What makes an athlete? Is it physical prowess, or brute strength? Is it the strategy of teamwork or the brilliance of solo sport? Is it still a sport if you ride a horse, a bike, a boat or a car?
What about using a computer?
Electronic sports, or esports, started out small but rapidly built up in popularity alongside the games that inspired them. Just as there are single martial artists, doubles tennis teams, and multiplayer football or baseball teams, esports appear in a variety of games and formats. Some of them, like Hearthstone, are games more comparable to chess because they are dependent on mental skills. Action-oriented games, such as League of Legends, Apex, or Overwatch, take a little more energy and alertness. As a result, esports have become taken as seriously as the competitive games most of us recognize.
Esports are action games, many of which are played in teams of 2 or more. There are myriad different types, but all require as much of the same dedication and athleticism as any other sport if one intends to play at more than a casual level. They are also games that require players to compete against one another – which players call PvP – or some sort of timer. They are generally defined as competitive multiplayer online games that can be spectated and are played professionally. Just as a group of friends might get together and have a pickup basketball game with another group in the park, many people play these games casually as well, but the top players can earn scholarships and sponsorships from online tournaments and sponsored events.
Some types of esports are:
Esports are considered athletics by a lot of unlikely sources, such as colleges and broadcasters. Sports magazines, especially online, are as likely to report on them as on more traditional sports.
With their continuous action, esports require many of the same physical attributes relied on by other athletes. Despite being computer games, they require hand-eye coordination, physical and mental endurance, and awareness of one’s entire field’s surroundings. They also require a great deal of dexterity, the ability to move flexibly, quickly, and efficiently. Good reflexes are a must.
Even when they’re sitting in a chair, a lot of esports gamers are getting workouts comparable to athletes, and professional gamers practice for hours a day, training as seriously as the most seasoned bodybuilder or gymnast. Auto racing is considered a sport for many of the same reasons, and the concentration required for martial arts or billiards is comparable to that required for esports.
For most esports, all you have to do is download the game and play. Every so often, there are game updates, which add new content or patches to the game. Reading about the different game options is a good idea if you want to take your gaming to the next level, but casual players can usually enjoy games for free or a small subscription fee.
Players who are good at esports, whether solo or team, can earn money or finance their education through these games. Cities around North America and the world have organized professional esports leagues, such as Overwatch League and several regional League of Legends Leagues. Miami is one of the cities that has its own League of Legends team, which competes with the teams of other cities around the country. This has become so prevalent that stadiums to show these sports are being built by cities in conjunction with games companies and esports organizations to give spectators a place to see their esports heroes live. The most well-known one is in Arlington, Texas, but they are being built all over to accommodate the demand spectators have for the games.
Streamers are also benefiting from esports, even when they’re not pros or on a team. Just as aficionados of traditional sports can become commentators who call the action, esports competitions have announcers and analysts on various streams. Lucky streamers with a lot of talent might even find themselves calling the official action, such as the Hearthstone Regional Championships or the League of Legends World Championship. Others can find themselves at esports events getting to try out the newest updates and tell the world about them. Solo players who’ve gotten skilled at music games, for example, sometimes find themselves performing beside their favorite bands, leading to possibilities outside of the game.
Amateur esports players aren’t left out of the earning potential. Pros and amateurs both, as well as commentators and solo players, can earn sponsorships from a huge variety of companies. Video games take a lot of components to play, and every hardware company in the world wants you to use their processor, their graphics card, their mouse, their headset, even their apps. Developers of new esports games want their games played. As a result, money isn’t the only way to earn from esports. Getting to test or own cutting-edge software is common, and specialized accessories for many games are sent out to well-known players and commentators to get some free publicity.
Esports have become so popular and accepted that colleges are now assembling esports teams in various games. Several major colleges offer scholarships for esports and participate in varsity esports tournaments with prizes ranging from tuition money to cash to gear. These are not small specialty colleges, either: state colleges in Georgia, California, Utah, South Carolina, and Kentucky all have varsity programs. They emphasize teamwork, problem solving, and the role of technology and games in today’s world as part of a broader experience beyond the fun and competition.
If playing esports professionally were so easy, everyone would do it. No one should go in with the expectation that they can get paid to play, earn a scholarship, or find sponsors. However, esports are considered sports for a reason: they offer many of the same benefits as traditional sports, even when played casually.
Most esport games are free, and only require fast, reliable Internet for players to join in. Finding the best Internet in your area isn’t a game, but it is just as simple. With just your zip code, our comparison site can tell you who provides service in your area and what their plans cost. Whether you’re a competitive World of Warcraft raider, a sponsored Hearthstone player, on your school’s Rocket League team or simply a casual League of Legends player, you want to play your best, and that means having the best Internet service you can get!