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Should Esports Be Considered a Sport?

Gaming is nothing new, but esports itself is gaining more and more traction over the past few years. Following a few political conversations, I was thinking to myself about esports and its current state in the world. Should esports be considered a sport?

I am using this article to share my thoughts about that matter with you. I am not basing this article money involved in the industry, prizes, sponsorships or audience sizes. Let me first share some of my ideas, some facts and then, let’s decide together if esports is a sport or not.


Let us begin with the actual term “sport” and find out where it comes from and what it actually means. Like many other terms, we use today, “sport,” as it is used in the English language, has been derived from Old French. The original word was “desport” and could be roughly translated into the English term “leisure,” describing anything and everything that one could find entertaining.

Does that apply to esports? Yes.

Esports Gamecasters Moderators Commentary Young Group Men Gaming Event Tournament
Group of young professionals commenting on an esports match


As per Merriam-Webster, the definition of the noun “sport” is, next to others, a “physical activity engaged in for pleasure” as well as “a particular activity (such as an athletic game) so engaged in.” I would not say that esports and gaming is exclusively a physical sport but also a mental sport, so either way, I feel that the definition of sport is not conflicting with what we know as esports.

Does that apply to esports? Yes.

The Global Association of International Sports, formerly known as SportAccord, uses the following criteria to define whether or not an activity is a sport. They say that a sport should have an element of competition, be in no way harmful to any living creature, not rely on equipment that comes from a single provider or company, and not rely on elements of luck for the game/match to be decided.

Does that apply to esports? Yes.

Esports Audience Crowd Community Spectators LGD Fans Gaming Sports Games
Esports is also growing as a spectator sport

Inclusion and sportsmanship

A sport should be fair and not allow for cheating, doping (drug abuse), nor encourage the audience to behave violently. A sport should welcome practitioners and audience from all demographics, including all age groups, genders, and of course include people with handicaps.

Does that apply to esports? Yes.

But is it not just gaming?

Esports is gaming, but with a competitive motivation and the idea of improving through practice. You can also kick a ball around for fun with your friends in the park without it becoming a sport and without you being an aspiring football player. Esports requires less physical practice than football but more than chess, which is a sport. For me, esports is right in the middle of being a physical sport and a mental sport.

It’s also worth to point out that car racing is considered a motorized sport and that show jumping is regarded as an equestrian sport, which is part of the group of primarily animal-supported sports. So one cannot rule out esports for being a sport, just because they are using computers and consoles to compete with each other.

Does that apply to esports? Yes.


So what do you think? Should esports be considered as a sport? Practicing esports and gaming, in general, has a lot of positive side-effects. For instance, it can be very social. You also learn how to collaborate and work with others in a team. Which is, by the way, imperative to finding and keeping a job. You learn how to solve problems. If you’re not a native English speaker, it’s also a good way of improving your skills to speak English, when communicating with players from outside of your country on the Internet.

Practicing esports helps young people to deal with the effects of losing just as much as winning. I think there are many layers and aspects to this subject but based on definitions and facts, I would agree that esports should be considered as sports. I am looking forward to reading your comments and thoughts about this matter below in the comments. Thanks for reading!

Photo credit: The feature image and the image showing esports audience has been taken by Clément Cellier for PSG eSports. The image “eSports Kommentatoren Team beim Arena of Valor Turnier auf der Gamescom 2018“ has been taken by Marco Verch.

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Christopher Isakhttps://techacute.com
Hi there and thanks for reading my article! I'm Chris the founder of TechAcute. I write about technology news and share experiences from my life in the enterprise world. Drop by on Twitter and say 'hi' sometime. ;)