League of Legends Recognized as a Sport by United States

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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?

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5 thoughts on “League of Legends Recognized as a Sport by United States

  1. I agree with the comment comparing them to professional Poker players. There’s a definite aspect of skill and competition so I agree with idea of eSports, but the term “Athlete” has a connotation of physical ability that just isn’t a requirement for certain types of competition, such as this.

  2. After spending 6 + years in wow (about 2 clean now), I have to say, other than steam based games I tend to be out of the loop. Lately all I hear about is League of Legends. I am too fearful to even think about looking too much into it at this point.

  3. Can we just step away from the term “athlete” and use “sportsman/woman” instead? ‘Cause I think that pro gamers deserve some recognition for their feats, even when they’re rather mental than physical.

  4. Pingback: Post-Gfinity Thoughts: Could Call of Duty earn the same recognition as League of Legends? | Geek Force Network

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