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eSports “Not a Sport” Says ESPN Boss



/ 2 years ago

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ESPN President John Skipper was asked about the recent Twitch acquisition by Amazon, as well as the general rise of eSports and the gaming scene, his reply will no doubt shock to the wider gaming community.

“It’s not a sport — it’s a competition. Chess is a competition. Checkers is a competition….Mostly, I’m interested in doing real sports,” he said, according to Re/code.

His words make no sense to me, I’m personally not fussed about eSports, I’d rather play a game than watch it, but there are millions of others who will happily fill an arena to see the DOTA II finals, and I think that is freaking awesome! I’ve never been much of a sports fan, but I see no difference from 50,000 people sitting and watching Star Craft II as there is people watching a snooker final. Both look like sports to me.

ESPN recently partnered with DOTA 2 to broadcast a preshow for The International on ESPN2, so for John to say this isn’t a sport, why on earth are they showing it on sports TV? With services such as Twitch and countless other streaming services, gaming events and everything else, I don’t know what benefit something like ESPN has for eSports anyway.

Why do you think Skipper is being so dismissive? Surely it would be within his interests to promote eSports as a fully fledged sporting event.

Thank you Forbes for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of Forbes.


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  • Alistair Hardy

    It’s a case of ‘The Old Guard’ vs. the younger generations.
    Simple as that.
    He doesn’t see it as a sport because of his generation.

  • Xavier Isaacson

    Origin of the word sport:

    Old English “disport”, shortened to sport, meaning a “Diversion from work or serious matters; recreation or amusement”
    Likely taken from the Old French word “desporter”, from des- ‘away’ + porter ‘carry’ (from Latin portare). Perhaps we should just go back to the original meaning of Sport, and drop the stupid pretense that a sport must involve running about like 4 year olds with an IV of pure sugar.