Should esports be considered a sport?

E-sport is described as a competitive video game. E-sports originates from western countries and is quickly gaining popularity in Africa due to the advancement of technology. Bookies have also attributed to its popularity.

The majority of bookies in Africa have made it available on their platform. But should e-sports be considered a sport?

The world of sports is undecided if e-sports should be considered a sport. The debate to include e-sports on an Olympic program is still on the table. Nonetheless, in July 2018, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) ruled that e-sports would not participate in the 2024 Olympics. The committee felt e-sports did not meet the value required based on Olympics sports criteria.

African gamblers should not expect e-sports to be included in the Olympics any time before 2024.
According to their argument, sports in the Olympics are value-based. Athletes work for many years to be physically and mentally fit to be a professional athlete to participate in Olympic games. On the other hand, e-sports is financially driven. Besides E-sports athletes drive their energy on mental skills other than physical skills. Little energy is used during gaming and e-sports athletes do not require years of training, unlike traditional classed athletes.

E-sports enthusiasts not only in Africa but also in the rest of the world, believe e-sport is entertaining thrilling, and art like any other sports. E-sports fans argue that if people can sit and watch ‘real’ sports, they too can sit and watch e-sports tournaments. Watching a game of football, rugby or chess is not different from watching an e-sports tournament. Therefore, e-sports should be considered a sport.
Apart from the differences, e-sports and ‘real’ sports have similarities. Players participating in either e-sports or ‘real’ sports invest on time to become a pro athlete. E-sports players dedicate almost 10-15 hours a day on the screen to master the game and to perfect their skills on all stages of the video game. Training can be intense and most players at times focus on their physical being. E-sports players experience emotional distress as much as traditional athletes experience. They both have to experience emotional and physical overwhelmedness in order to perfect their skills.

African punters should know that e-sports is very competitive as traditional classed sports. E-sports players train as hard as traditional classed athletes. Physical sports and mental sports have a similar goal, to compete against the best players on an international stage. E-sports players dedicate their time in practice to become a pro gamer. They work hard with passion to improve their motor skills and mental skills. Gamers show the commitment to win like any other athlete during practice.

The level of skills of an e-sport athlete is unmatched. Aspiring E-sports athletes in Africa should know e-sports requires coordinating your motor skills and mental skills at the same time. During a game, e-sports athletes will coordinate both hands- one on the mouse and the other at the keyboard. The mind is also a huge contributor during a game; a player needs to make a quick decision and implement them quickly to compete successfully.

Additionally, there is an intense eye movement that focuses on the game on the screen. The player is always in constant communication with their teammates and their coaches. Looking at the bigger picture as an African punter you will notice that e-sports has its coaches, trainers, commenters during tournaments just like ‘real’ sports. Some players take it as a career and retire as professional gamers.

E-sports have different leagues that battle out in tournaments. Different tournaments have rules and different games depending on the sportsbooks and sponsors.

Despite the similarities and differences, African Punters can still attend e-sports events, watch and place a bet. They can also go to betting shops and parlors to watch and bet or enjoy the comfort of their own home and place a bet using their smartphones.

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