Yes, Esports are Helpful to the World of Sports

By Julia Sax (II), Staff Writer

Sports video games have been popular ever since their invention. Take hockey, for example: NHL Hockey was released in 1991 by EA Sports, and the games have remained a popular choice for sports enthusiasts. These video games, because of their widespread nature and universal offerings, have had a tremendous positive effect on the world of sports.

Electronic sports, or esports, inform people who are unfamiliar with various sports and how each sport is played. Harry White (II) is one of those who have benefitted from the flexible and explorative structure of this sports media. He “didn’t know a lot of the basketball rules when [he] started playing NBA 2K,” and reflects that the game made him want to learn more. He ultimately figured out the rules and is now an avid watcher of basketball, specifically the Boston Celtics.

History and economics teacher Mr. Patrick Boor had a similar experience, as he previously played the soccer game FIFA and “learned a lot about the team rosters and all the teams in each league.”

Not only are esports informative, but they also encourage interest in the sport. People will buy these video games because they want to play with their friends or try them out. While playing the games, people realize that they find the sport interesting. They then end up watching and possibly even attending sports events.

Mr. Boor has experienced this phenomenon: “The FIFA video games are a major reason why I started getting into watching the English Premier League and La Liga [the professional soccer league in Spain].” Mr. Boor found his love of soccer all because he played FIFA with his friends in high school and in college.

Electronic sports build communities, inform its players and garner interest. Communities are a vital component of the sports world. Where would we be without bonding with friends, and even strangers, over a game or match? What would life be like without championship parades? Video games form a strong connection that brings people together.

This human connection was especially vital during the pandemic, when friends could not see each other in person. Video games allowed people to connect while keeping each other safe, and yet again fostered growth and community without an otherwise disconnected group of people. While sports video games will always have naysayers, their positives certainly outweigh the negatives, and they enhance the sports world.