There’s a lot of controversy surrounding whether Electronic sports, or E-sports, as it’s called, should be considered a sport. Competitive video gaming has seen immense growth in the past 10 years, as technology has allowed companies to make better and more immersive games.
The platform for E-Sports has grown like crazy – E-sports events have more viewers than the NBA Finals, and the numbers are closing in on the famous NFL Super Bowl. In 2011, E-Sports and game streaming start-ups alone have raised up to 714 million USD. During the Starcraft finals back in 2011, the viewership was stunning as it had up to 3.5 million people watching around the globe. Since then, the viewership of E-Sports has risen more than 300% to a stunning 11.7 million people watching the recent Pro Circuit Championship in 2012. The prize pool for these events can go up to the hundreds of millions of dollars.
Some parents who once discouraged their kids from playing video games now see the potential they have for earning higher salaries than professional athletes by playing video games as their job.
So, is gaming a real sport? I think so. It requires strategy and critical thinking, and also a lot of stamina, just like sports. E-Sports athletes often retire by the age of 30-35. It’s demanding. For those of you who disagree, I would like to formally welcome you to the digital age.