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Colby Powell

Tawanna Yates

English IV

November 20, 2018

Should video games be considered a sport?

Video games should be considered a sport. They should be a sport for several reasons.

They share many similarities with real sports. Stadiums with thousands of people and the

competitors on stage. Video games even have its own streaming sites to broadcast the game that

is playing. “Twitch” is an example of one of these streaming services. At times, Twitch can have

more viewers watching a video game than a real sport. Many people even want video games to

be apart of the Olympics due to its increased popularity over the years. Esports is the closest

video games have ever been to being a sport, but its still not considered an official sport. The

most recognition it has gotten on television is whenever ESPN broadcasts it on their channel.

Professional video game players even get paid a good amount. The marketing has increased

greatly over the last few years, and tournaments can even get as intense as a normal sport. What's

not to like about watching your favorite team play against another team in a really competitive

match? There are so many similarities to video games and real life sports, but also many

differences. All of what is above will be written about in this paper. ​I think ​video games should

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be considered a sport. Players are already competing in big video game events and competing for

money and title. It is also very competitive and involves teamwork. Many steps have already

been taken into making it a sport.

It's amazing that the video games industry as a whole have come from an arcade to the

comfort of your home. Video games started out as something you would go in the arcade with

your friends for enjoyment. High scores and beating each other in your favorite game was always

a great feeling. Many people hold world records for classic video games such as Street Fighter

and Mortal Kombat (Kahn). Competition has always been in the video game industry since the

beginning. From this point, it has evolved into a very competitive multiplayer experience called

“E-sports”. Esports is an online competitive match of video games which are mostly played by

professional gamers around the world (Willington). Spectators from around the world jump to

the internet to watch these live or recorded events just like in real sports such as football. These

professional games spend much of their time practicing for the next tournament. They are paid

very generously for participating and winning these tournaments. The average salary for a

professional Esports gamer is now over $320,000 per year for players on multiyear contracts

(Heitner). That is a very good amount of money for one person playing video games, and that is

just the average. Currently, the highest salary in the world per year for a professional Esports

player is $3,626,277.75 and this was achieved by a “Dota 2” player named Kuro Takhasomi

(Willings). That's more pay than an average professional football player in today's time. Esports

as a whole is also a very fast growing community. More and more players are playing games and

watching Esports trying to become the next best thing. This has caused Esports to grow

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tremendously in the last few years. At one point during a “League of Legends” tournament on a

streaming site called “Twitch”, there was more than 32 million people watching the stream. That

is twice as many people that watch professional football on a single game which is around 16.5

million people after the NFL recent drop in viewers (Rovell). Video games and professional

sports also share many sights. Just like in professional sports, video game tournaments have

stadiums crowded with fans eager to watch the action unfold on stage. The stadiums alone hold

thousands of people, and that isn't including the millions of fans watching at home on their

laptops or smartphones. Only a few times have tournaments of video games appeared of

television. ESPN is a prime example of hosting professional video game tournaments on their

channel. The host games such as Overwatch for Activision Blizzard (Aiello). Even then, it

doesn't get as much recognition as it deserves. Other sites such as Youtube, Youtube Gaming and

Beam help by broadcasting the game on their sites as well, which together add thousands of

more viewers. Some people even want to take it as far as making it an olympic sport. According

to the IOC of the olympics, Thomas Bach, he stated that he wants video games to be a sport that

is played in the olympics, but there are problems making it an official event (Peele). This brings

the essay to the next point.

Many people also oppose the thought of video games being considered a sport. One of

the main reasons people do not want it to become a sport is because of the definition of a sport.

A sport is “​an activity involving physical exertion and skill in which an individual or team 

competes against another or others for entertainment”. Teamwork and skill apply in this case. 

The word “physical” is what gets to people. On stage competing against other teams, the 

players really aren't doing much physical movement. Although, that's not to say that there isn't 

any physical movement in a video game. Non- professional video games such as “Just Dance” 

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and “WII sports” do require much movement. So in that case, it could be considered a sport. The 

only physical movement on a stage with the teams competing are mainly the movement of their 

thumbs or fingers. Mouse and keyboard professional gaming requires the movement of all 

fingers and thumbs. But that's not to say that it is enough for it to be considered a sport. It isn't 

physical at all. Other reasons that suggest video games shouldn't be a sport is because just 

about anyone can learn how to become good at one, and it really doesn't take much to get 

started at it and eventually become good enough to be qualified as a good player (Gandara). All 

it really requires is two hands and fingers​ (Gandara)​. The reason the olympics IOC has a 

problem with it being an event is because they do not want to “promote violence” and “non 

discrimination”, and most of these Esports video games that are widely popular and played the 

most are the ones that would likely be in the olympics if given the chance (Peele). That's not 

what the olympics are about, therefore implementing these features in the event could have a 

negative impact. 

Another part of sports gaming can come from the competitive nature of the games. 

Sometimes, in tournaments players and fans can get really into what they do. Screaming 

crowds and tense players make the tournament room feel just that more alive. Similar to real 

sports, competitive gaming is hosted at large stadiums in big cities around the globe such as 

New York, Los Angeles, etc (Griffiths). For the most competitive gamers, this is a full time job. 

Team leaders need these professional players full time because very few in the world have their 

level of skill, thus making them a valuable asset to the team. Full time players turn professional 

gaming into a occupation rather than a hobby if they are paid like professionals. It is huge to 

consider professional gaming as a modern day job. Becoming a professional competitor isn't 

easy. It requires much skill and patience (Griffiths). The competitive nature of video games 

raises the question of addictiveness. Scientist continue to look into this, but according to a 2010 

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issue of the “International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction” many hours spent playing 

video games alone does not indicate an addiction (Griffiths). This clarifies that most 

professional video game players do not have an addiction, but rather a big passion for playing. 

Competitive video games are also seeing an “exponential growth” (Salinas). In today's time 

more than ever, video game marketing is huge, not just in sales, but advertising as well 

(Salinas).  

The advertising industry for video games and Esports have been booming in recent 

years. This has helped to promote Esports and streaming sites tremendously. An example of 

how big video games and marketing for them have become, go on to a google search bar and 

type “lol”. It will no longer show up “laughing out loud” but instead will be “League of Legends”, 

which is one of the most popular games in existence (Elder). The point that is being made here 

is that it is advertised just as much as normal sports, people just have to look in the right 

direction to see it. Approximately 300 million people watch Esports today. That number is 

estimated to be 500 million by the year 2020 (Elder). That's more people than the entire United 

States. Esports have gone global and it's only going to get bigger from here. It has the potential 

of becoming the next big sport if people embrace it.  

Another thing that video games have in common with real sports is the teamwork. Just 

like in football or baseball, most competitive video games require a team that the player can 

communicate and coordinate with (Melgar). Major video game teams such as Optic Gaming 

have coaches to guide their team to victory just like in a real sport. Strategy, communication and 

coordination are huge in competitive games. Team members are usually given a role to play for 

their team. It is possible that if this role is not played properly, it can throw off the team, causing 

them to lose. The saying “practice makes perfect” is essential here. Gamers invest so much of 

their time into becoming one of the best in the world. This falls into the same category as 

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having a functional team (Melgar). Just like making plays in football, professionals playing video 

games that require strategy have to be quick to react, communicate with others, coordinate, and 

know what they are doing to accomplish their goal.  

Still not convinced? Here are several more ways video games and sports are alike in 

ways that probably aren't thought of. Watching tournaments of video games makes it a serious 

spectating sport. Just like in football, baseball, golf etc, competitive video games is huge for 

spectators (Winston). Another way they are similar is the celebrity status that professionals 

achieve. Just like in every other major sport, teams have rosters, and on those rosters are 

players. If players are able to get on these rosters, they are very much on their way to fame and 

fortune. Some of these celebrities have had to take out a restraining order against stalkers 

(Winston). Corporate sponsorship and endorsements are also involved in the mix. Many big 

companies such as Coca-Cola have sponsored teams like Riot Games on League of Legends 

(Winston). Doping and match fixing are also apart of Esports now. The Electronic Sports League 

(ESL) is working with “the World Anti Doping Agency in conducting random drug screening to 

deter the use of performance enhancing drugs” (Winston). And there are many more ways that 

are not listed that competitive video games can be considered sports. 

In conclusion, video games and sports have many things alike and many differences. No 

matter if it's the intense action and crowd packed stadiums of people cheering for their favorite 

team, or the competition and teamwork that makes a team what it is, it has many things in 

common with real sports. Obviously, they can be very different and not function quite the same, 

but with enough evidence here to back up how fast Esports is growing and how thrilling it can 

be to watch your favorite team compete, it's hard to argue that video games are not becoming a 

sport. Although this essay has also established reasons that it should not be considered a sport, 

it is undeniable and possibly inevitable that video games are becoming a sport. Even if it may 

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take a while, I am confident that sometime in the near future, we will be introduced to a whole 

new world of competitive video game sports.  

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Works Cited

“Should Video Gaming Be Considered a Sport?” ​Debate.org,​


www.debate.org/opinions/should-video-gaming-be-considered-a-sport​.

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“Should Video Games Be Considered A Sport?” ​The Odyssey Online,​ 26 Jan. 2018,
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In this article, its showing what it could look like if gaming were to become an official sport. It
would be very competitive, and share some of the same actions as a real sport would.

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https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/in-excess/201512/psychology-and-comp

etitive-gaming​ EASY BIB WOULD NOT SITE 

https://repositories.lib.utexas.edu/handle/2152/22690 EASY BIB WOULD NOT SITE 

https://www.businessinsider.com/esports-market-growth-ready-for-mainstream-201

8-3-21 EASY BIB WOULD NOT SITE 

https://www.theodysseyonline.com/what-do-sports-and-competitive-gaming-have-in-

common​ EASY BIB WOULD NOT SITE 

https://www.funkykit.com/blogs/esports-vs-traditional-sports-7-shocking-similarities 

EASY BIB WOULD NOT SITE 

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