by Tanner Hamilton FEATURES EDITOR @HamiltonCrusade

by Tanner Hamilton
FEATURES EDITOR
@HamiltonCrusade

Video games have become a worldwide phenomenon, but has not exactly had a warm welcome in some communities, even in Bonita Vista High School. Despite the millions of fans and huge cash prizes, many people still do not acknowledge e-sports as a legitimate sport.

E-sports is defined as when the primary aspects of the competition are facilitated by video games. Many popular examples of this include League of Legends, Counter Strike, and Starcraft.

Similar to physical sports, e-sports have teams and well-organized tournaments that attract many viewers. According to Entertainment and Sports Programming Network (ESPN), 89 million people frequently watched e-sports in 2014, over 30 million more than it was in 2012. Not only is it growing in popularity, but the size of the tournaments are growing larger and larger as well. In League of Legends, players from over 70 countries competed for the grand prize of over 2 million dollars in 2015.

It is clear that e-sports is an increasingly prominent past time and competition throughout the world. However, there is still a large argument that it should not be addressed as a real sport. Even ESPN President John Skipper denied e-sports as an actual sport, despite having an entire section and thorough coverage of such competitions on their website.

Even at Bonita Vista High School, the e-sports club struggles to find recognition. The League of Legends school club team has been competing against other high school teams across the nation, but the club is not present on the school website, despite being registered by the ASB.

A large argument against e-sports is that they are not physically strenuous, and therefore should not be considered a sport. A sport is defined as an activity involving physical exertion and skill in which an individual or team competes against another for entertainment. Yet upon further analysis, this does not exactly justify certain popular sports and should not be a requirement for these types of competitions. Olympic sports such as golf or archery require much more mental and psychological conditioning than physical fitness. This is similar to e-sports in that many players devote long hours to mastering timing, strategy, and intellectual agility.
The fact of the matter is that e-sports is becoming a bigger industry with more players getting involved each day. The only way to go with the tide is to acknowledge e-sports as a legitimate sport.