Esports Players Should Be Considered Athletes?

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Jake Lucky, from Full Squad Gaming, asked Shaq this in a recent conversation (as seen below). Shaq not only said he believes pro Esports players are athletes, but he went into detail about this. He began by saying that athlete can mean different things, physically speaking, but pointing to his head said, “but athlete means here.” He discusses how much of a mental game sports are, with the physical aspect being a minor part of it.

He talked about Shaq Versus, a show in which he challenged other pro athletes at their preferred sport, and how discussed how painful racing against Dale Earnhardt and swimming against Michael Phelps was. Shaq's experience with Esports and sports cannot be understated, but when it comes to Esports, he said he “can’t do what [pro Esports players] do.”

Shaq said that he was proud of Esports players and commends them for what they do, and he even acknowledges the hardships of playing Esports competitively. He compared the average “shelf-life” of an Esports player, 5-6 years according to him, to the NFL or NBA due to not just physical burnout but mental ones too. There are several streamers who used to be competitive Esports players who wouldn’t do it again, for reasons similar to this.

As Esports become more acknowledged, it seems likely many will come to share Shaq’s opinion.
 
I agree with Shaq that E-sports players should be considered aesthetes because playing games at a competitive level requires mental skills and also fast fingers, and arm movement when using a PC mouse, and keyboard.
 
They don't deserve to be in a team being paid by sponsors just to play games that any able-bodied person can do that haven't been able or done this yet, whereas in sports you are competing with your whole body and are required to do it for the highest bidder. All just for the rich to watch and pretend to be interested. As much as I want eSports to have athletes they really aren't in the real world with this concept as much as Shaq thinks they are. But it is more fun to watch than regular sports.
 
They don't deserve to be in a team being paid by sponsors just to play games that any able-bodied person can do that haven't been able or done this yet, whereas in sports you are competing with your whole body and are required to do it for the highest bidder. All just for the rich to watch and pretend to be interested. As much as I want eSports to have athletes they really aren't in the real world with this concept as much as Shaq thinks they are. But it is more fun to watch than regular sports.

They don't "deserve" it? What a joke. If people will watch, sponsors will come on their own. Who are you to say what they should not be allowed to do? The people at the pinnacle of their sport are all there because of talent and years of hard work. If you don't think that's worth anything then any justification for physical sports being more real also isn't valid because it's no different as both involve being the best at an arbitrary set of rules and all games are arbitrary human constructs anyway.
 
I admire how good some of these esports players are because I'm no way as good as them. But I'm never considering them as athletes lmao
 
They don't "deserve" it? What a joke. If people will watch, sponsors will come on their own. Who are you to say what they should not be allowed to do? The people at the pinnacle of their sport are all there because of talent and years of hard work. If you don't think that's worth anything then any justification for physical sports being more real also isn't valid because it's no different as both involve being the best at an arbitrary set of rules and all games are arbitrary human constructs anyway.
Here's an arbitrary rule, participation ribbon for you.
 
I find the aspects of team sports are highly beneficial for children and young adults and the "team" part is the most important. I'd consider them athletes simply due to them basically checking off all the boxes needed to be an athlete, but mostly I'd push for them to be considered true athletes as getting people into team-focused activities is worth making the definition a bit "foggy".
 
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