The growth of eSports, you could assume, has laid to rest the tired old arguments of what constitutes a sport and how Dota 2 or League of Legends don’t fit the bill. There are fewer and fewer things that separate traditional sports and eSports, and the latter becomes more like the former every year.
It looks like there are still plenty of folk who aren’t ready for eSports to be considered real sports, however. And there are quite a few who are genuinely outraged, because outrage is a compelling hobby. The Dota 2 International has been airing on ESPN2, and people have taken to Twitter to express just how devastating this is.
Redditor niknarcotic posted an image collecting some of the most amusing reaction tweets to ESPN2’s coverage. It’s wonderful; a kaleidoscope of confusion, anger and bemusement.
There's this fellow, who has never watched a game of darts.
ESPN2 showing a video game competition, calling it a 'sport'. Aaaaaaaaand we've lost all definitions of that word.— Steve Carter (@SteveCarterPP) July 21, 2014
Another tweet suggests it's worse that women’s basketball, which is obviously not a sport because some of the players have boobs.
espn2 is showing professional video games. congratulations, you found something worse than poker and womens basketball.— Red Sox Stats (@redsoxstats) July 21, 2014
And of course, there's concern over the weight of "nerds"
But most of all, people are just really, really baffled.
ESPN2 has DOTA championships on right now. I am so confused right now— Todd Bodene (@toddbodene) July 21, 2014
What on Earth is ESPN2 airing right now— Alex J M (@AJMACtion) July 21, 2014
Competitive video gaming is on ESPN2 #why?— Jake Peters (@jPeeps1995) July 21, 2014
But what’s great about these tweets is that we can just sit back and have a good old chuckle. eSports fill out arenas, get millions of viewers and even if they weren’t on ESPN, they’re still covered widely in other media and through streaming.
The time when eSports needed to fight for recognition is behind us. Mainstream acceptance isn’t necessary, even if it can be reassuring.
The grand finals kick off tonight, and you can watch them along with us.