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Should video gaming be considered a real sport and taken more seriously

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/29/2017 Category: Sports
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Debating Period
Viewed: 954 times Debate No: 103334
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First, let's define sports.

According to, the meaning of sports is "an athletic activity requiring skill or physical prowess and often of a competitive nature, as racing, baseball, tennis, golf, bowling, wrestling, boxing, hunting, fishing, etc."

While playing video games might not require as much physical prowess, it is very competitive. Example 1: In CS:GO, competitive players will compete in tournaments for as much as up to 1 Million USD such as in the most recent PGL major Krakow.

You might say that video games require "little or no skills", or are "button mashing".
I cannot agree less, but what you said are general misconceptions of video gaming.

For your first point, let's define skill. Skill, according to, is "the ability, coming from one's knowledge, practice, aptitude, etc., to do something well". Skill is a major factor in these games of competitive nature, such as the world renown League of Legends, or the previously mentioned CS:GO. Both games requires a high level of skill to perform well in either competitive matches or casual matches.

League of Legends will require the players to understand the usage of certain abilities of characters to gain an edge over the opposing. There are also items which can be bought and will give an advantage for you, but since you have only 6 slots, you have to optimize your items. These are just the bare minimum you will need to know to play the game, but there are much more to the eye than the tip of the iceberg.

In CS:GO, there are many spots that can be used to smoke off areas and be advantageous to your site-taking or hostage extraction. The ability to aim well is also a major factor to eliminate the enemy so that you win. Being able to predict what the enemy will buy or know what to buy on the start of the round is also a major factor to gaining an edge over the enemy.

To summarize this, I have listed why video gaming fits the definition of sports and should be a sport.


So, it looks like, with the definition, we've been given some criteria as to what a sport is. It does match up to quite a lot of the criteria such as being competitive and I definitely agree that it requires skill. However, we're still left with the athletic aspect to it. You can take pretty much any sport and see where athleticism comes in. E.g. in rugby there's a lot of running about.

But let's take a look into the actual definition of Athleticism: "The physical qualities that are characteristics of athletes, such as strength, fitness and agility." So to tick the final box of a sport having athleticism in it, it must require strength, fitness or agility. And in video gaming there isn't a single one of these (unless we're talking about the Wii).

And (I hate to point out the obvious) sportsmen have the right to be called an Athlete. And a person who plays video games, no matter what standard they play it at, most certainly shouldn't be called athletes. Especially when athletes are generally the type of people who will run marathons, be extremely strong etc.

So while I completely agree that video gaming does require skill and is very competitive, it still doesn't have the athleticism or physical aspect. And to me (and I'm sure to many other people) that is the icing of the cake to having the right of being a sport. I believe video games definitely have the right to be called an E-Sport but not an actual Sport.
Debate Round No. 1


You have mentioned above that to determine whether an activity involves athleticism, we should check if it requires strength, fitness or agility. I hate to point out that agility does not only include physical agility, but also mental agility, which video gaming much requires. Apart from physical agility, intellectual agility is also not to be ignored. Being able to think, react and understand fast is basically video gaming 101.

In order to win a game, the player should think of a strategy to accomplish their own objective, understand and react to the enemy's strategy. This is very similar to many sports, such as boxing or rugby (which both in your point of view, is definitely a kind of sport), from which the athletes need to respond to the competitors' strategy, to develop their own strategy in response to the opponents' weaknesses and strengths and defeat them. The difference between them is that one requires physical strength and agility, while the other one requires mental strength and agility. With that in mind, video gamers are no different from other athletes.

Common athletes, such as sprinters, also have many characteristics in common with video gamers. Well known athletes, such as Michael Phelps and Usain Bolt are not only respected for their physical strengths, but also for their endurance and determination.

In proper competitive gaming, such as Overwatch World Cup 2017, video gamers will have to compete in multiple rounds or hours, with the longest video game match being at 3:20:34 , which is unlike the other Olympics events, which only takes 2 to 3 rounds of playing to determine the winner. To make a fair comparison, playing video games is no sprinting nor swimming, it is actually more like running a marathon. Video gaming is a very mentally exhausting activity, which perfectly demonstrates the endurance and determination of video gamers, i.e. their sportsmanship. With this much in common, shouldn't we start to respect them just like how we respect professional athletes?

In addition, the definition of Esports according to the Wikipedia, is "a form of competition that is facilitated by electronic systems, particularly video games". Other sports are all facilitated by different equipment, such as weight lifting, which is facilitated by the dumbbells. As mentioned in my first passage, video gaming's competitive nature and requirement of skills has already made it a proper sport.

Finally, I sincerely invite you to watch a match of competitive video game, such as the recent CS:GO tournament PGL Krakow, which is very entertaining. I believe that after watching it, you may be impressed by their skills and coordination and even start to understand my point of view. With rapid technological development, we should always be open to new values and accept new ideas, especially when the many properties of video gaming already align with the characteristics of sports.

Natus Vitcere VS Fantic:


But in sports like rugby and boxing you'll leave the pitch/ring sweating and feeling physically exhausted. Video gamers are definitely really different to athletes.

The thing that really stops video games from being a sport is the fact that any sport you can think of requires you to go out, do some exercise and physically push yourself. In video gaming it's the complete opposite. So you mentioned about the two types of agility which is a fair argument. However, sports require physical strength. When I'm doing an exam that is really hard, it forces me to think quickly and efficiently. It requires skill as well and can be very pressurising especially knowing your future could be on the line. And, especially in competitions, exams can become competitive. But exams aren't a sport. And that's down to the lack of physical activity.

I hope I've made myself clear also that I'm not saying video gamers don't have skill. Of course it requires a lot of skill. And I have to agree with you on the fact that many sports require different equipment that are also electronic. However, if you go to the gym and use a treadmill it still requires physical activity and strength.

Also in the definition of Athleticism, it says "The PHYSICAL qualities that are...". So of course agility isn't always a physical quality and can be a mental thing as well. But the definition of athleticism is referring to physical strength, fitness and agility.

I did watch some of that video and they definitely do use a lot of skill and tactics as you mentioned before. I completely understand your point of view and am considering it in my arguments as well. But as I said before, I strongly believe something can't be called a "sport" unless there is physical activity to it.
Debate Round No. 2
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Debate Round No. 3
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