About 100 million Americans are expected to watch the nation’s biggest sporting event, the Super Bowl, on February 3. But three months ago, almost as many people around the world watched two teams face off in the finals of a video game tournament. That competition, the League of Legends World Championship, is the biggest in e-sports (short for electronic sports).
As the popularity of e-sports continues to grow, more people are starting to consider playing video games a sport. More than 100 colleges in the U.S. now have e-sports teams. Many of those schools offer scholarships, just as they do for top athletes. The organizers of the Olympics are even considering adding e-sports competitions in the near future.
Still, many people say e-sports don’t belong in the same category as traditional sports. For one thing, they argue, an event isn’t a sport just because a lot of people watch it. They point out that cooking competitions and singing contests are shown on TV, but few people would consider either of them to be a sport.