From Virtual to Reality: The Convergence of Esports and Traditional Sports

Berry Mathew

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From Virtual to Reality: The Convergence of Esports and Traditional Sports

For many years, people viewed esport and traditional athletes as complete opposites. It all stems from the stereotypes that were associated with each industry. While traditional athletes were viewed as idols, hard-working, celebrities, and in some cases as more than human, esports athletes were viewed as the complete opposite due to the stereotypes that people had about gamers and esports athletes are, well, professional gamers. 

However, this couldn’t be further from the truth, and in reality, esports athletes are as dedicated and professional as traditional athletes, if not more. Also, it is not just the players that have things in common, the line between esports and traditional sports is disappearing by the day, and in this article, we will discuss the convergence of the two.

The Spectacular Rise of Esports

Esports is still in its infancy and especially when compared to the sports industry that has existed for centuries, however, it has managed to rise spectacularly and what once was a niche hobby now is an industry worth billions of dollars. If you follow the latest Esports news in English you will be able to see for yourself what a vast and exciting industry this is. Esports tournaments now have a worldwide following and they attract massive viewership which traditional sports games can envy. 

There are several factors that were the reason behind the sudden rise of esports, such as better internet connections, advancements in game development, the introduction of streaming platforms, and many more. And as major companies are increasingly investing in esports it has become a credible industry. The future looks bright for esports and it is clear that what was once considered a hobby has now become a worldwide phenomenon and who knows it might just surpass the sports industry in every way.


Gaming vs. Traditional Sports: Similarities and Benefits

Gaming and traditional sports have many similarities that most are not aware of. The teamwork, competitions, and work ethic of professional gamers and traditional athletes are almost the same. Additionally, while most people are aware of the benefits sports offer, they might not realize that there are benefits to esports as well. In the paragraphs below we have highlighted the similarities between gaming and sports as well as the benefits of esports.

Esports and Sports: The Similarities

Esports can also be divided in a similar way that sports are divided into professional, semi-professional, youth development, and casual gaming as the four main dynamic structures. However, given that esports is a fairly new industry, professional and semi-professional sectors have only recently emerged. In order to promote competitiveness and increase interest in the industry major organizations and companies are heavily investing in esports events. 

What might come as a surprise to many, the dynamic structure of esports and sports is not the only similarity they share. In recent research, it was discovered that esports has all the key aspects that sports have, and esports athletes display similar behavior to that of traditional sports athletes. 

It is well known that esport athletes face immense pressure during competitions and it was discovered that they use a similar coping strategy to athletes in that they address the issue directly instead of avoiding it. Interestingly, esports athletes also train as hard as traditional athletes, with many hours and dedication spent on training alone ahead of major competitions. In other words, the two industries share fundamental differences that bring them closer together than the differences that separate them.

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Esports: The Benefits

People that play video games like Call of Duty and Assasins Creed display better hand-to-eye coordination, have increased brain development, and improved cerebral functioning than those who do not, according to research that was conducted by the University of Toronto. However, all the medical benefits aside, esports has proven to be a valuable tool in improving social and development skills. 

Esports athletes have improved teamwork, decision-making, communication, leadership, coordination, and many more skills. These are key factors that prove that esports can be beneficial for individuals that are looking to improve these skills. It also goes to show how many similarities it has to sports and it opens a door of opportunity for the two industries to come together and offer combined activities, programs, or events.

Sports And Esports Integrate Slowly

Major sports organizations like the NBA, NFL, and FIFA have all started investing in esports. NBA teams like the Houston Rockets, Philadelphia 76ers, and Golden State Warriors have already invested in League of Legends teams, according to an article. FC Schalke, a German football club, has also invested in League of Legends and is a strong contender in the European Championship scene. 

David Beckham’s esports organization, Guild Esports, which he co-owns, was launched in 2020 and has invested in teams for games such as Apex Legends, Fortnite, and Rocket League, making it a well-known global organization. These are only some of the names that have taken a step towards integrating esports and sports as well as investing in esports, and there are many more that will certainly follow soon. 

This goes to show how much the esports industry has grown as sports organizations increasingly try to integrate their celebrities and massive brands into it. The convergence of sports and esports is inevitable and it will certainly be beneficial to both industries as they continue to grow and improve alongside one another.