Over the past years, e-sports has experienced a significant surge in popularity, captivating millions of viewers and amassing a global fanbase. E-sports encompasses various types of competitive gaming with single and multi-player video games. This thriving industry is centered around organized multiplayer video game competitions. These are not your ordinary video games or at least not like the ones I grew up with. There are a variety of different games and game consoles that fall under the classification of “e-games”. These include Real-time strategy (RTS), First person and team person shooters (FPS and TPS), Multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA), Role-playing (RPG, ARPG, and More), Simulation and sports, Puzzlers and party games and Action-adventure. Some of the most popular e-sports games are League of Legends, Dota 2, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Overwatch, Fortnite, and many others.
With millions of viewers and a growing global fanbase, it has evolved into a professional industry with tournaments, leagues, and lucrative prize pools. At competitions, professional players or teams engage in intense competition across a variety of video games. These competitions feature highly skilled players who dedicate significant time and effort to master the games and compete at the highest level. It is in opportunity for platers to showcase their talents and master games at the highest level. E-sports tournaments can take place in dedicated arenas, stadiums, or online platforms, and they attract both professional players and enthusiastic spectators. These events often attract large audiences either in-person or through online streaming platforms.
Much like other traditional sports, this global phenomenon has created professional teams, sponsorships, and even dedicated e-sports organizations. Players often form teams or join existing ones to compete in tournaments, and organizations invest in coaching, training facilities, and infrastructure to support their teams. Professional e-game players and teams can earn a living through salaries, endorsements, and prize money. A few of the major tournaments have substantial prize pools, exceeding millions of dollars!
This industry continues to grow rapidly thanks to increasing viewership, investment, and recognition. It has even started to gain attention from mainstream media and traditional sports organizations. Some e-gamers have created e-sports teams, franchises and established their own e-sports divisions. But is this really a sport?
The classification of e-gaming as a “real” sport is a topic of debate and definitely open to interpretation. Traditionally, The word sports brings to mind aspects of physical prowess, athleticism, and direct physical competition. E-sports, on the other hand, does not involve any physical contact with fellow players or opponents. There are some similarities. Rather than physical exertion, e-sports primarily relies on mental skills, hand-eye coordination, and quick decision-making. Many of these skills are used in traditional sports, especially ones like Golf and Baseball. Other similarities to traditional sports include intense training, discipline, teamwork, competitions, paid sponsorships and strategic thinking. The key difference is the level of or lack of physical demands. No matter what your opinion on e-sports classification, e-sports are here to stay! Even supplement companies have started created ergogenic aids geared towards e-gaming industry and research is well on its way looking at both the cognitive effects and demands of e-games.
By Cassie Evans (MS, RD, CISSN). Official Editorial Writer for GPNi®.
Cassie Evans is a registered dietitian and a published researcher. She has studied sports nutrition and completed an internship with the University of Miami Sports Nutrition Team and Nova Southeastern University’s sports performance team. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Exercise and Sports Science and received her CISSN in 2018. She is currently pursuing her doctorate in Human and Sports Performance from the Rocky Mountain University of Health Professions.
1. Shen Y, Cicchella A. Health Consequences of Intensive E-Gaming: A Systematic Review. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2023;20(3):1968. Published 2023 Jan 20. doi:10.3390/ijerph20031968
2. Rudolf K, Bickmann P, Froböse I, Tholl C, Wechsler K, Grieben C. Demographics and Health Behavior of Video Game and eSports Players in Germany: The eSports Study 2019. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2020;17(6):1870. Published 2020 Mar 13. doi:10.3390/ijerph17061870