Riot’s new promo video argues e-sports are indeed sports

No one will be surprised by Riot Games’ latest e-sports video. Riot Games really likes e-sports. Indeed, Riot Games believes e-sports are real sports.

“Not just a sport. Our sport,” reads the tagline.

All the skeptical mainstream media quoted in the video can’t change the fact that Riot’s position is fast becoming the norm. You’ll recall that the International Olympic Committee has formally stated that it may consider e-sports a sporting activity, and the co-president of the Paris Olympic bid committee told the AP that the organization was considering bringing video gaming on board for the 2024 program in France. The 2022 Asian Games also announced e-sports as a medal event, citing the inclusion of e-sports at the Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games.

Earlier this year, we polled our readers on whether e-sports belong in the Olympics; almost 80% of those who voted said no, while only 15% said some or all should be included, in contrast to Nielsen’s poll of actual e-sports fans, which asserted that over 50% of fans believe e-sports are real sports and less than a third believe e-sports belong in the Olympics. MMORPG players are a hard sell.

Check out the video below (it’s short).

Source: YouTube
SHARE THIS ARTICLE
Code of Conduct | Edit Your Profile | Commenting FAQ | Badge Reclamation | Badge Key

43
LEAVE A COMMENT

Please Login to comment
  Subscribe  
newest oldest most liked
Subscribe to:
flyingltj
Reader
flyingltj

The same international Olympic committee that looks the other way when countries use literal slave labor to build stadiums? The same international Olympic committee that is at the center of non stop bribery, corruption, and drug scandals?

Boy howdy, we better trust those guys to tell us what’s what.

Reader
Alex Malone

E-sports are not sports – sports require a significant physical component and e-sports are lacking that.

That doesn’t mean that e-sports aren’t difficult, they really are! To get good requires training, practice, teamwork and a high degree of skill. They can be entertaining to watch (well, not for me…) and highly competitive.

But, removing the physical component from the definition of sports just seems too wrong to me. It would open up far too many things to be included in the definition of sports – all board games, card games and computer games for a start – and then we’d need a new word for proper sports anyway.

On the chess front, I did some searching and Chess doesn’t actually seem to be recognised as an actual sport. The IOC seem to have officially recognised a chess federation and have allowed it to apply for inclusion in the olympics, but repeatedly turn it down.

Reader
Sally Bowls
Reader
Heliton B. Amorim

If you can’t see Sportsmanship in a serious competition of an E-SPORT, you’re just blind.
You think what, people decided to be “pro players” and in one day become one? That is a stupid thought.
You can play football for fun, and never be a pro player (even if you played it for decades), and also you can play an E-SPORT, even for decades, and also never become a pro player. It is not even close to being easy as some people are pretending it is.

Sports are not tied to physical activity, that is a simplification that soon will be addressed.

Chess is a sport, it is an Olympic sport. Who said it? What about the IOC itself, nothing less than the International Olympic Committee saying that CHESS is a sport. Good luck trying to imply that IOC is wrong and random people on the internet, using the dictionary as an argument, are right… LOL

K38FishTacos
Reader
K38FishTacos

It’s a *game* like poker or billiards. It’s not a fkng sport.

deekay_plus
Reader
Patreon Donor
deekay_plus

for those who are conflating sport with athletics below i think i need to remind yall that hunting foxes with dogs from horse back is sport. sitting in a hide guzzling beers and shooting deers that happen by are sport. angling/fishing is a sport.

as far as chess goes as a sport or competitive game, it was a not insubstantial component of the cold war betwen warsaw and nato so don’t be so fast to discount it – perhaps more than most athletic sports.

Reader
angrakhan

The athlete in equestrian events is the horse, not the rider. Although I’m sure you have to have good core and leg strength/endurance to be able to ride a true race horse well. Especially if there’s jumping and rapid direction change.

Oh and before you accusing me of “conflating” sport with athletics, you might want to take your argument up with whoever wrote the dictionary:

ath·lete
ˈaTHˌlēt/Submit
noun
a person who is proficient in sports and other forms of physical exercise.
synonyms: sportsman, sportswoman, sportsperson;

You also might want to take your argument up with the CPL who calls people who play e-sports “Cyberathletes”. Seems there’s plenty of conflation to go around.

deekay_plus
Reader
Patreon Donor
deekay_plus

you’re definition nor your example really cover mine. which are hallowed in the sporting realm for centuries.

also a body buuilder is a physical person in fitness but is not quite an athelete.

Reader
angrakhan

Yah, sorry, but sitting on your ass in front of a screen and twiddling your thumbs on a controller or mashing keys on a keyboard doesn’t make you an athlete. If your ‘sport’ allows you to compete at the highest level without needing to be able to pass a basic middle-school level physical fitness test given in 7th grade P.E. class then it’s not a sport. See also: golf, bowling, darts, croquette, and Uno.

And no I don’t consider curling a sport even though it’s in the Olympics. It’s shuffleboard on ice. I’d watch it if they required every team to down a pitcher of beer 5 minutes before the start of each round. I’m pretty sure that’s how it’s intended to be played outside of the Olympics.

Veldan
Reader
Patreon Donor
Veldan

It’s hard to find a good definition though. I mean, it’s pretty accepted that curling is a sport, and so is driving a car, riding a horse or even playing chess. If those things are all sports, then so are (certain types of) videogames.

Personally, I’d be happy if we stopped calling them all sports, and went back to using the term for more traditional sports that require heavy physical training… but I don’t think that’s going to happen.

Reader
angrakhan

Curling is a drinking game, not a sport! (kidding… well, kinda) And who calls chess a sport? Never heard of that.

As to driving I think you mean racing cars and that is definitely a sport. People who have not done it do not think it is hard, but the g-forces of competitive racing require the drivers to be in very good shape to be able to endure it for the length of a race. Formula 1 drivers are incurring G-forces of 6G+ at times and they endure this multiple times per lap for 25+ laps in a given race.

Don’t believe me?
https://www.formula1.com/en/latest/features/2017/3/f1-video-2017-vs-2016-g-force-comparison.html

No e-sport “athlete” is going to be able to tolerate that for any length of time. They’d pull over after one lap to puke.

Veldan
Reader
Patreon Donor
Veldan

In Formula 1, better muscles don’t give you better win chances. You just need to be fit enough to pass the “treshold”, so that you can withstand those forces. After that it’s your driving ability that decides how you do. Similarly, in esports, your forearms and mind-muscle connection need to be developed enough that you can react very quickly and precisely. After that, it’s how good you are at the game that will determine how you do. See the parallel?

When non-gamer people visit me and use my PC, they can’t do a thing. They can’t even move the mouse through start menu to open something, because they can’t handle the level of sensitivity. First, the mouse just shoots between corners as they wonder what’s going on, and then they try to move it slowly to what they want to click, only to find that they can’t hold it still enough to click anything. I’m laughing every time.

Nobody is born with the ability to move a mouse so quickly and precisely as done in esports. It’s acquired by many hours of training, just like any sports ability.

Reader
Sunken Visions

Why do sports have to be athletic? If you can’t give a rational answer, then you’re just trying to put yourself on a pedestal. People like that actually hate fair competition and denounce intellectual competition because they know they’ll lose.

Reader
Sorenthaz

Riot keeps trying to shoehorn LoL into being a real sport and I think it’s hilarious. It’s like Pinnochio at this point screaming “I WANNA BE A REAL BOY” at the top of his shrill magically nonexistent lungs.

Ultimately they’re doing this for marketing purposes. They want big sponsors like Coca Cola and Comcast and so on for their new League system.

PurpleCopper
Reader
PurpleCopper

If nobody takes chess as a sports seriously, what makes people think anybody will take e-sports as a sports seriously?

Veldan
Reader
Patreon Donor
Veldan

The fact that it’s already taken seriously. Not by the entire human population, but that’s no requirement for success.

Reader
Thomas Zervogiannis

It smells no matter how you see it:

– Etymologically: Athlete (greek: Αθλητής) is the person who performs a feat. Borrowing Rumm’s comment:

On the other hand, as someone who played sports for most of their life, the dedication, drive, talent, etc. that is required of an actual athlete is far greater than anything that esports gamers go through. You have to hone your skills and your body for years before you can compete at the highest level….

– Historically, Olympics and athletes (I disregard the way the Olympics are set up today, which is a complete mockery of the original spirit – without intention to show disrespect to the athletes, who deserve complete admiration for their dedication and their achievements) were strictly about physical competitive display. There is also a strict distinction between physical exercise and sports (άθλημα) which need to have the competitive aspect to distinguish the person who performs the feat: being the best. Given that a physical element is needed (as in, motion, endurance, strength and dexterity), chess really does not fit into this either. Obviously e-sports are out as well for the same reason: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_sport

– Popular opinion. I can imagine the following conversation:
Him: I am an athlete
Her: Really? (thinking: he does not look like one) Which sport?
Him: League of Legends
Her: …..

And the glaring issue, quoting silverlock’s comment below, which was my favorite:

Of course if Riot is willing to release all ownership of lol and hand it over to the public domain then sure lets then talk about putting it in the Olympics.