Is eSports a real sport? The debate continues to rage on, but a report on the injury risk involved with eSports may finally get people to consider it as a real sport.
Despite the divide and people still not taking it seriously, eSports continues to grow, with the ranks of professional gamers expanding and video game companies pouring more support into it.
Even Some Gamers Don't Think eSports Is A Real Sport
While it is understandable for non-gamers to shrug off the idea of eSports as a real sport, apparently, a significant number of gamers also do so.
According to a survey by Peanut Labs, involving more than 1,000 eSports gamers and fans, only two out of five of them view eSports as a legitimate sport, and eSports gamers as legitimate athletes. That is a surprising find, considering the gaming community's massive support to eSports.
The study also revealed that most players of Riot's League of Legends dream to become professional gamers or streamers someday, with four out of five saying so.
Interestingly, the study found that female gamers actually watch more eSports than male gamers, with 65 percent of women respondents saying that they watch between one hour and four hours of eSports daily.
eSports Injury Risk For Collapsed Lungs
One of the main arguments in dismissing eSports as a real sport is that there is no physical activity involved in eSports matches. Players only sit in front of a console or a PC, which is far from what "real" athletes do in traditional sports.
However, just because they are sitting down does not mean that eSports gamers are not exposed to injury. And no, this is not about a sprained thumb from button mashing on controllers too hard.
According to an extensive report by Kotaku, spontaneous pneumothorax, or better known as a collapsed lung, is an injury that happens far more than most people would expect in eSports. In fact, six popular eSports players have suffered from the serious condition over the past seven years.
Spontaneous pneumothorax is a collapsed lung that happens suddenly, as opposed to one caused by a physical trauma. The injury can threaten a person's life if not treated immediately, though people with less serious cases could recover on their own.
Medical professionals could not confirm the correlation of collapsed lung to eSports, but recommended that gamers exercise proper breathing habits, eat nutritious diets, and overall practice a healthier lifestyle to decrease their risk of injury. That sounds like something that "real" athletes do.
Is eSports A Real Sport?
We then circle back to the debate: is eSports a real sport?
Facebook recently entered into a partnership with the ESL, formerly known as the Electronic Sports League, to broadcast eSports on the social media platform. Blizzard is also preparing to launch the Overwatch League, which already drew controversy after it was reported that the franchise fee for a team to participate is a whopping $20 million.
At the 2022 Asian Games, eSports will also be introduced as a medal event, opening up the possibility that eSports will be added to the Olympics.
Whatever the answer to the question may be, the support behind eSports could not be denied. Instead of trying to figure out whether it is a real sport, it would be better for gamers to simply enjoy eSports, or aspire to become part of it.