20 Apr





 min read

The Relationship Between Esports and Traditional Sports

In a modern age where the world is enveloped by technology, gaming and esports, the changing times for entertainment, self-development, learning and proactivity form a new frontier. If the world could turn back time twenty years, nobody would acknowledge the benefits that competitive gaming had on others.

With the world slowly escaping a period of solitude, shut-out silence and the devastating pandemic, esports and gaming have taken a meteoric rise in popularity – not just as an exhilarating pastime, but as a trend in the entertainment and competitive industry.

This sudden rise has boosted esports’s impact on the sports industry and allowed further integration between the two. It’s given birth to many creations, from sports teams joining esports scenes to companies investing in organizations and even medical studies showing how beneficial esports can be alone and when mixed with sports activities.

Esports’ Meteoric Rise

As an industry that’s only recently surged past billions of revenue, esports has a short portfolio compared to century-long traditional sports. Since its inception, the industry and content have transformed into many shapes because of first-generation games in arcades like Pacman, Ping Pong, and so many more.

Source: ESL

Over time, it’s had Mario, Pokemon, and Tetris slowly develop competitive scenes. Although relatively small, it was a quick start. These games would eventually lead the industry to grow and cultivate new generational esports titles across multiple mainstream AAA and multiplayer games.

As each game became more extensive and widespread, this rippling effect would inspire many others to create and develop unique, enjoyable and exciting titles. This never-ending cycle of evolution allowed the industry to consistently exceed expectations, draw in audiences and create games that amassed millions of players, further leading to a thriving esports and gaming scene.

Traditional Sports vs. Esports and Gaming: What Are The Benefits and Similarities?

There’s no debate that traditional sports provide various physical and mental benefits, but shocking enough, esports do too. Multiple research studies show how different skills heighten and develop in esports. A few scientifical practices even show how sports and ,proactive activities can be integrated into gaming routines to provide the most beneficial experience.

The Similarities Between Sports and Esports

Identical to sports, esports can be divided into four main dynamic structures: professional gameplay, semi-professional or local competitivity, youth development or amateur leagues and casual/hobby-ish gaming. However, esports only recently developed massively worldwide in roughly thirty years. A few structures are slowly becoming familiar. Semi-professional and youth development competitive sectors have only come to fruition in the past few years, with tech companies like MSI and HyperX sponsoring young individuals and events. Also, organizations like UConnect and Mission Control have developed, guided and hosted tournaments across most North America to bring forth competitiveness, industry potential and interest.

Uniquely enough, esports and sports hold an array of similarities besides their dynamic structure. In a ,blog research article by Murdoch University, esports generally shows mostly all the key aspects a person would see in sports. Dr. Kieran Marston, Murdoch University Exercise Science researcher, states that professional esports players exhibit similar communicative jargon and phrases that most elite athletes would too.

Subsequently, because of the pressure esports players face in competitive matches, they are able to cope using strategies that deal with the issue directly to handle the stressor rather than avoid it. This unwavering focus is quite common in sports. Since esports players training rigorously just like sports athletes, both industries see a massive improvement in reaction time and cognitive function when compared to non-gamers. Overall, the fundamental values of sports flourish prevalently in esports with both industries not being as dissimilar.

The Benefits of Esports

,A study by The University of Toronto shows that action titles like Call of Duty and Assassins Creed that require hand-to-eye coordination see higher performance among individuals when conducting sensorimotor tasks when compared to non-gaming people. Additionally, the research also underlined that people who partook in those games showed an increase in brain development, leading to greater density and improved cerebral functioning.

The ,University of Rochester’s studies also reveals that action and first-person shooter titles would see players having a 58% increase in perceiving fine differences in contrast. Subsequently, action-based games would also see players improving their reaction and decision-making speed by 25% of an average person.

Source: Acer

Excluding all the medical benefits of esports and gaming, other sociable and developmental skills such as teamwork, coordination, decision-making, strategic planning, communication, leadership, and more are prevalent among different esports titles.

These factors in esports prove that gaming can be quite beneficial for individuals looking to integrate these activities into their livelihood and educational development. It also highlights how similar traditional sports are to esports and the possibilities of intertwined activities, programs, and events.

Sports Steadily Integrates Into Esports

Already, the sports industry has started integrating itself into esports with branching organizations for FIFA, NFL, NBA and more. An ,investment research article by VentureBeat shows that NBA teams like, Houston Rockets, Philadelphia 76ers and Golden State Warriors have already invested in League of Legends teams.

The German soccer club, FC Schalke, also invested in League of Legends esports and has remained a strong contender in the European Championship scene. Another prime example would be David Beckham’s esports organization, Guild Esports which he co-owns, invested in and launched back in 2020. Guild Esports is now a globally-recognized organization with a wide range of teams under its roster in different scenes such as Apex Legends, Fortnite, Rocket League and more.

This is only a small list of names that have taken their steps into the scene – and there are so many more making their way now. It displays how far and massive esports is getting as traditional sports start mix-matching and integrating the most prominent brands, organizations, players and celebrities into its basket.

Overall, the crossover between sports and esports is mutually benefitting both industries. As esports continues to integrate into the traditional sports industry, it will continue to to grow alongside it as well.

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