For decades, the sports industry has been ruled by tennis, basketball, and soccer. From championships watched all over the world, to lucrative sponsorships, it was all reserved for sports superstars, signing million USD worth contracts. Yet, in the beginning of the 21st century, another sports category crept in, to mess with the heads of sports industry doyens. We are talking about eSports, of course. eSports are a perfect topic to invite Anna Rosak for a chat (read her bio here ). This digital marketing expert is one of the leading authorities in the domain of eSports and online betting, so she managed to cast a whole new light on them.

Are eSports Even A Sport?

“One of the leading dilemmas is if eSports can be classified as sports at all”, begins Rosak, famous for her reviews such as this one, “But if you ask me, they are pretty much a sport. If chess, snooker and darts can be considered athletic disciplines, so can eSports.”

This peculiar form of entertainment strains players, both physically and intellectually, and requires teamwork, and constant training. There is also strategy involved, as well as the competitiveness. Ask anyone what sports are, and they will use the same words we did to describe the thrilling world of eSports gaming.

eSports Take The Lead

Some might argue there is not much money in eSports, but the truth is exactly the opposite. League of Legends, Fortnite and other games are no longer played by losers, hiding in their mothers’ basements, but by sleek-looking individuals with superstar status.

“For new generations, Jonathan “Fatal1ty” Wendel is as big as Ronaldo, Michael Jordan and Pele were for generations before them”, tells Anna and continues, “He is a cult figure in the world of eSports and has paved the way for big names such as Johan “n0tail” Sundstein, Lee “Faker” Sang-hyeok, and Lee “Flash” Young Ho.”

The numbers are also siding with the new pastime. The 2020 League of Legends World Championship Final broke viewership records, reaching a peak of nearly 46 million concurrent viewers. In 2019, more than 100 million viewers tuned in to watch their favorite athletes compete. In comparison, the same number of people watched the Super Bowl the very same year.

“Oh, there is money in the world of League of Legends, Hearthstone, and Fortnite, as well as any other game for that matter. Coca-Cola sponsors the LoL World Championship, gamers get deals with Champion and Gucci, and there are waiting lists for their designer merch”, reveals the expert.

New World Full of New Superstars

One of the main arguments against eSports is those anti-social nerds can’t be good role models for generations to come. Anna argues this premise is very wrong and is just another prejudice: “eSports athletes are real human beings, and not Big Bang Theory characters. If you want my opinion, they are probably the best role models a kid might have”, says Anna, and continues, “They are hard-working, they exercise, and must get enough sleep. eSports athletes are famous for their companionship, empathy and willingness to help newcomers pave their path and find their place in the spotlight.”

Most notably, Gamers Without Borders (GWB), the world’s biggest charitable eSports festival, has a charity prize pool of US$10 million. In the past two years, the money went to Covid-19 relief and vaccine distribution, but in 2022, the money will be used to fund organizations that provide immediate help to people in need.

“In the world of football, the majority of players don’t do a thing. On every Ronaldo who donates millions, you have dozens of athletes involved in scandals”, concludes the digital gaming expert.

eSports: Evolving Industry With Massive Potential

Anna is sure the numbers, awareness and recognition of eSports will only grow in the future. As one of the main advantages of eSports in comparison to traditional disciplines, she mentions its ability to resist even in the most complex and hostile conditions: “We witnessed eSports skyrocket in bookies all over the world during the pandemic. All these athletes need is a computer, and they will keep their fans happy, and sponsors satisfied. Global warming? They can play inside. Expensive fuel? They’ll work from home. Political crisis? All they need is an internet connection!”

Saying eSports are not sports can be best described as – foolish. In the year 2022, it is a piece of massive machinery and a worldwide attraction that generates billions every day. Services like Twitch and YouTube create new stars, promise a new type of American, or if you wish, Asian dream, anyone can fulfill, as long as they have a computer and a gaming account. Let’s just hope all their dreams come true.