Saturday, May 10, 2014

What is a sport?

What is a sport? We all know the obvious, baseball, football, basketball and hockey. You may even add soccer to that list. The real question is what criteria constitutes a sport? You may consider a variety of reasons like spectator participation, physical exertion, tradition, longevity, money and competition just to name a few. The big four certainly fit what I named. There are a vast number of other activities that may or may not meet some or all of your criteria horse and auto racing, tennis, track and field, swimming and even the puppies. I’m about to throw one more at you.

If you were to hear FaZe, OpTic, Kaliber, A9, Soar,… or give you names like Jev, Nadeshot, Cbass, or Taz many of you would have no idea of what I’m talking about. Well my friends there appears to be a new sport on the block. It’s the world of professional video gaming. Before you call me crazy let us start with a brief overview from the beginning.

From its inception, starting with Pong, and the Atari 2600, gaming was destine to rule the youth of the world.  It wasn’t until the internet, and the advancements in the way graphics and the programming of the games are made have made it possible for the advent of the professional gamer. From the first competition at Stanford University in 1972 were the winner was awarded a year subscription to Rolling Stone magazine to today where teams will gather in Anaheim California to compete for 150,000 dollars in prize money.

There are a number of electronic sports or esports is the term used for leagues like UGC, PGL and the big one MLG or Major League Gaming. MLG holds tournaments around the US and Canada were teams compete for thousands of dollars, and with new teams forming  daily esports is sure to be around for years to come. Now with the internet and the development of sites like youtube and twitter you can watch live streams of game play and also tweet with your favorite players. Now before you call these guys fat lazy couchpotatos, think again, while it’s true you sit during competition I can assure you that they are not. I have seen these professional players in person while MLG held a tournament in Columbus. These guys and yes sometimes girls take this as serious as any professional athlete. As for the doubters, all I can say is check it out for yourselves. I saw the convention center in Columbus sold out for a four day event last November.

For those interested I will give you my take on the teams and players of the MLG pro circuit, game battles and tournaments. The last tournament that I know of was UGC Niagara - UGCElGato20k tournament with the winner being
compLexity Gaming

I look forward  to hearing your comments, thoughts and opinions.

by: G. Schottle