A New Type of Sport

Easton Elrod, Editor

E-Sports are a sub-genre of sports consisting of highly competitive video games. Games such as CS:GO, League of Legends, and even NBA2K are getting attention at the highest level of play by ESPN, Bleacher Report, and many other mainstream sports news outlets. But how did E-Sports get to where it is today, and where is it going?

Video games have had tournaments since their conception. One of the most notable of the early days would be the Nintendo World Championship in 1990. At that time, the prize for winning was a $10,000 bond. This included 3 games and overall was a decent event for the time.

As time went on, these tournaments got bigger. Counter-Strike had always been a competitive game and has now risen to be one of the biggest E-Sports to date. Various teams in the United States and Europe compete at various majors and other tournaments. Pro players are treated as celebrities to the community and show just how fierce the competition can be.

The term E-Sport comes from the fact that while these games take the same mentality as traditional sports, they lack the raw physicality. This doesn’t mean these pros don’t practice or work out; it’s just more towards technique.

Many sports franchises own E-Sports teams. 19 of the current 30 NBA teams own a NBA2K E-League team. This shows that this area is growing and is expected to become potentially as big as traditional sports.

You can even get scholarships for E-Sports. Today, more and more colleges are recognizing these competitive games as sports and offer E-sports programs at their schools.

ESPN has previously been very against E-Sports, but recently has completely switched gears. Now, if you are interested you can look on their website to see stats and other key bits of information.

While many traditional sports fans despise E-Sports, calling it “stupid”, “dumb”, and other bigoted terms, I passionately disagree. These athletes work hard to perfect their craft, just as traditional athletes have in the past. If poker can be a sport, then there’s no reason a game with immense amounts of skill and teamwork can’t.