Are Video Games Considered as a Sport in 2020?

Playing video games might look like you are just sitting in front of a screen and pressing some buttons. 

And this observation makes a lot of people argue that video games should not be considered a sport.

However, there are actually more than just sitting and pressing buttons that make video games a legitimate sport.

I firmly believe video games should be considered a sport because there are many aspects to video games that match what the general public traditionally label as a sport.

Let me share my reasoning on this question with you.

Are Video Games Considered Sport?

The question of whether video games are a true sport has been a long debated topic for many years. 

With the rise in popularity of esports, more people are taking notice to the fact that video games can require just as much skill as any other sport.

First of all, I would like to begin with a definition of what a sport is.

According to the Oxford dictionary, a sport is An activity involving physical exertion and skill in which an individual or team competes against another or others for entertainment. 

Meanwhile, the Cambridge dictionary states that a sport is a game, competition, or activity needing physical effort and skill that is played or done according to rules, for enjoyment, and/or as a job.

If you’re someone who plays video games a lot, just by reading the definition of the word sport, you can conclude easily that video games should be considered a sport.

Firstly, many video games involve the use of skill and strategy, which requires a certain amount of mental exertion.

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Many video games, such as first-person shooters and sports games, require dedication and have a certain amount of physical exertion. 

While other games, such as role-playing games, require players to use their minds and mental skills. 

Like how people thought that chess is just a game, after years of practice and dedication became an Olympic Sport that is recognized by the International Olympic Committee in 1999.

Playing video games also requires some form of physical activity, even if it is just sitting in a chair and playing a video game. 

The player must have an adequate amount of physical ability to play the game, such as quick reflexes or the ability to press certain buttons at a fast pace.

Secondly, many video games are played in a competitive manner against other people. 

There are many different types of video games that could be considered a sport because they are played competitively.

First-person shooters games such as Fortnite and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive are very popular online and have online leagues where people compete against each other. 

Other types of games, such as racing games or sports games like FIFA, also have an online following and have tournaments that people participate in.

DOTA 2, a Multiplayer Online Battle Arena video games, is very popular because it is played competitively worldwide and known to have the largest prize money in the video games industry at a whopping $34 Million.

are video games considered a sport?

Esports, as an industry itself, is a huge industry that will only get bigger and bigger in the future. 

Large, traditional sports team like football clubs are now building their own esports team to compete in the video games industry.

For example, Paris Saint-German, one of the top football club in the world now have PSG Esports, the club Esports department that is founded to compete in various video games competition around the world.

Not only the sports club but competitive sports league around the world also launched a video game competition in the past couple of years.

English Premier League, the highest-ranked football division in England, launched ePremier League back in 2019 where FIFA video games players in the region can compete professionally to win titles and prize money.

These professional players lead me to my third reason of why Video Games should be considered a sport.

Just like any other sports that are played competitively, there are also professional athletes that compete within the video games and Esports industry.

These professional esports athletes also have coaches, practices daily, and participate in tournaments and competition around the world against other teams of players.

Sounds like a regular athlete from typical sports, right?

I remember how people have dreams of becoming professional football or basketball players in the past. 

These days more and more people are dreaming of becoming professional gamers. 

In some video games such as Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, some professional players make their living by just playing this game.

However, to be a professional player, one must have specific skills to outplay and outsmart their opponents. 

These skills include but are not limited to: 

  • Finger Speed: The speed at which you can move your mouse to look around and aim. 
  • Reflexes: The speed at which you can react to a situation. 
  • Strategy: Having a plan before a match and changing it according to what is happening during the game.

Heck, even school and college nowadays, are offering Esports programs to all these video game players.

In 2020, some of these professional athletes in the video games industry even make more money than NBA players or any other athlete from typical sports.

What Makes a Game a Sport?

I know not all kind of video games can be considered as a sport.

Some games, like Role-playing games, are played because you just enjoy the storytelling and arts within the games.

But, since now we know the definition of sports from two of the most well-known dictionary in the world, it is easy to decide what video games make a sport.

Video games are meant to be fun, and that is why people play them initially. 

But when does a fun activity like video games become a sport? Is it when you play it in an organized way with rules? Is it when you get paid to do it? Is it when you get a bunch of spectators watching you?

I think the answer is all of the above. 

A game can be considered a sport when you play it in an organized way competitively with rules applied in it.

Final Thoughts

To conclude, should we consider video games as a sport?

In my humblest opinion, yes, we should.

Video games should be considered a sport because it is an activity that requires some kind of physical exertion and skills, played in competitive manners, and governed by rules and regulations. 

While it may not be as physical as other sports, video games’ mental aspect can be just as challenging and requires just as much dedication and skill. 

Based on these reasons, video games should be considered a legitimate sport.

Perhaps one day, we will even see video games in the Olympics.

Thank you for your time listening to my personal thoughts. Talk to you again soon!

About the Author
Hi, I'm Steve. I'm a proud gamer. I have been active within the gaming sphere for 30+ years. As gaming is something I enjoy very much, I want other people to enjoy it also. That is exactly why I started this blog.

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