January 27, 2023 - 6:02:37 am
Recognizing E-Sports as a Sport

By: Vonne Joseph Mallari / The Dominican Gazette

Sitting in front of a computer for hours at a time may not seem that acceptable to some people, especially when playing video games. Gamers are not easily acknowledged as athletes, because they do not demand themselves to carry out exercises just like an athlete would do. Instead, they are sometimes called geeks, people who are unfashionable or a socially inept person. In the past, video games were played for leisure, relaxation, fun, etc. Today, people play games to compete with many, climb up leaderboards, and be called the number 1 player.


Photo by Alex Haney on Unsplash

E-Sports has been around for quite a long time. The first-ever tournament for a game was in Los Angeles in the 1980s. About 10,000 people gathered with Atari 2600s, a video game console produced in 1977 by Atari, to compete for the Space Invaders Championships tournament. And it is now the most recognized first E-Sports event ever. The evolution of E-Sports is now known as competitive gaming. 

As technology progressively advances, games follow after. MOBA games were shortly developed, in 2009, Multiplayer Online Battle Arena. In late October, Riot released League of Legends. Two years later, they held a tournament. Called Dream Hack Summer in Sweden, the money price is over $100,000. In August of 2012, a “multiplayer first-person shooter” was developed by Valve and Hidden Path entertainment called Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, which is known today as CS: GO. It became the most famous shooter game to ever have an E-Sport tournament on its own a year later, CS: GO Mafyjor Championships on the 28th of November 2013. 

In the Philippines today, the leading E-Sport tournaments are mainly Mobile Legends: Bang Bang (MLBB), Call of Duty: Mobile, and Valorant. Some have even represented the Philippines in national-level tournaments, like the tournament for MLBB named M2 World Championships in Singapore last January 2021. Another franchise of the organization won a tournament in Valorant, called Southeast Asia Stage 3 Challengers and was destined to compete in Berlin for the Valorant Champions Tour 2021: Stage 3 Masters but unfortunately was disqualified with tightening travel restrictions due to Covid 19 developments. 

According to an article by Dr. Randy Kulman, the possibilities of turning into a fruitful expert gamer are very low. Current evaluations propose that 1 out of 10,000 gamers will come to the degree of procuring his essential pay as an expert gamer, lower than the chances of turning into an expert football player, which is 1 out of each 4500. Sports is an activity involving physical exertion and skill in which an individual or group goes up against one more or others for entertainment. By this definition, E-Sports are entirely sports. There is also the component of the competition; E-Sports fill arenas for entertainment. Even though gaming is not considered as a physical exertion sport, the hand-eye coordination of these players accounts for the competitiveness of the game. Other sports like pool or darts do not require physical exertion but use strategy in place of physical activities. Nevertheless, sports consist of many classifications, meaning E-Sports is not excluded from the sports category. Without a rigid definition, it's hard to say absolutely for sure. There will consistently be acceptable confidence contentions both for and against it.