Is E-Sports a Professional Sport?
Is E-Sports a Professional Sport?

Is E-Sports a Professional Sport?

E-sports have been around since the early days of video gaming, but they’ve experienced an explosion in popularity over the past few years as more gamers and viewers embrace e-sports as a legitimate sport. While it’s not quite there yet, many people are already taking their passion for gaming to the next level, with some even hoping to compete on the world stage and win big money prizes! But is e-sports a professional sport? Let’s take a look at both sides of the debate...

A History of E-Sports as a Sport

The concept of video games as an interactive sport is nothing new; it was only when people began gathering to watch others play those video games that it became something new. In 1996, South Korea decided to officially consider e-sports as a professional sport, and they were one of first few countries in which gamers earned medals. In fact, there are four Olympic sports which are considered e-sports at some level: chess, bridge, go and carrom. However—contrary to what many would assume—the number of American teenagers who identify themselves as e-sports athletes is actually higher than any other country’s teenagers.

How Do People Get Into E-Sports as a Profession?

Before you start off, you have to ask yourself what kind of E-Sport player you want to be. Do you want to be one of those players who play for fun, or do you want to go pro and play competitively? If you decide on going pro, there are different ways in which you can make it happen, like contacting professional players via Twitter or Reddit.

What's Needed to Become an E-Sport Professional Athlete?

Let's start with what you need to do become an e-sports professional athlete. First, and most importantly, you'll need talent. While becoming a professional athlete is possible for almost anyone—otherwise it wouldn't be much of a professional league—those who aren't naturally skilled will have an extremely hard time excelling at video games. That doesn't mean all hope is lost for those who don't have natural talent, though; practice makes perfect! If you're interested in becoming an e-sports professional athlete and willing to put in countless hours of practice, then that's still just part one. You'll also need motivation to see your dreams through even after crushing defeats and failures repeatedly discourage you from continuing.

How Much Money Does an E-Sport Athlete Make?

The short answer is, it depends. The athletes who make up an e-sports team (think Dota 2 or League of Legends) are typically salaried employees of an organization that fields multiple teams in competitions. These players work together to improve as a unit and compete against other teams. It's more complicated than winning and losing; there are also tournaments to prepare for, which usually culminate in cash prizes that can run into six figures . On top of their salaries and prize money, many pro players get product endorsements from big brands like Red Bull or Monster Energy Drink. And unlike traditional sports leagues, e-sports has no salary cap; there’s no ceiling on how much you can earn if you're good enough at your game of choice.

What If I Don't Win Anything But Still Play E-Sports Professionally?

You might be wondering, If I don't win anything can I still consider myself a professional? In short, yes. Just like any other sport, you are still considered a professional e-sports player whether or not you bring home medals or titles. While winning is important for any athlete's self esteem and reputation among others in their field, simply being able to play at an elite level can be satisfying enough for many individuals. Your ability to hone your skills on your own terms is part of what makes e-sports such an appealing career path for so many athletes. Even if you never compete in high stakes matches with large crowds of spectators, playing at an elite level should have its own unique sense of fulfillment and accomplishment that no one else really understands except fellow pros.


The answer to is e-sports a professional sport is a complicated one. Technically, there is no consensus on what actually constitutes sports and what doesn't. Because e-sports don't fit neatly into either of these categories, it's really up to you whether or not you decide they are considered professional sports.

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