They’ve just broadcast the DOTA 2 tournament so this is an odd statement from the man at the top.
ESPN President John Skipper was asked at the Code Media Series what he thought of the recent Twitch buyout by Amazon and decided to comment on eSports. His response is probably a little unexpected when you consider ESPN gave the recent DOTA 2 tournament solid air time.
“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.”
Interesting response and it has to be said eSports being labelled as a sport is debatable. If sport is to be defined by whether “athletes” are taking part then eSports is certainly not a sport. What about chess, poker, snooker? The list goes on.
With eSports now officially classified as “sport” in the US, no matter which side of the fence you sit on eSports must be considered a sport. In my opinion eSports are not a sport and tend to agree that they’re more competitive competitions which take a lot of dedication and skill to reach pro level. Everyone will have a different opinion on this.
Ultimately it doesn’t matter how eSports are classified. As long as networks like ESPN continue to cover events it can only be beneficial to the gaming scene. Let’s just hope Skipper doesn’t decide to axe future coverage because that would be a real loss for gaming and all the progress that’s been made to bring eSports to a mainstream audience.