I don’t need to tell you how massive the numbers behind the esports industry have become, but what are the reasons people reject esports? We have all seen the crazy graphs have been thrown around everybody’s LinkedIn and click bait articles. I do think that people will be able to accept esports as a legitimate for of entertainment. However, I still do not think people have accepted esports at this point in time. I have put together the Top 3 reasons people reject esports article to try and debunk some of the negative arguments out there.
Before working for Esports One, my life/passion/career was all in traditional sports. I majored in Sport Management and had a great start to my career as I worked within the NFL, MLB, and NBA. In 2014, my brother introduced me to esports, and my initial reaction was disgust that he used a form of the word ‘sports’ to reference a video game. But then after learning more about esports, I was fully bought in. And now here I am… Five years later and have been working in esports the whole time.
For me, it was the realization of a couple of aspects linking traditional sports and esports, which resulted in me having an epiphany about competitive scenes as a whole. I believe that the realization of these principles would help others fully accept the competitive esports industry too.
The Reasons People Reject Esports:
1. Less Skill than Traditional Sports
“They are just pushing buttons on a keyboard and clicking a mouse… I could do that.”
Yes, yes, you can do that. You can also throw a baseball 90 feet, catch a football and kick a soccer ball, but I don’t hear you shaming Christiano Ronaldo.
One of the significant aspects of sports is that they are replicable by the general public. I can go to a gym, chuck up a step-back jumper, and pretend to be James Harden.
However, the BEST part of sports is that the professionals you are watching can take those basic motions and perform them in ways that you will never be able to. I like watching Giannis Antetokounmpo drive the lane because nobody can do it the way he does. I enjoy watching Gerrit Cole pitch because I can’t ever throw 95+ mph. I love watching Faker play Zed because he pulls off moves and mechanics that I didn’t even know were possible.
Yes, just like in pro sports, there is a lot of skill involved in esports, which doesn’t even factor in its mental aspect. Don’t discount them just because they are seated.
2. Players Don't even get Injured
The most important part of traditional sports is NOT that they involve people running into each other… The most important aspect of sports is the competitive nature of it. Sports are best when comprised of people who are among the most talented in the world at their craft (whether Overwatch or Baseball), battling it out, knowing that only one side can win. And with that win comes glory, money, and life-changing achievements.
We don’t need to see people getting injured to feel like it’s a competitive sport. It seems as if people don’t respect esports players because they aren’t out there risking their lives for the fans’ pleasure. Even if that were the case, have you watched baseball? Batters will not even jog to 1st base because they want to avoid getting hurt.
Not all competitive scenes or activities are the same, nor would we want it that way. However, at their core, all sports and esports revolve around the same thing; Competition.
3. How can a Sport be Played on a Computer?
Don’t get me wrong; I love a good ‘lives in his mom’s basement’ joke, but society is always progressing, so why can’t the definition of sport?
It is the year 2020; everybody has a computer in their pocket, we pay rent with Venmo instead of cash and Fortnite is as large of a phase for kids as puberty is. With everybody getting behind the push to tech, why is it that they are opposed to a competitive scene as large as sports growing within the space as well?
The video game industry has evolved an incredible amount of the years. Games are more social and competitive than ever, with each being able to reach across the globe. These players who reach the top tier of competitive play didn’t just beat a few buddies at a sleepover and decide to go pro. Similar to the emotion you see when a college player gets drafted, they achieved a goal they have been fighting for and working towards for years.
Over 80 million people played League of Legends last month. There are less than 100 people in America’s top professional league (LCS)… Do the math; these players didn’t just walk into this.
I hope that these principles help you accept the competitive landscape of esports, and even help to enrich your passion for traditional sports. Despite what people make you believe… you can like both after all.