Is pro gaming now considered a sport? One of South Korea's top universities think so, and is now accepting gamers as student athletes

Posted by Nicholas 'MajinTenshinhan' Taylor • April 4, 2014 at 8:18 a.m. PDT

It's no secret that South Korea is a country that is very accepting of pro gaming as a true career. Titles such as Starcraft and League of Legends have flourished as a sport in the country, and they're showing no signs of lowering their production values for gaming events.

This, however, is a step even larger than what we've previously seen. Reportedly, one of South Korea's top 10 schools, Chung-Ang University, is set to start accepting competitive gamers the same way they accept traditional athletes.

Hit the jump to read more details regarding Chung-Ang University's gaming initiative.

Chung-Ang University plans to start accepting eSports applicants next year, where they will be registering at the school's Department of Sport Science, which has previously been reserved for more classical sports.

While this isn't explicitly related to fighting games, it's a very impressive step for pro gaming in general. The future for eSports might be even brighter than envisioned. Share your thoughts on the matter in the comments.

Thanks to USAtlas for sending this in.

Source: Edvantage.


urien said on April 4, 2014 at 8:20 a.m.

star craft is the worst thing that ever happened to gaming since WOW

Remondo02 said on April 4, 2014 at 8:20 a.m.

(This user was banned.)

Taizuku said on April 4, 2014 at 8:23 a.m.

Wow that's a big step forward for gaming.

Redblaze27 said on April 4, 2014 at 8:24 a.m.

My one issue with calling gaming a sport is that compared to other sports, gaming is a volatile sport. They game itself can change genres or rules, not to mention fundamental mechanics. Games like Football and Baseball are always the same game.

spotlesseden said on April 4, 2014 at 8:28 a.m.

SF4 are always the same. There are balance that's about. Football changes rules too. They changed from def and rushing game to passing happy games with all those rule changes.

And NBA had no 3 points before, now they had 3 points, 24 seconds to shot ,ect.

if they make SF5, then that's consider a new sport.

dangerbreed said on April 4, 2014 at 8:29 a.m.

That's funny as hell.

HooliganComboFTW said on April 4, 2014 at 8:34 a.m.

Bunch of other questionable activities are considered "sports" nowadays so this isn't surprising. LoL is already considered a sport by the US government.

samuraix025 said on April 4, 2014 at 8:36 a.m.

you can call it funny or ridiculous because you don't live there, its a huge cultural difference, there you get games like starcraft with six figures or more on the line. here we get evo with 2500 dollars to the winner. here its recreation, there, its a profession

massi4h said on April 4, 2014 at 8:57 a.m.

How so?

Because it's too competitive for you to handle?

It's 1v1 pure strategy + execution.

As close as you can get to Fighting Games in a way, which is what makes it so amazing with a high skill level.

MRN_SirFoxington said on April 4, 2014 at 9:07 a.m.

Wow... the US and other countries besides asia should do the bloody same !

World, please cut a piece off of that gorgeous idea Korea got when it comes to support gamers and adapt...seriously.

Nightpain said on April 4, 2014 at 9:14 a.m.

I love video games.I grew up with them and play them on the regular.But if sitting on your ass all day is considered as "sport", than I don't know anymore.

Tapion817 said on April 4, 2014 at 9:16 a.m.

Starcraft predates WOW.

sarif2soon said on April 4, 2014 at 9:19 a.m.

I like that pro gaming is being accepted, but not that it's being called a "sport".

HeatEXTEND said on April 4, 2014 at 9:21 a.m.

You best be talking 'bout starcraft 2.

If not, gr8 b8, made me post.

Remondo02 said on April 4, 2014 at 9:24 a.m.

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Remondo02 said on April 4, 2014 at 9:27 a.m.

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aoi said on April 4, 2014 at 9:29 a.m.

korea, land of "esports"

Simeon said on April 4, 2014 at 9:29 a.m.


Yung said on April 4, 2014 at 9:30 a.m.

I don't think playing competitively is a sport, but playing competitively does require some level of skill and dedication, not physical, but mentally. It's a lot similar to chess. But yeah, treating like a sport it's a little too much.

chocotaco said on April 4, 2014 at 9:31 a.m.

And as far as game mechanics and balance changes are concerned, things change in the rules or physically in sports all the time. In baseball, for instance, they changed the plates from metal circles to rubber pentagons, and the pitcher's mound was lowered to help hitters. In tennis and golf, racquet and club technology have changed the game drastically over the last few decades.

Video games typically change more quickly, but that's because of a lack of tradition associated with them. If anything that's a positive, since the game can be changed to adapt more easily to shifts in the way it's played.

BlackOnyxThunder said on April 4, 2014 at 9:31 a.m.

Pro gaming's not really a sport, but then again... curling is considered a sport and it's stupid as "H.e double hockey sticks."

CyberAthlete said on April 4, 2014 at 9:41 a.m.

Eeeeeeeeeey WE MADE IT!

BlackOnyxThunder said on April 4, 2014 at 9:44 a.m.

Yeah, same with manners:

In Korea they really enforce manners and respect toward elders (that's part of their culture).

In the USA no one gives a shhh (and it isn't really part of any-ones culture).

BIG "cultural" differences...

samuraix025 said on April 4, 2014 at 9:46 a.m.

an activity involving physical exertion and skill in which an individual or team competes against another or others for entertainment.
"team sports such as baseball and soccer"
synonyms: (competitive) game(s), physical recreation, physical activity, physical exercise, athletics; More

say what you will if its played competitively it requires skill and a form of physical movement, it can be called a sport. just because you play for fun doesn't make it less of a sport. for some its a serious sport

JELIFISH19 said on April 4, 2014 at 9:49 a.m.

Driving around is a sport. Riding horses is a sport. Sweeping is a sport (curling). Sailing is a sport. Riding down a slide is a sport (luge and bobsledding). Ping pong is a sport. Golf is a sport. Dance is a sport. You can do all of the things I've listed casually too but the competition and dedication are what makes them sports rather than casual activities. You play games casually so you don't have the experience of a professional gamer. You're not part of a team, you don't train, you don't get paid, and you're not dedicated to it. Gaming as a competitive sport isn't far-fetched when you look at other sports that require little or no physical athleticism.

joestar316 said on April 4, 2014 at 9:51 a.m.

Great to see games have evolved greatly in such a great country. Good for them, I hope this rustles people's jimmies.

KingKong said on April 4, 2014 at 9:51 a.m.

South Koreans have always been the pioneers when it comes to eSports related things. Think about it, these guys are building the future of competitive entertainment.

I'm not surprised this is called a "sport", I mean, even chess is considered a sport. Anyway the real term is "esports" and for good reasons.

P.S: Remondo, please stop living in the past. Open your eyes man, we're talking about games that are specifically designed for competition.

joestar316 said on April 4, 2014 at 9:58 a.m.

By your logic no one can play basketball, football, or baseball with the family for fun. Because it's all Money money money, right?

MCZ_Ryu said on April 4, 2014 at 10:06 a.m.

Don't know why people can't seem to grasp gaming as a sport. Just because it's becoming institutionalized, it doesn't mean that you cannot still enjoy it leisurely on your own time.

AdamBomb said on April 4, 2014 at 10:06 a.m.

I'm not too sure about this logic man.
Were all sports designed to be sports from the moment of their inception? Probably not.
They evolved from games/activities into competition because people wanted them to be. While I agree that we should take into consideration the original intentions of things, I disagree that we should make it the final say on topics.

Super_Shoto_Fighter_4 said on April 4, 2014 at 10:09 a.m.

Sooo a bunch students are will leave University with huge debts for a short career in gaming? I'm not sure about this :|

Remondo02 said on April 4, 2014 at 10:25 a.m.

(This user was banned.)

Druggzbunny said on April 4, 2014 at 10:27 a.m.

LOL @ anyone who considers playing video games a "sport". I bet 99% of those people can't do a single push-up without gasping for life.

joestar316 said on April 4, 2014 at 11:02 a.m.

Well thats life, nothing is fair. You have to make it work for you. Also pro gaming Is usually an entry level position to bigger things, but some seem ti miss this and hate in the fact that these pros are paying for there educaton and real careers by bodying you in your favorite game.

THTB said on April 4, 2014 at 11:04 a.m.

Chess being classified as a sport by the International Olympic Committee throws this definition for a loop.

THTB said on April 4, 2014 at 11:06 a.m.

I hate this argument. Oh so much. Because it's an absurd stereotype that has long been broken if you've payed any attention to what some players look like.

Existent said on April 4, 2014 at 11:09 a.m.

If anyone were to have an issue with this I would think it should be that colleges accept athletes to begin with, not what is considered a sport.

sarif2soon said on April 4, 2014 at 11:13 a.m.

People are arguing about that one, though.

JIHADJOE said on April 4, 2014 at 11:14 a.m.

Perhaps it not quite as heavy on endurance, but the competitive Starcraft is a pretty good measure of dexterity, speed and coordination.

And that's not even mentioning the mental aspect of the game. Like chess the SC players is always juggling several strategies, and instead of just overall strategic positioning he has to keep in mind his resource gathering, as well as combat tactics for individual skirmishes. To top things off, everything happens at a rapid pace, unlike traditional games like chess.

Nothing but respect here for professional SC. I'd dare say it's one of, if not the most demanding game of all competitive games so far.

Lockm said on April 4, 2014 at 11:26 a.m.

Unlike sports such as football, american football, basketball, baseball etc gaming is dynamic. A game will be gone once a better game comes out. A sport like the ones i mentioned before have been ingrained into culture and won't be replaced by another sport. I don't see the value in raising competitive gamers.

Having said that i would like competitive gaming(i won't use the word sport) to be come extremely popular and i won't mind having even leagues and enormous money prizes and it being generally accepted by the common public. I just think it is absolutely retarded for a school to waste their resourses on creating studies for the benefit of compettitive gaming.

ChoseDeath said on April 4, 2014 at 11:34 a.m.

Good for South Korea and I hope their program is successful. Personally I have no idea why people would want to game professionally, but I say that about all my hobbies (golf, hunting and fishing, playing guitar, power lifting, etc.) I hope programs like this spread if they turn out to be viable. Good luck to all involved!

Druggzbunny said on April 4, 2014 at 11:55 a.m.

For every in shape gamer, there's about 10-20 out of shape ones. Sometimes gaming stereotypes are there for a reason. Fighting games alone I can count in shape pro gamers on one hand. Out of shape though? I don't have enough fingers.

jme said on April 4, 2014 at 12:02 p.m.

Off opic a little bit, but I never considered Poker a sport. There is no skill in card/casino games. It's literally all luck. There are no controllable factors in those games. Only thing you can practice is bluff, which I don't think that's a factor in the game, but rather outside the game.

joestar316 said on April 4, 2014 at 12:03 p.m.

To be fair the world is just fat and lazy in general. Ever see Wall-E(our future at this point)? Everyone in this world Is lazy. Some just happen to be gamers.

samuraix025 said on April 4, 2014 at 12:11 p.m.

Not really. Chess actually epitomizes the definition.

You may not exert physically as much as other things but it more than makes up for through strategy and competitiveness. A sport does not have to make you tired.

hellovirgins said on April 4, 2014 at 12:17 p.m.

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hellovirgins said on April 4, 2014 at 12:29 p.m.

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hellovirgins said on April 4, 2014 at 12:43 p.m.

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xShonuffx said on April 4, 2014 at 12:50 p.m.

eSports IS NOT A SPORT!!!

Sorry if you feel strongly about it but its not.

KingKong said on April 4, 2014 at 1:07 p.m.

Hellovirgins it seems like there is sand stuck in your vagina, what's happening man? Why don't you take a deep breath.

AdamBomb said on April 4, 2014 at 1:19 p.m.

Well he did state that it would be used to pay for education. A lot of players have moved on/used their earnings for school to become a variety of things: IT guys, personal trainers, engineers, businessmen, banking, artists... the list goes on and on.
Some even get hired because of their affiliation with Espors/progaming. It sets them apart from others. A smash player named Hugo "Hugs" Gonzalez put down he made the year-end MLG national championship in 2006 for a banking job and they hired him because of it.
Just some food for thought.

sarif2soon said on April 4, 2014 at 1:20 p.m.

Probably pissed that those who bust their asses off every day of their lives to achieve physical peek will have to share a name specifically given to them with those who sit for hours on end in front of a monitor.

D2Or said on April 4, 2014 at 1:24 p.m.

Just WOW! I never would imagine gaming could be a career. I love video games, but I don't know how to feel about this.

theshredder39 said on April 4, 2014 at 2:15 p.m.

It's kinda the same as different sports really, I sort of think of the other genres in games as just sub catagories of the gaming sport, kinda like how there's multiple variations of Chess and Checkers with different rules.

jaycee00 said on April 4, 2014 at 2:31 p.m.

to all the guys insulting people's fitness...i hope you can do at least 50 pushups yourself. otherwise you've got nothing to brag about

Existent said on April 4, 2014 at 4:31 p.m.

Dude, he's a troll, and a bad one at that. Most likely the same guy who made the previous however many accounts that were also shortly banned. Ignore and move on.

DexterWylde said on April 4, 2014 at 4:39 p.m.

All sports were just games or some sort of entertainment at one time, its inevitable for videogames to become sports. I find it sad that a number of people can't see this. Makes me question do most people actually think about things objectively or do they just talk out they're ass and say whatever fits they're own rhetoric. Start evolving fools, don't fear change so much.

Mike said on April 4, 2014 at 7:27 p.m.

"Specifically designed for competition." Chess wasn't designed for competition to this extent and neither was SSBM. People are competitive, not games. If something with little to no physicality can be considered a sport then ANY competition could be a sport. Staring contests, thumb wrestling, who can burp the loudest, etc.

Cervatoz said on April 4, 2014 at 9:43 p.m.

Video games isnt even close to the depth of real life sports.

rosy said on April 4, 2014 at 9:59 p.m.

Well, I think that school will get most benefit from that cause As you know people like gaming more than having real life education

FlynnChop said on April 4, 2014 at 11:45 p.m.

I disagree with this 100%.

However, calling things like chess, poker, and video games a "sport" is not only incorrect, you're just begging for the world to take you LESS seriously.

Chess, Poker, and Street Fighter are all awesome, competitive things that require thought and skill, but that isn't what defines a "sport".

Why try to jam a square peg into a round hole? By definition, sitting in a chair and moving your hands slightly can never be considered a sport. That doesn't mean it's worse, it just isn't a sport.

The world laughs at competitive gaming enough as is, let's not dress it up like a clown and throw it on the news by calling it a "sport".

GenSoHotSpicy said on April 5, 2014 at 3:23 a.m.

I'm sorry folks but playing video games does not make you an athlete, and giving a bunch of couch potatoes athletic scholarships is just shameful. Young athletes who play real sports, who physically exert themselves, who risk injuring their bodies and who learn values in teamwork and real-life communication skills..they are the ones who deserve athletic scholarships. Absolutely shameful.

I love video games and I'm glad people like to view video game tournaments and root for certain players, but that's where the line should end.

Parents spending thousands of dollars on registering their children in sports programs, equipping them with sports gear and transporting their kids to tournaments and games so one day their son or daughter can get an athletic scholarship to a university. How much do these eSports folks parents pay? A console, games and snack food. Ugh.

GenSoHotSpicy said on April 5, 2014 at 3:34 a.m.

Sorry to continue my rant, but sport was created as a spectacle of physicality in a place outside your home and definitely outdoors. I have a problem with video games being considered a sport because it just isn't a healthy concept.

I played baseball, ice hockey and soccer as a youth and earned an athletic scholarship to play soccer at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. That was until I had a knee-on-knee collision which ended my playing career sophomore year. My parents and I worked hard for me to get all the way to a college scholarship and to think some fat, greasy, slobby RTS or MOBA player could get a scholarship by sitting on their butt with their eyes glued to a TV screen just makes me want to mollywhop a sucka.

Lorenzo_2003 said on April 5, 2014 at 4:10 a.m.

The only problem I have with the term "esport" or equating video gaming with sports is that it sounds so damned desperate. It was not popular before, so now to fit in we have to pretend that we are athletes just like the cool kids. It's very much a "See, guys? We're not nerds because it's... ESPORTS!1!"

Of course a lot of us play sports anyway and video gaming has become more mainstream. And, yes, some things like poker and the spelling Bee are on ESPN, but that just means they have also been mislabeled.

Crash40 said on April 5, 2014 at 8:13 p.m.

Dude... You are aware that the term "sport" is not associated with physical activity. Hell, Chess is a sport! And I'd still say that's a harsh generalization... I know some dudes who are really good at SF who are also health nuts! (Not me tho... I'm not exactly in the best shape of m life >.>)


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