eSports Versus “Regular” Sports (What’s The Difference?)
In the 1800s, football became a sport. It was as simple as: “Okay, this is a cool idea. Let’s invite people to watch us play it.” Though a matter of taste, many flocked to games to witness the spectacle of grown men kicking a ball back and forth. This was in the depths of London, where the origins of sport as a profession culminated.
Soon crossing borders and oceans alike, professional sports became a commonplace facade in the United States…
Now, what’s the point of opening this post in such a boring, albeit, tasteless manner? It is because football, despite popular belief, was one of the first televised “hobbies” in American history. And as we watch eSports now on the rise, we have to take a moment of quiet reflection. In doing so, we can examine what took the gaming community so long to get here.
The Truth About eSports
The truth about eSports is rather boundless: the first tournament was hosted in 1972, where students at Stanford University banded together to compete in Spacewar. Then, in 1980, the Space Invaders Championship was hosted in the same school, where over 10,000 individuals had shown up to watch people play video games.
We seem to have this predisposition that eSports are something new when in reality the only thing “new” about them is based around communicative measures (i.e. live streaming and televised events) rather than the idea of eSports themselves.
In 1997, Quake was introduced as perhaps the first eSport in existence, where a structured tournament was provisioned. Said tournament had rewards for the winners and, of course, tremendous media attention. At the dawn of the Millennium, over a dozen tournaments (ranging in size from 2,000 people to 20,000) formed upon the creation of real-time strategy games such as Starcraft. And in 2016, eLeague hosted a televised event that spanned across 10 million TV screens.
In other words, eSports is nothing new. In fact, it can be insinuated that video games took less as long to reach tournament-level action than American past times such as football.
Think about it: football was formed in the 1800s but was not coordinated into an event format until 1930. Yet one of the first games even I cannot remember (due to age) was running the tournament circuit as early as 1972.
The truth is, eSports is something worth watching because it is very similar to sporting events. Football consists of similar rules than its counterparts: soccer and basketball. This is why they are worth watching, and perhaps only in small doses. Why else would each individual sport have a specific season? The same goes for eSports: different games are played to “mix up the fun.”
Players are expected to learn one game and become great at it; just like with football and basketball, and even soccer. In turn, eSports are nothing new. What do you think about this? Comment, Like, and Share by clicking any of the buttons below!