From July 26th through the 28th, the popular battle royale game Fortnite had its worldwide Fortnite World Cup event. During this event, competitors as young as 13 years old competed to win thousands, even millions of dollars. Not only did kids and young adults win large sums of money, but they also got a chance to meet their idols and inspirations and have a chance to make themselves well-known in the gaming community to build up their follower base.
At the end of the singles event on Sunday, 16-year-old Kyle "Bugha" Giersdorf went home with $3 million dollars along with his World Cup trophy. To add onto this, 13-year-old Soleil "Ewok" Wheeler became the first female to be inducted into the well-known gaming organization FaZe Clan. What makes this extra special is that Ewok is a deaf competitive player, and her achievement not only inspires and astonishes people like myself, but it also pushes more people into the competitive scene so that they can get a piece of the action.
After everything is said and done, the main question that comes up in people's minds is whether esports should be considered a sport and if parents should let their kids aspire to be a professional gamer as a career.
I do consider esports as a sport. Even though I consider myself a gamer, my response has no bias attached. If you look up the definition of the word "sport," the result is "an activity involving physical exertion and skill in which an individual or team competes against another or others for entertainment." I feel that when it comes to esports, people don't consider it a sport because electronics are involved, but so much time and effort is put in to the point where I feel that it's ridiculous to not call it a sport. I played football, basketball, track and field, and baseball. Every feeling I felt while playing those, I feel when I prep and enter a tournament.
Except baseball. Baseball is boring.
When you enter esports competitions, a lot of developed skills and hours of practice are coming together. A guy who never played a game in his life can't just enter the tournament. You have to qualify in order to participate. That means you have to train and practice to be the best of the best. During these training sessions, people are constantly practicing and moving their hands and fingers. Not only that, but simultaneously people are strengthening their hand-eye coordination, which is considered physical exertion. It also takes a lot of muscle memory as well when you're playing. You have to remember certain moves or different tricks during gameplay, and in games like Fortnite, you've got to be able to read your opponents' moves. It's almost like chess.
The next topic that came up after the World Cup was whether kids and young adults should strive to be professional gamers for their future career goal. I'm not trying to tell parents how to parent their children. I know for a fact that I know nothing about being one either, but I feel that parents should not be the ones to tell their kids no or to choose another career. Some parents still believe that video games are a waste of time and pointless. Ask Ewok's or Bugha's parents and see if they feel the same way. Being a professional gamer takes a lot of time and effort. You have to buy the equipment, put in the time, and have the patience. It doesn't happen overnight either. Sometimes it might take years, so whenever you have the time to get started, the better. Also, entering tournaments and events gives you public exposure, which is always a plus.
I'm currently striving to be a gaming journalist, but I still live stream and upload YouTube videos from time to time. Hopefully after college I can get a good PC setup where I can live stream with better connection. I'm currently involved in the tournament scene, and I plan to be involved with many more in the years to come.