Like many other competitions, electronic gaming now has tournaments for cash prizes, bragging rights, corporate sponsorship, and all that jazz. The term “professional gamer” is actually viable now, much like a pro chess player or artist.
What bugs the shit out of me, though, is that some media sources and gamers are referring to professional gaming as a “sport.” Fuck no. I harbor no illusions that professional gaming is a career path that takes skill, dedication, and a lot of hard work and practice, but it is most certainly not a sport. I’m no jock (far from it!), but to me, a sport is something that requires heavy physical effort and training. Football. Baseball. Martial arts. That sort of thing. Sorry, teaching your fingers to trigger controls is not athletic training.
Professional gaming sometimes gets lumped into the same category as poker, fishing, or NASCAR. They’re labeled “sports,” but they’re really not, as they don’t require athletic ability. Leisure activities, yes, sports, no. And as far as gaming is concerned…how many sports have “athletes” that are nerdy fat guys? Or skinny-ass geeks? It’s a stereotype, but more often than not, a valid one. I’ve been playing games a very long time; I’d never consider myself a “gaming athlete” as a result.