Anything that has a strong competitive format, requires a specific set of skills, great hand-eye coordination, and training, is a sport.
It’s overtime. Your mind is in the zone, you see someone from the opposing team with the ball speeding towards your direction near the goal. You’re ready for him. You rush him and knock the ball from his control now to yours. You push yourself until you can find the boost of speed. You gain it and with perfect accuracy you shoot for the goal and successfully win the game for your team.
This is a common scenario of a video game known as Rocket League, not the game known as soccer.
In today’s world the demographics of gaming is changing from recreational to competitive. Due to this change, professional competitive gaming (known as Esports) is real sport.
To argue that games participating in sports are not considered a real sports would be ridiculous. A sport such as football and an esport such as “Dota 2” both require the same kind of concentration, training, and competitiveness.
For example, to have participated in The International 2017 Dota 2 Championships in August, you and your teammates would have to spend countless hours training, practicing and winning other tournaments with the game.
The prize pool of this tournament was just under $24.7 million. Professional esports tournaments can range from $50-$1,000 to the millions. The large pool pushes these teams, who have proven to be the best of the best, to be even more competitive than regular sports like baseball or football. This is because in regular sports, win or lose, everyone gets paid. In esports you need to be on top of your game at all times to get the highest pay out possible.
Finally, looking at the definition of what a sport is, games included into professional competitive gaming are undoubtedly real sports.
The common definition of a sport is “an activity involving physical exertion and skill in which an individual or team competes against another or others for entertainment.” Competitive gaming hits every single one of these points. In competitive game your skills need to include incredible hand-eye coordination and precision. You need to be extremely competitive against the opposing team along with being a team player in your own.
Lastly on the physical side, you need to physicaly put stress in your hands through constant training and practice. You need to train your hands to rapidly press and pull a wide range of keys, triggers, and buttons. Players have been known to break fingers due to the stress from this physical training.
Due to its incredibly large competitive format, physical strain, and set of required skills, gaming in esports is just as much of a sport as playing in a game of football.