Esports and traditional sports should be viewed equally in merit



They sit on their couches, playing video games for hours; their life revolves around staring at a computer; they eat chips and drink soda all day; this is the present stereotype that many people assume about all gamers. But this isn’t the case for junior Joey Wang.  

“So the thing about stereotypes and rumors is that they’re always true to a certain degree. But people need to know that they are not true for everyone,” Wang said.

As a varsity club member of the League of Legends club, Wang states that he and other club members don’t match the stereotype, but there are still other gamers that are accurate representations of these stereotypes. There are always going to be people that sit on the couch and play games all day. But, Wang feels that this negative stereotype surrounding all gamers puts gamers like him under a bad light even when they are managing their time wisely and effectively gaming. 

“People praise sports players for their talents and spirit. You can find the same thing in esport players. They have the same values and the same experience,” Wang said.   

Wang believes that there are clear parallels between esports and regular sports because for regular sports, constant practice, drills and conditioning are scheduled in order to make the players improve. Similarly, the gaming club holds scrimmages and practice matches to help players learn from their mistakes. 

Club President Luther Wu also thinks gaming should be recognized as a sport. 

“The teamwork, the community, the effort you need to put in, the rigorous practice schedules: these qualities all qualify as a sport,” Wu said. 

Wu compares how working and strategizing with teammates are a main aspect of physical sports. The League of Legends club gives members community and collaboration practice like what you would get in physical sports. 

Since gaming requires players to put in hours to improve, a lot of people assume that gamers spend all of their time gaming, meaning they are often unproductive and lazy. With Wang, that’s not the case. 

“At the moment I’m doing Model UN. I recently joined the Youth and Government club for the school. I have a really big conference at UCLA. A lot of research and writing will have to go into that. So a lot of things are coming our way. And then, numerous other guys from my varsity team, they play golf, they play tennis and they’re very sporty,” Wang said. 

Wang wants to study history and spends many hours reading and learning to achieve his goals. 

And Wang’s not the only one. Other team members devote and prioritize other responsibilities as well. These sports take up much of their time, yet they still manage to game alongside school.

“We have our own goals and are working towards them, and we all just happen to play video games,” Wang said.