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Pro Gaming Rises: ESL Pays Out $2.5 Million In Prize Money

Professional competitive gaming will only continue to grow.

As reported by GameSpot, European eSports group the Electronic Sports League (ESL) paid out $2.5 million in prize money in 2013. The year was described as a "truly global year of competition."

The money was handed out in 21 cities across 15 countries and 5 continents and in 2014, the ESL will host the EMS One Katowice Counter Strike: Global Offensive Championship at the IEM World Championships in Katowice, Poland. This will be held at the Spodek Arena, where the likes of Pearl Jam and Deep Purple have recorded live albums in the past. The prize pool for winning the Global Offensive Championship will be $250,000. As for 2013, here's what ESL CEO Ralf Reichert had to say:

"The last 12 months have brought about enormous changes in the eSports landscape. With production quality reaching ever-high levels and viewership growing at immense rates, public discussion has shifted away from critical evaluation of eSports to the simple question of 'how fast will it continue to grow?"

Competitive gaming just gets bigger and bigger, despite the fact that most mainstream journalists dismiss it as a "sport." Personally, I don't think it's a sport, either, but it's still a legitimate competition, just as much as any other contest that focuses on skill, precision, hand-eye coordination, and lots and lots of practice. I couldn't do it, I'm sure.

Tags: sports, esports league, competitive gaming, esports winnings

1/2/2014 11:00:17 AM Ben Dutka

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Comments (13 posts)

Underdog15
Thursday, January 02, 2014 @ 11:20:58 AM
Reply

Of course it's not a sport. I'm not sure why everyone feels like something is a sport just because there's a competition happening.

To be honest, I'm not even sure why everyone holds the title of "sport" as some incredible thing of respect they must aspire to in order to be "legitimate".

I used to participate in music festivals. We were adjudicated, and the best performances were awarded first, second, and third prizes. It was a competition. You had to train for it. You practiced and practiced, and it is incredibly physical requiring dexterity for instrumentalists and endurance for many instruments. Your heart would race. etc. etc. etc. etc.... all those arguments poker players and what have you argue in favor of making it a sport.

But come on... music festivals were competitions putting skill against skill, sure... but it sure as heck isn't a sport.

This is no different.

That being said, I would have a much easier time taking it seriously if it just identified with exactly what it is and no more. I hope it does well, too.

Last edited by Underdog15 on 1/2/2014 11:21:23 AM

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Neo_Aeon666
Thursday, January 02, 2014 @ 1:48:57 PM

Because it feels a lot like watching a sport to watch an E-Sport game.

Feels like you are watching football or hockey.

When you play your instrument, the crowd isn't cheering at your every move and there is no commentator.

That is why I think the term E-Sport is good. It's not a *sport* it's an E-Sport. The difference being *for the viewer* that the characters he watches on screen are virtual and controlled by E-Players :D

Last edited by Neo_Aeon666 on 1/2/2014 1:49:47 PM

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Underdog15
Thursday, January 02, 2014 @ 3:42:54 PM

So if no fans are present at a game, it isn't a sport?

Is a rock concert a sport? Is a guitar solo battle a sport? Is a battle of the bands a sport?

That's a huge stretch, man.

Heck... lets have a professional rap battle pro sports league.

Last edited by Underdog15 on 1/2/2014 3:50:07 PM

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Beamboom
Friday, January 03, 2014 @ 4:41:38 AM

I believe the advocacy to call it "sport" is more due to legal reasons - it gives the activity some benefits in regards to foreigners participating in events and so forth.

Other than that I think the term "e-sport" is excellent. It's a sport only in a electronic/virtual setting. There's scores and goals and team play and rankings and everything else that is associated with sports. Had the events taken place in real life instead of in a virtual world, none would have denied it was a sport event. Ergo, "e-sport" is suitable imo.

I think the comparison with music is much more far fetched than comparing it with sports. This is no artistic expression.

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Temjin001
Thursday, January 02, 2014 @ 11:25:31 AM
Reply

this is about "sport" found in wikipedia.
Etymology
"Sport" comes from the Old French desport meaning "leisure", with the oldest definition in English from around 1300 being "anything humans find amusing or entertaining".
Other meanings include gambling and events staged for the purpose of gambling; hunting; and games and diversions, including ones that require exercise. Roget's defines the noun sport as an "activity engaged in for relaxation and amusement" with synonyms including diversion and recreation.




Last edited by Temjin001 on 1/2/2014 11:26:44 AM

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Temjin001
Thursday, January 02, 2014 @ 11:28:09 AM

and Gran Turismo is not a game. it's a simulator!
Journey is not a game. It's mindless wandering!
blah blah blah!

=p

EDIT: and gay no longer means happy it means homo

Last edited by Temjin001 on 1/2/2014 11:29:51 AM

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Underdog15
Thursday, January 02, 2014 @ 3:46:03 PM

You're confusing the use of the word. Doing something "for sport", while I would argue is no longer a common modern use, has merit from what you're attempting to describe. However, it is not the same as classifying something as a "sport". Not just Wikipedia, but most commonly used Oxford Dictionary words have different interpretations depending on it's use and application.

It's also not the same as saying, "come on now, old chap... be a sport!" By your argument, I am classifying you as a sport. A leisure activity. (And maybe you are, hey I won't judge! ;p ) But while it's the same word, it's not at all the same application. I would argue the definition you've located is only one option and one way of using the word.

I don't think your argument provides much to this particular discussion of what is classified as a sport. It isn't about oxford dictionary interpretations. It's about the philosophy of sport. Not about whether or not knitting is a sport on the basis that it is a leisure activity.

Last edited by Underdog15 on 1/2/2014 3:49:16 PM

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Temjin001
Thursday, January 02, 2014 @ 6:17:15 PM

switch to decaf and then look up what "etymology" means ;)

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Underdog15
Friday, January 03, 2014 @ 7:24:02 AM

I know what etymology means. I'm glad you had no rebuttal though.

Side note, I'm quite certain now no one would consider you a recreational activity. XD

Last edited by Underdog15 on 1/3/2014 7:24:17 AM

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Beamboom
Thursday, January 02, 2014 @ 12:00:31 PM
Reply

Compared to *these* guys we are all one happy group of very, very casual gamers. :)

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Banky A
Thursday, January 02, 2014 @ 2:41:46 PM

Uh huh. Takes the fun out of a relaxing hobby most times :/

I love to watch tourneys but I'm glad I don't want to practice like those players.

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SASSYGIRL82
Thursday, January 02, 2014 @ 4:15:42 PM
Reply

Most of those guys dont used the standard controller that comes w the console so the guys that actually do seem far more impressive than the rest

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Beamboom
Thursday, January 02, 2014 @ 5:01:04 PM

They don't use consoles.

Last edited by Beamboom on 1/2/2014 5:06:49 PM

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