Are eSports competitors really athletes?
via AP

Are eSports competitors really athletes?

#GamersAreAthletes
#NerdsNotAthletes
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Competitive gaming has exploded recently, and professional gamers have become superstars. That popularity has also made them targets for people outside eSports, mocking their athletic ability. But recent studies say the training necessary to become a professional gamer can be just as physically taxing as any other professional sport. Critics say video games do not require physical skill or strength, and without those traits, gamers cannot be considered athletes. What do you think? 🎮

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#GamersAreAthletes
#NerdsNotAthletes

Rick Fox spent 13 years in the NBA, going toe-to-toe with some of the best athletes in the world. He has every right to say eSports competitors aren't athletes at all. Instead, he looks at these players who share the same athletic spirit he has, spending hours training and honing their craft. He even owns his own eSports team.

The NBA also started their own league where NBA franchises own and operate their own teams of players playing NBA 2K. If the NBA and an athlete like Fox can acknowledge these competitors are athletes, everyone should.

As much as professional gamers want to glorify themselves, what they are doing is not athletic at all. Athleticism takes physical prowess. As exciting as what they do is to some people, it doesn't take the same amount of physical ability as football, basketball or any real sport.

These gamers literally sit in a chair and move their wrists and fingers. They aren't athletes.

People who say gaming isn't a physical sport don't know what they're talking about. Not only do eSports athletes have precise motor skills and incredible hand-eye coordination, they also have the heart rate of a marathon runner. Try telling these gamers they're not athletes.

International gamers are beginning to receive visas to enter the United States under the category of "internationally recognized athlete." Governments are recognizing these competitors as athletes and the rest of society should follow suit.

Video games are a sport, like poker and competitive eating are sports: all three take minimal physical exertion, and, oh yeah, they aren't sports.

If all you do is sit down with a controller, it's probably not a sport.

Many eSports competitors may have quick reflexes and mental flexibility, but don't mistake that for athleticism. According to a study by the University of Essex, professional eSports competitors may appear to be healthy, but gamers have the lung function and aerobic fitness of a heavy smoker in their sixties.

Dr. Dominic Micklewright, the head of Sport, Performance and Fatigue Research Unit had some thoughts on the findings.

... Perhaps this is the occupational hazard of the professional gamer who can spend around 10 hours a day in front of a screen. It is always difficult to say how these things will develop, but it could have long term health implications such as an increased risk of heart disease. Screen time with children has a very strong correlation with childhood obesity and risk factors with heart disease later in life.
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