Cyber Sports Versus Regular Sports
September 17, 2016 - Posted to Catchy Research Paper Topics
An increasing number of sports enthusiasts are starting to become aware and even embrace video gaming, or cyber sports, especially with it rapidly growing in the industry and now being played at a professional level. But with this increasing popularity are controversies including the compelling issue of whether gamers are athletes.
The main argument lies in the definition of an athlete. As we know, an athlete is someone who is proficient in sports and other forms of exercise that require physical strength, speed, and endurance. There are two types of athletes – professionals and amateurs. The definition says it all – cyber sports athletes cannot be technically defined as athletes. However, the decision of the U.S. government to actually invite the League of Legends players to come to the Unites States and accordingly provide them visas has changed the perception towards these players. Suddenly, the public started recognizing them as professional athletes. League of Legends, for those who are unfamiliar, is a multiplayer online battle arena game published and developed by Riot Games for Microsoft Windows and OS X. It is recently recognized as the most-played video games in the world with 67 million gamers playing it every month.
To put things into perspective on how cyber sports has rapidly evolved, we can take a look at American football and League of Legends. American football was introduced in 1869 in a collegiate game with 100 spectators. To date, the sport is known to have made a major impact on American culture. On the other hand, League of Legends launched only in 2009. In seven years, it has expanded in five global regions and leagues with dozens of professional teams, big-name media contracts, sustainable player contracts and revenue options, and profitable franchises – impacting the global gaming culture. As the statistics would show, this cyber sport has been continuously evolving 12 times faster than the American football ever did.
Additionally, cyber sports have gained its own followers just like any other sports. League of Legends, DoTA 2, and StarCraft II have all contributed to the growth of this industry’s economy. To date, they have more than 2,700, 770, and 1,200 professional players, respectively. 1,260, 320, and 2,200 tournaments, respectively. And finally, 19M, 28M, and 15M in prize pools, respectively.
Other than the cultural following, cyber sports and regular sports also have quite a few other similarities. These include the people involved in either sport: coaches, contracts, sponsors, analysts, fans, and even merchandises. Both sports have commentators, interviews before and after every match, and even discussions. Players of both sports also share the same commitment and passion towards the games they play, and both make certain sacrifices to improve their craft.
Nevertheless, there remain a couple of differences between cyber sports and regular sports. For one, cyber sports have multiple teams playing for multiple games. The other is that unlike the regular professional athletes, these cyber sports athletes are easier to access and engage in conversations via their social media accounts, as they are pretty much online most of the time.
Relative to regular sports, cyber sports have only really been apparent to the mainstream media for two years and no one knows for sure to which direction it will go, how it will bloom, and as to what form it will eventually take.