I may be about to start an argument.
It’s been ages, but I remember posting something about eSports and the fact that people are beginning to view pro gamers as athletes. Of course this sparked a chaotic debate, and frankly, I don’t even remember what my opinion was on the matter.
But now with eSports escalating and becoming extremely popular, this is a subject that’s really starting to circulate. Should competitive gamers be considered athletes?
Call of Duty is having a massive tournament at the X-Games in Austin, a major feat which will accompany the several other extreme sports that have mesmerized people outside of the traditional sports events. It’s a fantastic step in terms of growing the presence of eSports, but it’s sparked quite a bit of controversy.
As someone who was raised with a background in sports, I find myself to be very torn. I’m a huge advocate of eSports. I enjoy viewing competitive games as a spectator and watching pro teams advance as reigning squads. I’ll even be covering Halo and Call of Duty games at Chattanooga’s local Iron Games event. However, I don’t view these gamers as athletes. At least in the traditional sense.
The games are competitive, yes. But I guess in terms of athleticism, it may be easier to classify it as more of a mental sport. Despite what people may say (particularly about games like Call of Duty), gaming on a competitive level requires a lot of brainstorming. There is a strategical way of thinking that can perfectly accompany the reflexes and response times.
Will MLG fit in well at the X-Games? Yes, because of the demographic that watches and follows the extreme sports events. But to classify this niche of video games as a sport seems a bit bizarre.
What do you guys think?