eSports:The New Football

ESports?

The eSports community, a rapidly growing community, still receives negative publicity from people outside of the community. What is eSports? ESports is defined as a form of sports where the primary aspects of the sport are handled in an electronic matter and could be various genres of games. These Genres’ can range from MOBAs (Multiplayer Online Battle Arena), FPS (First Person Shooters), TPS (Third Person Shooters), RPGs (Role playing games) or MMORPGs (Examples of popular eSports games that are emerging are; League of Legends, CS: GO, Call of Duty, and even Pokémon.) However, people still deny that eSports is a sport; I believe that the negative stigma on eSports in America does not hinder its growth, but rather increases it. Soon enough, competitive eSports will be a social norm.

Why is it a sport?

ESports could be held in the same regard as a sport like Chess or Poker. Also there are many parallels in traditional athletic sports and eSports. The main argument for the naysayers is that eSports requires no physical activity. And yes, while they certainly putting effort into pumping iron, they replace that with their mental fortitude. Studies have even shown that playing video games can increase cognitive function and motor skills.This in turn heightens their reflexes for intense gameplay moments, which in eSports could mean the difference between winning and loosing. A famous YouTuber by the name of MatPat even has a video depicting all the pros that eSports brings our culture. Reaction times also play a major part in sports. It is important for players to have lightning fast reflexes. Esports players practice between 12-18 a day only stopping for eating and sleeping, which gives them the ability to do roughly 300 ‘actions’ per minute in game. These actions can also be coordinated with a team, making the work even more complex because you have to synchronize your moves to what your team members are doing along with what you are doing. The same happens in regular sports such as soccer, where a goalie for example would have to react very fast at a soccer ball coming straight for their goal.

How do other countries view eSports?

In South Korea, eSports is, held in the same regard as a sport such as tennis, basketball, or soccer. This is due to the infrastructure that eSports has made in South Korea. Over there, it is socially acceptable to be a professional gamer. This leads to an increase in gamers, and an increase in the viewing of eSports events. Huge companies such as Samsung or LG also endorse professional gamers, much like a football players would be endorse by a company here in America. With their society seeing eSports as a part of their culture, they have also won the most eSports tournament worldwide.

How does the public watch eSports?

Just as people watch athletic sports on television, they can also watch eSports on there television. Very recently, television companies such as TBS and ESPN have begun airing video game competitions regularly. (The schedule can be found here.) Beyond television, there is also a free streaming service known as twitch.tv where eSports competitions are aired. Usually, if there is not an eSports competition being held, anyone with streaming capabilities can show the world how they play using twich.tv. This platforms makes it easy for anyone who is curious about eSports to get involved quickly and easily.

Money?

Moving on to the economic side of eSports: eSports racks up millions of dollars every year with how many people attend the gaming events. With the amount of support that they get yearly (which is steadily growing), bigger prize pools can be distributed at eSports tournaments. Take for example this year’s League of Legends World Championship Series (which was held at a sold out Staples Center) prize pool. This year alone, over sixteen teams competed from all around the world to claim the title as world champions. The title alone is a great feat, but along with it, the winning team received over $5,000,000!

Teamwork

A common misconception about people within the eSports community is that the games are played in solitude, when in actuality it the exact opposite. Esports teams are created from a bunch of solo players who have a passion for the game. They are then put on a team in one house together, where they play games together, become friends, and learn how to function as a team. This is not limited to the professionals either! Colleges have started created eSports teams to compete around the nation for titles to bring back.

Bringing People Together

Esports has brought a number of people of different backgrounds and cultures together in recent years. Esports tournaments bring hundreds of thousands of people together where they can watch their favorite players go head to head on stage. The best thing about eSports is that anyone can be apart of it, and meeting new people at these events make the experience much more memorable. After you finish watching your favorite professional players duke it out on stage, you can go back home and experience the thrill themselves with the people you just met. This is the best way to spread the word of the eSports community and is how most people are introduced.

Annotated Bibliography

"Playing Video Games is Good for You." Ollie Barder. May 5, 2015. Forbes In a recent study, Barder observed that expert action video game players showed increased cognitive, motor skills, and overall perception. The same study was conducted with amateur gamers to come with the same results. Both the pro gamer as well as the amateur gamer showed signs of increased functional connectivity in the brain after a simultaneous MRI scan. This will be used to show that you can play games and increase your brain functionality at the same time. Also, it can show just how much work goes into playing games.

"Predictions." Paul Lee and Duncan Stewart. October 7, 2016. Deliotte. Lee and Stewart discuss the possible revenue that will come out of eSports in the coming year. Deloitte Global predicts that, "eSports will generate global revenues of $500 million in 2016, up 25 percent from about $400 million in 2015, and will likely have an audience of regular and occasional viewers of close to 150 million people." "Amazon acquired Twitch for just under $1 billion in 2014, while 2015 saw Swedish media company Modern Times acquire a majority stake in ESL, the oldest eSports company for $87 million." This major leap in revenue will help promote the idea that eSports will become the mainstream by the end of 2016.

"Team House." Eric Swanson. Jan 21, 2016. Dexerto. This article shows the level of dedication that the team puts into eSports. After a team member who had long been with them left, the team decided to start a new in Los Angeles.

Photo Essay

The following pictures depict some of the common eSport games that are featured on streams and television. Each one varies in gameplay and each has a different fan base. I have played all of the games that are being presented and have made new friends in each one of them during my play throughs. What makes it unique is the ability to meet people from around the world that you wouldn't normally have. As it The eSports community will continue to grow in popularity as a sport, and hopefully, it will be seen as a social norm.

Reflective Piece

My ability to formulate solid research questions was enhanced during my English 201 course. During our community and identity-learning segment, I believe I fulfilled my obligation of composing a logical argument supported by research. Feedback from my peers as well as my professor helped me create a riveting digital document. When researching sources to back up my thesis, I found it was easy thanks to the large databases provided by my university library. The reason I was able to find sources easily is because our class would constantly meet at our library to learn about strategies in finding credible sources. However, in my search for sources in my second essay I had to write, I found it very difficult to find credible sources on the topic of eSports. Mainly because it is relatively new and is still gradually being accepted into our society in America. Another possible thing that I could improve on is when to use quotations and how to implement them within my digital document to help further my thesis. Analyzing documents for bits and pieces to add to my document was somewhat adventurous after discovering the new ways to search for sources. Reading all of the documents helped me decide what kind of message I wanted to send and how to effectively communicate to my reader. While the class was watching Into the Wild, director Sean Penn, I found myself more immersed looking into the deeper meaning behind the main characters choices thanks to our class’ group discussions. After reading Timbuktu by Paul Auster, the class would often follow up with a think piece or reading question to help further understand the reading material. This would help us analyze the stylistic conventions and rhetorical patterns that the author was trying to use. This would in turn help us use our own style of stylistic conventions and rhetorical patterns. Overall, throughout the course, I learned valuable information to help me in future situations. With technology being a staple in our education right now, I found that learning how to create a digital document to present an argument was the most valuable thing I learned.

Credits:

Created with images by Kai Hendry - "Internet cafe" • Nelo Hotsuma - "Low Tier City 3" • artubr - "Team YouPorn, Dota 2 tournament Gamergy 2014" • Wokandapix - "rock art craft people" • Blog do Mílton Jung - "Competição de League Of Legend em São Paulo com cerca de 3mil torcedores #CBLOL" • download.net.pl - mobile - "Arena of Heroes" • raybdbomb - "IMG_1135" • JBLivin - "face" • JBLivin - "Call of Duty : Advanced Warfare" • wuestenigel - "Blizzard: Overwatch"

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