Esports, otherwise known as electronic sports, are growing more and more popular each year.
Esports, in essence, are competitive video games. People from all over the world come to these events or sit at home and enjoy a live stream of people playing their favorite video games at the highest skill level. Massive games like Overwatch and League of Legends have their own leagues of teams and player competing for money most times at massive stadiums. These teams are often bought by NFL, NBA or NHL team owners. Recently, the Overwatch league has added four new teams to their roster spanning from Vancouver, Canada to Guangzhou, China.
Esports are certainly on the rise with more and more viewers tuning in daily to watch live streams of the matches but a lot more than that is happening. Colleges like Utah University and the University of California are offering scholarships for competitive gaming and there's even a competitive gaming school in Shandong Province, China called Lanxiang Technical School. Gaming is now offered at 910 universities across China and in multiple places in Taiwan. Acceptance is starting to spread amongst the world in favor of this new found phenomenon.
We interviewed Todd about the possible inclusion of esports in C&C. He said that while the growing industry is interesting, he doesn’t classify it as a “sport.” He says that although gaming does take skill, he thinks part of job as sports director is “getting bodies moving.” He says that it would be interesting to see games being played but he thinks that as the director of sports, esports would not be his jurisdiction. He says although he would like to see a gaming team at C&C play other schools he thinks it isn’t realistic.
All of this is very telling of the public opinion of esports. While it’s a growing industry and garners the attention that any growing industry does, esports are still subjected to all the criticism that sports get. One example of the controversy of esports is the rumor that esports are set to be in the next Olympics.
Anonymous of the XIIIs asks why do people even watch Esports. Their rather dissenting opinions seem without reason considering they don’t play video games. Although they’re inexperienced they still has strong opinions. When shown esports they said it is very fast paced and impossible to follow. This raises a particular issue, if esports come into the public eye, but understanding of video games don’t, will esports rise above their current popularity?
Cade Stow of the XIII’s is a gamer himself and actually watches the Overwatch league which is a form of Esports. “Video games have evolved from their origins and now esports will be realized as real sports.” Cade says that he understands that esports are becoming a public matter and is excited for that.