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 IPAD FEATURE

Harry's hot takes: eSports aren't real sports, and they never will be

Fire talk with me
Product: PUBG Mobile | Publisher: Tencent Games | Format: Android, iPhone, iPad, Steam
 
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One of the big buzzwords in the gaming world right now is eSports. And guess what, I hate it. It's a stupid word to describe a stupid thing that doesn't even make a single sliver of sense. You might accuse me of deliberately courting controversy. And you'd be right.

But I'm not doing it for personal gain. I'm not doing it to stir up traffic and secure my columnist position for another how-ever-many years. Well, I mean I am doing that. That's literally what I am doing. But I'm doing it for nobler reasons too.

And what are those nobler reasons? Hot takes. Searing hot barbs of fact stabbing into your undercarriage. Roasting needles of knowledge delivered straight into your retina and into the squishy areas in your skull. I'm doing this because it's the truth, and the truth must be heard.

That truth is this - eSports are not sports.

Sports happen outside

There are some exceptions to this rule, but for the most part sports happen outside. And they definitely all involve shorts of one description or another. If you're not wearing shorts and you're not outside then there's no chance in hell that you're playing a sport.

So when you're sat down at a computer, wearing full length trousers or a skirt, then you're just not engaging in anything even close to a sport. At best you're involved in a hobby. At worst you're hacking into the Pentagon and stealing the nuclear launch codes.

Who are the jocks now?

If people playing computer games are doing sports, then who are the jocks? Are the nerds the jocks now? Does that mean that people playing sports are losers? It's literally a semantic nightmare and if we allow it to happen high school movies from the past aren't going to make one jot of sense.

How is that fair to the auteurs and actors who strove to create such masterpieces as American Pie: The Book of Love and Just One of the Guys? The answer is that it isn't, so we should stop with all of this silliness and leave sports as sports and games as games.

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What if you got one of those pads that pushed the buttons really quick?

If you were playing Street Fighter and you chose Blanka or E. Honda or Chun Li and you had one of those controllers then you'd basically be unstoppable. You'd just click on the turbo and spam out a million hundred hand slaps and then you'd be the champion.

It's the e(not)Sports equivalent of those performance enhancing blood transfusions that Lance Armstrong had to make him as fast as a train. No man should be able to go faster than a train, and no man should be able to win at Street Fighter as Blanka unless they're cheating.

Where are the role models?


It's obvious that sports personalities are huge role models. Look at Tiger Woods, Mike Tyson, Kobe Bryant, Lance Armstrong, OJ Simpson, Lee Bowyer, Eric Cantona, Adam Johnson, Tonya Harding, Marion Jones, Boris Becker, Oscar Pistorius, and Marlon King to name just a few.

Are we really going to let people who play video games become our role models? That doesn't seem to make much sense to me.

What about the shoes?

The best thing about real sports is that the sports stars endorse shoes. These shoes are then made incredibly cheaply by workers in countries with lax labour laws, then sold at an insanely inflated mark-up because they bear the correct branding. And when you wear them you feel like the sports star whose name and or face is emblazoned on them.

No one's going to be looking at the shoes of eSports "athletes". I mean, for the most part they're going to be sat down, and there'll be a table covering their feet. How can I feel like a sports star if I'm not wearing the right shoes? None of this is adding up to me.

I'm rubbish at sports and games


Look, I'm rubbish at sports. I'm also rubbish at games. Essentially this is just another avenue for more specifically talented people to lord it over me like I'm some complete loser. I don't want to get picked on by sports people and games people, that really isn't fair.

That's the main reason eSports should be banned. I just made all of the rest up. I've never even played Overwatch. But it should be thrown into a bin because I'm lonely and bad at everything.
 

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Harry Slater 13 April 2018
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