Thursday, February 22, 2018

The Bi-weekly Gamer: What is a sport? (part two)

March 2, 2016 by Adam Boyle, contributing writer

Following up on last issue’s topic, this article will continue examining what exactly can be considered a sport nowadays.

Anyone who watches professional League of Legends (LoL) will be well aware of a new team called Echo Fox. Originally known as Gravity, the team was bought by three-time NBA champion Rick Fox back in December. Fox sees e-sports as a huge investment; he has said that in a couple of years he expects it to be a $2-billion industry. Fox also sees e-sports as a mirror to his own professional sport environment, with players, staff, and branding.

The Bi-weekly Gamer is a column about competitive gaming that appears in every issue of Nexus.

The Bi-weekly Gamer is a column about competitive gaming that appears in every issue of Nexus.

Gordon Hayward of the Utah Jazz is also a LoL player. Well known for openly calling out NBA stars on his blog and challenging LeBron James to a fight, Hayward has spoken a few times on how communication is important in both LoL and the NBA. He also states that people need to “be patient” and that he sees e-sports’ rise stifled by the older generation’s view of gaming and the stereotype around it.

Last on the list, popular sports studio ESPN opened an e-sports branch just this past month.

ESPN was subject to controversy last year when they aired the finals of Heroes of the Storm on live TV. As a result, Twitter completely blew up with backlash about how ESPN shouldn’t be showing “nerds” playing a video game. The best part for gamers was that all this squabble helped boost the viewership through the roof and showed the studio that gaming can be televised.

It will take a few years, but e-sports will become mainstream and also become one of the world’s most watched sports. It may not be completely accepted now, but given the room and the chance to grow, people will accept it and, eventually, grow to love it.

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