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Can you really call eSports a sport? ESPN thinks so

Products sales don’t account for all of the $111 billion that the video game industry generates, eSports play a big role as well, a big enough role that ESPN brought eSports to primetime. Obviously this is a massive step forward for the world of eSports, but EPSN’s decision has received criticism from many people who believe eSports aren’t actually sports. Even many people within the world of eSports don’t believe that it technically qualifies as a sport. 

Video games are big money — an $111 billion business according to Gartner — and not just through the sales of games, consoles, and in-game purchases. There are whole cottage industries around the gaming industry that include merchandise, gamer-related content, and eSports. If you’ve never heard of eSports, the professional competition circuit of the gaming world, you aren’t alone. But as the events, prize money, and celebrity-making opportunity of eSports continue to grow, it’s likely eSports will become more mainstream. And a televised competition last night may well have been the tipping point for the professional video game industry. With its broadcast of the final match of Heroes of the Dorm — a competition of college student teams playing the still-in-beta Blizzard game Heroes of the Storm — ESPN brought eSports to primetime, announcers included. While many professional gaming events have purses well in excess of $1 million and have sold out the Staples Center in LA, the winners of last night’s competition received scholarships for the rest of their college careers. But despite the big prizes, last night’s airing showed that eSports is definitely not-ready-for-primetime yet.

What do you think?

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Written by Scarlett Madison

Scarlett Madison is a mom and a friend. She blogs for a living at Social News Watch but really prefers to read more than write. Find her on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest.

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