With the popularity of eSports continuously rising, it was only a matter of time until something like this occurred. The League of Legends Championship Series is now recognized as a sport by the United States. Because of this, professional players across the globe could be eligible for visas, similar to NFL, NBA, and NHL players.
But the responses have been somewhat less than accepting.
While many people are celebrating over this huge advancement in eSports, others are condemning the decision, declaring that eSports need its own category and visa outside of sports. I have a mixed opinion of this. There is an excitement that I can’t help but feel with the news of competitive gaming’s growth and popularity. I may not be a massive League of Legends fan, but I appreciate the competitive aspect of the game, and the interaction and energy it has created throughout the community, both casually and professionally. Should these players be considered pro athletes? Ehhh, maybe not.
I do enjoy focusing on Call of Duty MLG despite the similar negativity that is shot toward the competitive scene, and I would no doubt enjoy participating in it as an eventual “pro” player, but would I consider myself an athlete because of it? Absolutely not. This may be the actual athlete in me speaking after participating in years of basketball, swimming, and martial arts, and while I do believe that video games hold a legitimate spot as a spectator’s event, it’s difficult for me to consider video games an official sport. The answers I received on Twitter were in agreement, but what do the rest of you think of this news?