hunting, fishing, running, swimming, etc.) that is done for enjoyment"

    It is a physical activity. Moving your fingers around is not a sport. More hand activity happens when playing most musical instruments. Playing musical instruments is not a sport either, even if musicians are trying to out perform each other. That's called a competition. In fact, merriam-webster even lists examples in order to FURTHER DEFINE the word. Don't let the "eSPORTS" name throw you off. It's really a competition which is why they add the "e" for electronic. "Sports" are a COMPETITION that INVOLVES a physical activity, if sports were just competitions we would have no use for the word "sport" in the first place!!! Basically, "electronic sports" are not "sports" and that's a fact. This is why they added the "e" lmao. I would certainly call it a competition to the highest of degrees, but there's not any physical activity required to do it. There's certainly a huge amount of mental exertion involved in esports though.
    davislane1 likes this.
  18. I would even easily admit competitive gaming like esports can require more mental exertion than many actual sports. The problem is it is not physical. it's virtual.
  19. Hexic, your words expose just about everything that is wrong with Western societies these days. People who lose touch with reality, common sense and nature, are responsible for all the devastation for the sake of "making money". Money is not a real object. Having a lot of money will not make you a better person. Market is not reality. Speculation is not manufacturing. Prostitution is not love. Internet is not life. Gaming is not sports. Wake up, Alice...
  20. Darkshadoe

    Darkshadoe TS Guru Posts: 571   +112

    "According to Merriam-Webster, the definition of sport is: "a contest or game in which people do certain physical activities according to a specific set of rules and compete against each other.""

    Moving just your fingers is not considered a sport. What if you just moved your mouth? Still not a sport? Man, there is going to be a lot of pi$$ed off special olympians who though for years they were playing a sport.
  21. Darkshadoe

    Darkshadoe TS Guru Posts: 571   +112

    The merriam-webster definition:

    ": a contest or game in which people do certain physical activities according to a specific set of rules and compete against each other.

    Ah... So two people competing against each other in Guitar Hero wouldn't be a sport even though it meets your definition. What about chess, still not a sport? I believe there is physical activity moving the pieces.

    : sports in general

    : a physical activity (such as hunting, fishing, running, swimming, etc.) that is done for enjoyment"

    Hmm..again I believe playing video games, playing chess, or being a participant in the special olympics, by your definition would all be considered sports because I'm fairly sure people enjoy doing these things.

    Seems that quite a few people here are wanting to make up their own definition of what a SPORT really is rather than abiding by the definitions they posted.

    Ok..I am ready for the "but..but..but :mad:".
  22. AnonymousSurfer

    AnonymousSurfer TS Guru Posts: 452   +40

    Or, your principles are based off of arguing something that doesn't need to be argued. This argument is like the argument of is a potato a fruit or a vegetable. Many argue vegetable, many argue fruit. But what does this argument accomplish? In the end, the potato will be a potato regardless of it it's grouped with fruits or with vegetables. People don't eat potatoes solely off the fact that they are vegetables or fruits, they eat them because they are potatoes! So why does it matter if eSports are sports? It won't draw more people if you just label them as sports, and it won't turn away people if you don't label them as sports. So the argument is dumb int he first place!
  23. davislane1

    davislane1 Inquisitor Posts: 4,494   +3,495

    The classification of eSports as a real sport has nothing to do with its popularity. Proper sports have always had a strong cultural role in Western civilization. They convey status and, among other things, illustrate principles relevant to the real world. By modifying the classification to incorporate eSports, you undermine those principles (not that they haven't already been significantly undermined by professional leagues in the name of money).

    I personally think that it's fantastic that someone can make a ton of cash entertaining people with a game. eSport sells. It's that simple. But I'll be God damned if a gamer is going to be elevated to the status of an athlete. And yes, this goes for chess, poker, and ESPN's ironic fascination with spelling competitions.
  24. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 9,170   +3,262

    It is nice to think people consider sitting on their asses pushing buttons as physically challenging. Sports will always be physically challenging activities in my mind, because that is what it has always been.
  25. Playing pc games is not a sport (its a leisure activity even if competitive) but neither is half the crap ESPN airs like fantasy sports, fishing, poker, the ESPY awards, etc., etc.,

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