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The Contender
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3 Points

Esports should be officially considered as a sport

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/11/2015 Category: Sports
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,168 times Debate No: 83793
Debate Rounds (3)
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Votes (1)




What is a sport? According to many resources (listed below), qualifications of a "sport" includes:

1. An element of competition
2. Requiring physical and mental concentration and exertion (Athletic and mental ability)
3. Should not rely on factors of luck, almost all skill
4. There has to be some form of strategy, not relied on pure strength

League of Legends and Counter Strike Global Offensive are two examples of popular, competitive esports. Both games implement a competitve scene with rows of bleachers for faithful fans, hardworking teammates, and two teams fighting for victory. In League of Legends, two teams aim to destroy each other's "nexus", a large crystal much like a base. For CSGO, Terrorists plant a bomb and defend it, while the opposition aspires to defuse it.

Although video games do not require physical capability (the main arguement against esports), the amount of decision making, mouse and keyboard coordination, focus on the game, and prediction is a huge factor. Also, I believe this is the most faded rule listed. Chess, a game that most people consider a sport due to its competition, strategy, and cognition, does not involve physical exertion, much like League and Counter Strike. In fact, chess is a remarkably close cousin tp these two video games, sharing multiple properties, even the elo system to rank players.

When one examines the vast ocean of sports, he will see skill in every game. Professional basketball, football, baseball players and many more dedicate hours upon hours on their sport, refining their skill. If sports were based on luck, why would they practice? Like Adrian Petersen, Stephen Curry, or Alex Rodriguez, professional players from esports spend most of their day parcticing their mechanics. Professional League player Yi Liang Peng from TSM spends most of his hours playing LoL at his team's gaming house.

Esports outrank and sport in terms of strategy. Why do people enjoy video games? It is because one can do unlimited things behind a screen, unable to accomplish in real life. Because of this, the strategy, communication, and synergy of one team can decide a win or loss. Afterall, video games are designed to give an equal opportunity for each player to outplay each other.

Esports like League of Legends and CSGO fit almost all expectations and qualifications of becoming a sport. The competition between teams is just as concentrated as other classic sports, the mental focus on the game is great, there is no luck involved due to damages being an exact number, rather than a dice roll, and Esports are the kings of strategy and playstyle.



I will argue that e-sports should not be officially considered a sport. First of all, I would just like to remind everyone that this debate does not reflect my personal stance on the matter since I am quite a gamer myself albeit not a professional one. Secondly, I will be arguing that it should not be considered a sport "NOW", as in today or within this next year. I cannot say that it shouldn't be considered a sport in the next 100 years perhaps because so many things in the world would have changed by then. Since my opponent did not set any premises as to when it should be considered a sport, I think my premise is fair and should be allowed to stand.


My opponent enlists 4 qualifications of a sport which he says is backed by numerous resources. Fair enough although he has failed to produce these sources, something I urge voters to take note. But I guess it's not such a big deal. Let us look at the definition provided by Google(actually provided by Google, not searched through Google)

Sport: an activity involving physical exertion and skill in which an individual or team competes against another or others for entertainment

This definition seems to go well with my opponent's own criteria for a competition, so we agree on the definition.

Moving on to rebuttals.

My opponent starts of with describing how LoL and COGO are extremely popular, extremely competitive, require teamwork etc. I would just like to point out that just because something is popular, competitive and utilizes teamwork, this does not mean it has to be considered a sport. More of this later.

My opponent then says that video games require a lot of decision-making, coordination, focus, basically all the good things we learn through conventional sports like football or baseball etc. Again, I will point out that just because something requires decision-making, coordination and so on does not qualify it to be a sport automatically.

Now, my opponent admits that video games do not require physical capability. In his criteria #2, he has clearly outlined that a sport should require physical AND mental concentration and exertion. This is simply a blatant contradiction in his arguments. He cites chess, a game that most people consider a sport which does not require physical exertion. I would argue that chess is mostly considered to NOT be a sport. It's put into the subset of "mind games" at most. Chess is not featured in the Olympics. They have their own organisation which I believe is the World Chess Federation and they organise world tournaments, olympiads etc., but no, for the most part, they are not featured alongside football, or sprinting or the other traditional sports and track and field events in the big sport events like Olympics, Commonwealth Games, Asian Games etc. etc.

My opponent makes good mention that video games utilise the same ranking system as chess. I do hope he realizes that so many sports and games utilize said ranking and pairing system. The pairing system, Swiss is an age-old format which is used in so many events. Just because something utilizes the same ranking system is a pretty weak argument I think.

Earlier I said that just because something teaches you to be to be competitive, to have teamwork, to be focused does not make it a sport. Why do I say this? Firstly, I think we can all agree that almost every single game in this world across any generation teaches these values especially to kids when they are growing up. Every single card game, board game, party game features an element of focus, of strategic planning, of negotiation, you name it. Heck, some of the best board games out there really require you to team up with your players to beat the game. I am quite the board-gamer so I know. I would cite the board game Pandemic or the game Settlers of Catan. In fact, these games are so popular that they also have their own Regional Championships leading up to World Championships. The only reason they are not so famous is because they don't get as much sponsors probably because they want to keep the game as it is: fun, casual and to stay away from becoming a profesional entity.

Don't just stop at board and card games. What about role-playing games, debates, public speaking, mock role-playing which require people to assume roles and negotiate their way out of situations. All of these teach valuable skills too. By my opponents' argument of how a sport should teach and promote values, he would, therefore make all these activities sports too. And these stuff are not just games for high school and university students. Companies spend a lot of money on workshops which utilize games like these to train their staff on valuable real-life skills.

My opponent makes a good point when he says professional video gamers spend a lot of time so this means that real skill is required and not just mere luck. I would argue that students spend so much time studying. Exams should also be considered a sport. You have to sit down for three hours answered problem-solving questions, before the exam you really have to team up and discuss questions and strategy, you spend a lot of time memorizing and getting things wrong and fixing stuff. This is especially so for engineering, law and medicine students.

At the end of the day, everything my opponent said about video games is present in so many other stuff we do in our day to day lives. By his logic, we would have to introduce probably hundreds of other sports.

Now, I will argue why E-sports should not be considered a sport. E-sports does not fit our traditional views of sport. You don't go out. You don't sweat. You don't spend time in the sun. For a sport to be a sport, like it or not, it has to fit our traditional views of sports as sweaty, physical, strategic games. That's how it is. As I have said at the start, the premise I have set is whether e-sport should be considered a sport "NOW" or at least in this next year or so. Yes, you can argue as you have already done how e-sports are just as good as other sports and I believe I have rebutted you sufficiently. However, the last fact is that e-sports does not require you to get off the couch so to speak. If the majority of e-sports require you to dance it off or throw a simulated soccer ball for example then the world would probably be kinder to pass it as a sport.

I will give you an example of another activity which is not considered a sport until recently. The game floorball. Only recently did ASEAN finally allow it to be included in the ASEAN Games. Floorball is very much a physical and team game. It was hard for the community to accept it as a sport because the majority of people did not know it to even exist.

I guess the conclusion I am making is that a sport has to fit the traditional views of what a sport is. I don't like it, You don't like it either. But that's how it is. But the thing is you don't need it ti be considered a sport to enjoy it. Thousands of people participate in Pokemon TCG and VGC every year with big price pools too. They accept that it is not a sport. It is a GAME. But it's a great game nevertheless.
Debate Round No. 1


Is chess a sport? Most say it is. Does it sweat? Does it go out? Hockey does not require to be outdoors either or spend time in the sun. If those were required to become a sport half of the major sports would be eliminated like basketball or badminton. Also, many gaming tournaments are held outside. Video games represent things we do every day? No way! In your everyday lives, very few jobs require the mouse control or reflexes video games need. If chess, the 1500 year old game, developed over centuries is not a "traditional sport", than what is? Besides, in the modern era, a lot of tradition is dead. Christmas is no longer a celebration of Christ, but it is more of a time to spend with friends and family.

Also, you pointed out that esports do not have mental exertion, and due to one wrong reason, esports are disqualified. Is wrestling a sport? Is boxing a sport? Both named do not require strategy, or minimal strategy. If minimal strategy, AKA throwing punches at each other's face is enough to qualify, the wrist movement from the mouse or buttons is enough to deem it as physical exertion.

Also, if you want sources:


Okay, I will rebut what my opponent has said in Round 2. My main problem with my opponent is that he seemed to not have read what I wrote. On multiple occasions, I find myself having to think for a long time what he means before concluding that he must have not read properly. I urge voters to take note of this. Anyhow, allow me to explain.

My opponent starts off with questioning is chess a sport? Dude. I just said in Round 1 that chess for the most part, is not considered a sport. Did he not read this? Perhaps he just skimmed through...

Then he says that hockey does not require you to go out. Yeah, but you definitely sweat right? I never said that it is a requirement of a sport that you must be outdoors. I said that sports have to fit our traditional views and a big part of these views are almost always that you have to go out and/or sweat. I never said that it was a strict REQUIREMENT.

Then he said "video games represent things we do every day? No way! In your everyday lived, very few jobs require mouse control etc". Okay firstly, even if I did say that, what would be the significance of that? So what? I never said anything about how a video game should or should not represent something you do every day. The most I said was that any game teaches you important skills you can implement every day like perseverance, strategic thinking etc.

And then yet again, my opponent accused me of saying that since esports does not have mental exertion it is disqualified as a sport. I am TOTALLY SPEECHLESS. WHEN DID I SAY THAT? I said that esports do not contain PHYSICAL exertion.

Things like this make me feel extremely discouraged of debating with my opponent who doesn't seem to be able to read very well. I am sorry I am being somewhat rude but you can imagine how I feel when it seems my opponent doesnt even bother to read what I said and quoted stuff which I did not say and in some cases exactly opposite to what I said!
Debate Round No. 2


Equality_7-2521 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
No comments have been posted on this debate.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Jonbonbon 2 years ago
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro blatantly missed the argument where con said that it must require physical exertion, and pushing buttons isn't really physicist exertion. Pro says that throwing a punch takes just as much work, even though that's not even close to true considering the sport he's referencing (hockey).... Wait sorry (boxing).... Plus he forfeited the last round, meaning he conceded the debate, so the rest of that was basically unnecessary, but yeah. That's it.