When eSports captures the mainstream media’s attention the discussion nearly always turns into a schoolyard mockery of the so-called ‘geeks’ present, occasionally spilling over into well-trodden ground that we’re all subjects of an impending mental health issue. It’s sarcasm we’ve come to not only endure, but expect, always featuring a healthy dose of blanket statements and false accusations. So with the absolute truth granted by stereotyping let’s highlight 5 reasons why eSports are better than regular sports. Game on.
Aside from eye strains caused by excessive screen viewing and the RSI suffered by the occasional gaming athlete, eSport competitors have very few injuries to speak of. Unfortunately the same can’t be said for regular sports people. There’s been broken bones, amputations, even the occasional death. And then there’s Wayne Shelford, former rugby union footballer and coach. In a 1986 match between France and New Zealand, Shelford got involved in a rather aggressive ruck and suffered a boot in the groin. The result? His scrotum was ripped open, and one of his testicles broke free. After a physio stiched his family jewels up he was back on field kicking arse and groping fully-grown men … until he copped another heavy blow and got knocked out. That blister earned from playing too much Killer Instinct doesn’t seem so bad now huh?
Until they become famous worldwide, sport’s athletes have little chance of instilling fear in their opponents hearts through titles alone, especially with names like Diego Maradona, Michael Jordan and Serena Williams (Tiger Woods is the one exception). What you need is a killer nickname, a lesson Aussie golfer Greg Norman learned before he became known as ‘The Great White Shark’ (a reference to his blond hair, physical size, aggressive golf style and birthplace). Thankfully the eSports community latched onto nickname deception early, transforming dull identities like Daigo Umehara and Jonathan Wendel into terrifying pseudonyms capable of inflicting instantaneous heart attacks. If you ever stumble across ‘The Beast’ or ‘Fatal1ty’ in an online battlefield, disconnect immediately in the interests of self-worth and personal wellbeing.
3Level Playing Field
Switch on the sports channel and you’ll notice almost every athlete has been blessed with superior height, favourable body types or is black (granting augmented physical abilities across the board). In some ways then professional sports people are a product of genetics, not harsh training regimes. eSport athletes on the other hand rarely benefit from their biological makeup because such a profession requires strategy, a mental power less affected by natural disabilities. Sports people are also known to take unfair handicapping one step further with the assistance of illegal performance enhancing drugs, stripping away the dreams of any road racing cyclist unfortunate enough to encounter Lance Armstrong in the field.
If the nonexistent rivalry between regular sports people and eSports players ever manifested itself into all-out war, the ‘geeks’ would win thanks to a higher collective IQ. Hundreds of years ago when war was only fought on physical battlefields, with burly men brushing hairy torsos, it would have been a different story. But now war is fought with computer technology, utilizing drone strikes controlled by modified Xbox controllers. If there’s one thing us geeks know it’s computers, and with thumbs more defined than Phil Heath’s entire body we’d press our physically active enemies literally into permadeath, with banter devolving into constant cries of noob and PWNED.
There’s no escaping the reality that majority of gamers are socially awkward beings with a fatal allergy to sunlight (bar none). In fact the only time we leave the house is to pick up a recently released next-gen console (if our maternal slave is unable). Of course being a “nerd” also grants us the class buff ‘Extreme Intelligence’. Unfortunately for jocks, soccer hooligans and all those football meatheads though, stereotyping has not been so kind. The typical definition of a meathead is “A large, muscular, stupid male, especially an athlete. A jock. A brute” (wiktionary.org), while football hooligans are usually described as overzealous club supporters whobehave both violently and destructively. Either way, I know which pigeonhole I’d rather occupy.