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The Olympics of Gaming

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These are the two streaming platforms utilized by many of the gaming community.

These are the two streaming platforms utilized by many of the gaming community.

Photo provided by: wccftech

Photo provided by: wccftech

These are the two streaming platforms utilized by many of the gaming community.

Miryam Elshaer, Multimedia/ Web Editor

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Electronic sports, eSports, is a form of electronic video gaming between professional players in multiplayer video game competitions. The viewership of the most recent League of Legends competition hosted by Riot Games, a North American video game developer, in China surpassed 106 million. These ratings exceed the audience of traditional sports competitions like the National Basketball League(NBA) at 20.4 million and the National Football League(NFL) averaged at 10.9 million viewers.

Competitive gaming began its rise to fame in the 1980s when Donkey Kong hosted the first nationwide video gaming competition and has since surpassed the legends set by the NFL and NBA that rose to fame in the early twentieth century. The competition paved way for the popular gaming competitions of today; for instance, the  League of Legends competition begins with 24 teams representing every continent based on their qualifying skill. Members then compete in three stages: play-in, group, and knockout stage. Competitors in each round are based off a team’s “seed,” or their talent, to avoid the highly skilled teams facing one another in the early stages. The winners of the global competition receive a champions title, a 70 pound Summoner’s Cup and around two million dollars. The amount of viewers and overall fandom ship has well surpassed that of traditional sports raising the question of  whether “eSports”, or online gaming should be accepted as a sport on an international scale.

“While traditionally the concept of a sport required both physical exertion and skill, I think eSports is evolving to where more and more people are viewing it as a sport,” senior Dylan Sauerbrun said. “I consider it a sport. Even though there may be a lack of physical action when it comes to eSports, there’s still many factors a pro player must practice in order to play on stage.”

Sports are defined by the Oxford Dictionary as “an activity involving physical exertion and skill in which an individual or team competes against another or others for entertainment”. This definition causes controversy regarding the validity of competitive gaming as a sport. Regardless of the industry’s growing fortunes, many maintain their views on traditional sports.

“I see gaming as a form of ‘escapism’ when I need to take a momentary break from the difficulty of life,”  history teacher Kyle Hopkinson said. “That seems to be the opposite of what the current gaming generation is doing, they are constantly avoiding the difficulties of their lives by being able to give themselves constant gratification.”

Gaming has taken over streaming platforms like YouTube and Twitch. These streaming platforms allow creators to upload a variety of video types such as gameplays, walkthroughs, machinima (video games as a cinematic animation), and game reviews gained momentum within the gaming community. Creators receive abundant views, with YouTube’s most successful creator, Pewdiepie, totalling over 44 million subscribers along with riotgames on Twitch, who have over  900 million channel views.These platforms unite people through their common interests.

“What I enjoy about watching competitive gaming is the passion that all the players have for what they do,” senior and competitive gamer  Billy Olvey said. “I think that seeing these people living out their passions is a really inspiring thing to see.”

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The Olympics of Gaming