What makes a sport?

Well, according to Google, it is “an activity involving physical exertion and skill in which an individual or team competes against another or others for entertainment.”

So, following that definition, Esports should be considered as much of a sport as football, rugby, cricket or anything else. However, while competitive gaming is quickly becoming the biggest player in the sporting industry, controversy still surrounds its title as a sport.

Firstly, for those of you who don’t know, an Esport is a particular game played on a competitive basis against other individuals, or teams. While spectators can watch events live in stadiums, or online on various streaming platforms. Sounds very similar to football, don’t you think?

Gamers competing in the Liverpool ePremier League play-offs at Anfield.

In an article published by the BBC, forecasters have predicted by 2020, Esports will rake in an astounding £1bn in revenue, and almost 600 million viewers. Even Nike couldn’t ignore those numbers.

Last year, the global sports brand became a sponsor of the League of Legends Chinese Professional League. This particular Esport actually holds one of the largest prize pots available in the sport. Winners of the League of Legends World Championship will share a prize pot containing a staggering $1m (£810,000). In fact, if that doesn’t open your eyes, Esports are also going to be a medalled event at the 2022 Asian Games.

The ePremier League

Also, it’s growing over here in the UK too. Believe it or not, but Premier League clubs even have their own gamers who represent them in the ePremier League. Last year’s winners, Liverpool, held their ePremier League play-offs at Anfield on Thursday night.

The Liverpool ePremier League play-offs.

Daniel Smith, who was competing for the chance to represent Liverpool in the ePremier League said, “Its huge for us as FIFA players, it gives us an opportunity. I’m a huge Liverpool fan, have been for all of my life.

“So, to represent Liverpool, its huge for me, it’s like a dream come true. I’ve always wanted to be a player, so the fact I can play and represent Liverpool, its massive.”

Another competitive gamer, Ryan Hughes, who was also playing at the event said, “For me, it [Esports] deserves more recognition, because I know how hard it is for people to become a professional footballer. Whereas now, people have the opportunity to take it in control with their hands, and maybe even have that opportunity to represent their football club that they support, for me it’s an honour.”

Players competing to represent Liverpool in the ePremier League.

So, what separates these gamers from the likes of Liverpool’s Trent Alexander-Arnold? Both are tremendously talented in their chosen field. Both of them compete at the highest level in their respected sports. More importantly, both of them believe it’s an honour to represent their beloved club.

Whether it’s with a football, or a controller, it doesn’t matter. Both sports require a talented individual. Someone who is willing to spend every day scrupulously refining their abilities, so that they might gain that small edge over their opponent. Both sports also have millions of people, just like me and you, parading their team colours, singing their songs of support and watching between the gaps of their fingers, hoping to witness that next iconic moment.

Follow @merseysportlive for your latest sporting news.