Video game competitions are known as e-sports, or electronic sports. In recent years, e-sports have become increasingly popular. Nearly 100 million people tuned in to watch the 2019 League of Legends World Championship. That’s more than three times the population of Texas!
As the field of e-sports grows, a debate has emerged about whether or not gaming is, in fact, a sport. Typically, a sport is defined as a physical activity that requires skill and is played by an individual or a team. Think of the stamina needed to run continuously during a soccer game, the coordination it takes to sink a layup, the strength and balance involved in a gymnast’s bar routine.
The skills required to play video games competitively aren’t so different. Gaming takes laser focus and the ability to stay calm under pressure. It also requires consistent practice to train fingers to move with precision and speed. And given that some competitions can last for hours, gamers certainly need stamina.
Some schools already call playing video games a sport. More than 100 colleges in the United States have e-sports teams. At Roosevelt University in Illinois, the e-sports team is part of the athletics department. The players attend practice four days a week and can get scholarships for being on the team, just like other college athletes. Organizers for the Olympics are even considering adding e-sports in the near future.