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The esports world has absolutely exploded over the last few years, swiftly in tune with the growing capabilities of the internet and gaming technology. While esports used to be a contained and niche industry that only survived in dark arcades, it has since spread to every corner of the globe and has attracted massive sponsors. With so much real industry behind this trend, there has been a long discussion about whether esports athletes should be considered real athletes?

What Skills do Professional Athletes Need to Have?

While the economy behind esports players should be easy to see, the real physical and mental attributes that are needed to excel in esports are not as obvious. The traits that are crucial in real-world sports are easier for the public to understand.

For instance, the requirements to be an elite-level quarterback in the NFL are tremendous. There are so many different small, seemingly insignificant traits that you must adopt and excel at to succeed here. Quarterbacks like Josh Allen of the Buffalo Bills combine a strong physical frame with a brain that has been trained to make split decisions in an instant. His eyes must constantly be moving, along with his head and feet, to execute a throw in the midst of the play.

His mastery of these many minuscule skills is what gives his team the edge in the NFL betting odds. Other positions like a receiver requires you to have explosive speed while also understanding how the defensive players will try to interrupt your routes. To excel in the sport of football, as well as all other sports, you must have elite capabilities in both the mental and physical realms.

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How Does This Compare to Pro Gamers?

When you consider what it takes to be successful in the world of esports, you’ll quickly realize that the necessities are not far off from other sports. While there may be more of an emphasis on the mental aspects, there are still many physical requirements and they are just as important.

Hand-eye coordination is essential in this realm, as are your reflexes, which play an immense role. When you consider fighting games along the lines of Tekken, Mortal Kombat, or Street Fighter, then there is the application of arcade-style “fight sticks” which enable you to perform incredibly complex maneuvers. Other genres have their own requirements that quickly prove that esports does have a physical barrier to excel in.

On the mental side of things, there could be more problem solving and challenges than in any other traditional sport. Pro gamers must make innumerable amounts of decisions per minute when it comes to the gameplay. It can be very strenuous and exhausting and it takes a certain mind to stay competitive depending on the genre.

Like many other activities, youthful people excel in the esports world. While experience can certainly be accounted for, there is a clear performance gap between younger and older players that can no longer keep up. This demonstrates that the world of esports is competitive and not everyone can find a place here in the highest tiers of gaming.

Should Pro Esports Players be Considered Real Athletes?

In many ways, this question is no longer relevant in today’s world. Pro esports players are already well on their way to being considered real athletes. The framework is there, the leagues are being established, and esports teams are training and competing like any other sport. In addition, the future is looking exceptionally bright for this budding industry, especially when VR games are taken into consideration. Undoubtedly, we have yet to see the peak of esports and it is likely that esports will even take a great deal of market share from traditional sports in the near future.

How to Get Started in Esports?

If you are interested in getting started in the esports world, there are some steps you can take to become a pro gamer. More than anything else, it is important to pick the genres and titles that you are interested in and focus on building your skills here first. After that you can network to join teams and get sponsorships.

While you may not reach the top of the esports world, there are still a wide number of different avenues you can take to make a living from gaming, like streaming and content creating. If you are truly passionate about gaming and the esports world, there are many different ways to get involved.