The escalating number of college students and fans participating in and following the video game competitions has characterized most developed countries such as the U.S., Canada, and the United Kingdom. Other countries such as South Korea among others have also been associated with the tendency to e-Sport participation. Some learning institutions have incorporated e-Sport in the formal sports program in the university. The trend has presented new shifts in sports as well as the debate regarding the consideration of e-Sport as a sport and the players as athletes. The regular participation of players has generated competitive championships such as the League of Legends. This paper presents an overview of e-Sport as the new sports dimension in colleges and across the globe. The paper provides the trend in Collegiate e-Sport by examining the development process and future trends. The paper also gives an overview of the present argument and research postulates on whether e-Sport is a game or a sport to be included in the official college competition. The paper concludes that the current perception of sports dimensions enables e-Sport to be a college sport with more advancements expected in the coming years.
Table of Contents
Overview and History of e-Sport 5
History and Development 5
Collegiate e-Sport 7
Onset and Development 7
Implication for Collegiate e-Sport Growth in the United States 8
Collegiate e-Sport, Scholarships, and Collaborations 9
e-Sport in College as an Active Sport 11
Perspective of Play 11
Perspective of Work and Physicality 12
Perspective of Organization 12
Perspective of Competitiveness 13
Perspective of Skill Development 13
Future Trends and Expectations 14
The popularity of e-Sport in the global arena has attracted thousands of participants from different nations. The inclusion of media had a significant role in advancing the attention that e-Sport is receiving across developed states such as the United Kingdom, South Korea, the United States, Canada, and Russia among others. For example, the United States is characterized by a different trend in the rise of e-Sport athletes, which include professional e-Sport gamers (Masters & Rose, 2015). The tendency to e-Sport has created a new dimension in gaming by introducing an online platform, which brings together a diverse and competitive group of talented and well-trained players to showcase their skills through tournaments and other forms of competitions. The onset of the attention in e-Sport across different countries has encouraged the increase in the number of training centers and online engagements to improve the experiences of players and enhance the sport as a new dimension for competition and integration in the modern age (Masters & Rose, 2015; Winter, 2016). The rate of advancement witnessed in technology has encouraged the rapid transformation witnessed in e-Sport across the globe especially with the development of different championships.
Worth pointing out is the current debate regarding the existence of e-Sport as a game or whether the players can be recognized as athletes. e-Sport is associated with various and well-organized competitions and championships, which include participants from different setups. However, some critical commentators such as the ESPN President Skipper John has noted that the e-Sport players are not athletes nor can they be identified as gamers (Masters & Rose, 2015). Skippers sentiments have been founded on the lack of physical engagement associated with e-Sport. Nevertheless, e-Sport has advanced over the recent years, and as pointed out through different analyses, video gaming has significant and high-level mental involvement. In fact, extended gaming session requires extreme perseverance with some games associated with physical engagement. The existence of different levels for the professionals as well as the starters with limited skills and capabilities all resemble most of the other categories of sports (Winter, 2016; Jenny et al., 2016). Moreover, the nature and approach of successful competition among the players require determination and constant skills development, which is also witnessed among other athletes. The regular practice and participation enable the amateurs to become highly skilled and pro players to participate in national and global tournaments.
The increasing preference of e-Sport is characterized by the age factor, which has seen many young people involved in large numbers. Moreover, the professionalization of the e-Sport has enhanced the increasing number of competitions being held as well as the number of professional gamers. The media has played an essential role by focusing on these professionals in line with the benefits that they have accrued from regular participation (Masters & Rose, 2015; Winter, 2016). The exposure and experiences of the e-Sport players have improved the positive perceptions among people and critics to enhance the capacity of video gaming being regarded as another form of competition and sport. Nevertheless, there is little evidence and scholarly evaluations that ascertain the acceptance of e-Sport as a competitive sport and the players as athletes (Masters & Rose, 2015; Winter, 2016). This paper provides an overview of e-Sport as a new sports dimension across the globe. The paper presents e-Sport and scholarship interrelations in colleges, which has contributed to the recognition of video gaming as an alternative interactive sport. The paper has focused on the United States, but other countries have been included for comparative purposes. Therefore, the paper highlights the evidence and scholarly point of view regarding the e-Sport being regarded as a sport in a learning environment and the society at large.
Overview and History of e-Sport
Electronic sport also called an e-sport is a form of gaming that includes the mental engagement with other players through different video platforms. The most common approach to multiple participations is an online base depending on the nature of the game. The type of competition is not common, and therefore it is not widely practiced. However, it has existed for quite some time and is currently being embraced across the globe (Jenny et al., 2016). The understanding of e-Sport is diverse and complex depending on the nature of perceptions among commentators. According to different scholars, the complexity of classifying and defining e-Sport emanates from the convergence of various dimensions associated with the sport. The dimensions include elements such as the culture of the country, the level of technology development, variety and understanding of sports in the community, and the corporate tendencies regarding sport and competition (Jenny et al., 2016). When compared with other conventional sports, e-Sport depicts an interrelation of different avenues and platforms, which presents the difficulty of being included as a new type of competitive sport.
Moreover, the existence of the sedentary sports video gaming (SSVG) also provides another dimension of distinction associated with e-Sport. Worth pointing out is that the SSVG include the antitype of the real life professional leagues. Examples of SSVG include the MLB 14, NHL 15, FIFA 15, and EA Sports UFC (Jenny et al., 2016). However, a critical evaluation of e-Sport depicts the existence of more advanced and diverse possibilities since the games are not limited to a particular genre. In fact, e-Sport includes different activities and participations that do not relate to the real life sports already existing as professional leagues. Most of the games associated with e-Sport are built around fantasies and fictitious experiences, which the players will require high-level mental engagement to unravel the puzzles (Jenny et al., 2016). Some scholars have argued that limiting of e-Sport to a computer-based competitive gaming is narrow. Moreover, most of the activities associated with the game are online for leisure and social use; however, institutions and organizations have now included the professional set up and championships (Jenny et al., 2016; Masters & Rose, 2015).
A more comprehensive understanding of e-Sport based on Wagners definition (2006) includes the use of information technology to state the environment and scenario associated with the sport. Therefore, e-Sport is considered as the competitive engagement involving computer-based games in a professional setup, which includes training and developing individual mental and physical capabilities using information and communication technologies (Wagner, 2006). Based on this definition, a range of games fall under the e-Sport category once included in the championships. Nevertheless, the definition received critical concerns as to why the mental and physical dimensions were incorporated in highlighting the process of development and training (Jenny et al., 2016). The questions raised regarding the physical skills required to compete in e-Sport successfully have limited researchers to focus on the mental abilities as a key requirement in the process of enhancing ones expertise and competitiveness (Jenny et al., 2016). However, this paper has considered e-Sport as a mental-based sport that requires physical preparedness to enhance the chances of winning a competition. The perspective allows the analysis of the gaming process and implication on a college setup to be viewed as an organized video game professional competitions (Jenny et al., 2016).
History and Development
When talking about e-Sport one refers to competitive video gaming sport that is undertaken online in most cases. The popularity of e-Sport is traced to the advancing media coverage as well as the increasing preference among young people seeking professionalism with their gaming skills. The existence of e-Sport is associated with a range of several tournaments, celebrity gamers, and followers who contribute to the world of computerized sports. The e-Sport main categories include the multiplayer online player arena (MOBAs) and the popular First-Person Shooters also called the FP (Winter, 2016). The most common examples of the major platforms associated with professional e-Sport are the League of Legends and the Dota 2. In most multiplayer games, five players for a team where they control the champion or the hero depending on the nature of the match. The objective of the team is to ensure that the identified enemy base is destroyed within the shortest time (Winter, 2016). The inclusion of the professionalism in e-Sport, therefore, allowed the formation of small teams where the players engage in constant communication with each other to ensure a coordinated strategy is channeled towards a common goal. In such a case, an alternative exists for FOS called the counter-strike global offensive that allows the players to choose from joining the counter-terrorists or the terrorists and align to their strategy to destroy the opponent (Winter, 2016).
The championships and professional e-Sport gaming has grown across the world. Currently, it is estimated that over 70 million people across the globe watch e-Sport through the internet or on the television. For example, the League of Legends had over 70 million subscribers by 2013 with an average of about 32 million active p...
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