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It would be very easy for a number of cynical to dismiss eSports being officially classified as forms of sports. The technical definition of a sport is an activity that requires physical exertion, even though games like chess and poker (which don’t really require any physical exertion) are also classified as sports. With that in mind, there is no real reason that eSports shouldn’t be classified as official sports. Chess and poker may not require physical exertion or training, but they are the ultimate psychological battle, as a result only a select few can be described as very good at them.

There is also some debate over what does and doesn’t count as an eSport. The 21st century has seen the birth of a world where playing video games now counts as an eSport, in fact thousands of fans packed into a stadium in Toronto to watch the finals the League of Legends Summer split play-offs. In a short space of time eSports have rapidly grown into an industry where many see opportunity for profit. In fact, a number ofNBA stars have invested in the NRG eSports team, while West Ham United have signed a video games enthusiast to represent the club every time he plays FIFA online.

Alexandre Dreyfus, CEO of the Global Poker Index (GPI), has put forward a plan to see speed poker, and other forms of online poker, be officially classified as eSports in their own right. A regular game of poker can take a long time and may not capture the long-term attention of fans, whereas a shorter version of the game could work out quite well. Dreyfus has suggested using a stop clock system (similar to chess) where players are given a top of 50 minutes to use when making decisions throughout the game.

One of the biggest factors of any sport, including eSports, is how well they transition to the spectatorship. In 2013, the League of Legends playoff attracted 27 million viewers worldwide with a single event, second only to that year’s Super Bowl. Yearly, the World Series of Poker attracts quite a following in both physical attendance and TV viewers around the world. If poker can be that popular on a global scale, there is every reason to believe that speed poker can do the same job.

Should Dreyfus’s vision of poker the eSport become a reality, the games would take place inside a 20 ft by 20 ft glass cube (just like in the ITV show ‘The Cube’) that is completely soundproof, for the benefit of the players’ concentration, and the players would stand for the duration of the game, this means they could wear issued shirts, like in darts, with sponsors plastered across their back. Every sport these days has some form of sponsorship to keep the business afloat, eSports will have to adopt a similar business strategy.
http://culturedvultures.com/speed-poker-classified-esport/


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