Is Esport really Sport?

This week we have been filming in Parkville, Melbourne where 5 teenage boys are holed up in a share house playing on-line video games seventeen hours a day. Gravitas are the latest Esports team to join the Oceanic Pro League and we will be following their journey over the ten-week split, documenting their success both on and off the screen.

Esports is the fastest growing area of sport in the world. But is it really is sport?

Each team is made up of 5 players and each player is allocated a position within the team. The game of choice is League Of Legends and they compete every Friday and Saturday against other expert gamers from around the country.

Between games, the boys train under the guidance of their coach and team manager, practicing, strategizing and developing offensive and defensive plays specifically tailored to out-smart their up-coming opponents.

To be in that house, watching these young men prepare, the dedication, the philosophy, the way they work together to achieve the best possible outcome, is no different to watching an AFL team prepare for a home and away game.

But is it sport? Sitting at computer desk and staring at a screen all day, can that really be categorized as sport?

The US Government recognises Esports players as professional athletes, at least when it comes to granting visas. However, the president of ESPN, one of America’s largest sports TV networks, says it’s not a sport, it’s a competition.

At the end of the day, does it really matter? In 2015, the global Esports market generated US$325 million and that is expected to double in 2019. The global Esports audience is estimated to be in excess of 400 million people so call it what you want, sport, competition, game or muck’n around on a computer, Esport is the latest sensation sweeping the globe and Mezzanine Films is glad to be a part of it.

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