What is an eSport



StarCraft 2, League of Legends, DotA 2 all have one thing in common, they are all eSports.

First the word eSport is a combination of two words – electronic and sport. We will begin by looking at each word separately.



To start we look at the definition of Electronic:

(of a device) Having or operating with the aid of many small components, esp. microchips and transistors, that control and direct an electric current” (Source – Google.com)

When used for the term eSport, the word electronic refers to the devices required to play that game. Some examples of electronics used in eSports are mice, keyboards, controllers and video screens.



Now Let us look at two definitions of the word sport:

An activity involving physical exertion and skill in which an individual or team competes against one another or others.” (Source – Google.com)

An individual or group activity perused for exercise or pleasure, often involving the testing of physical capabilities and taking the form of a competitive game.” (Source – Dictionary.Com)

Both of the above definitions focus on competition between one or more players through physical and skillful actions.



Understanding ‘electronic’ and ‘sport’ separately makes the definition of an esport easy. Here it is:

 An individual or team sport involving controlled physical exertion onto electronic devices and skill in which an individual or team competes against another or others.” (Source – ProGamingTours.net)


What is eSports video

Video from FNATIC TV


eSport Controversy

The first argument you are likely to make when someone calls StarCraft an eSport is that for it to be a sport, requires you to be outside and involve walking, running, jumping or another physical force.

Neither definition of a sport by Google or Dictionary.com requires individuals or teams to compete through physical force. Both definitions focus on competition with physical actions. With eSports instead of directly influencing a game, the players indirectly influence a game by manipulating electronic devices.

The acceleration of a mouse or rotation of a joystick both are physical actions that influence a game. The key difference between a sport and an eSport is that the audiences watches the virtual result of a player’s physical action instead of the physical action itself. In StarCraft, you watch the marines march across the map not the players hand accelerating, adjusting, decelerating across the mouse pad with their fingers compressing and decompressing the mouse buttons.

An eSport is where a player’s physical actions create virtual results that determine the final outcome. StarCraft and similar games are not like traditional sports, they are a new type of sport, an eSport.