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HBO's Real Sports With Bryant Gumbel Mocks eSports

HBO Real Sports with Byrant Gumbel showed a note about League of Legends World Championship and ended up mocking gamers

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I might not be the most savvy person when it comes to eSports, I mean, I watch some League of Legends, Dota 2, Starcraft 2 matches, but that’s about it. I enjoy watching those professional gamers living the dream of every single one of us: get paid for playing video games - not to mention the acknowledgement they get for doing so!

Well, it seems like HBO’s Real Sports with Byrant Gumbel do not think eSports should be considered actual sports…

As you could see in the video above, it all happened thanks to Soledad O’Brien’s piece on the League of Legends Championship, something that is definitely great as Real Sports is known for being a high-quality sports journalism show. Sadly, the other pundits started pretty much insulting gamers, and yes, I’m talking about that lame comment about Star Trek, and saying that eSports are not sports.

They definitely don’t see it the way we do, which is understandable, but personally I don’t see why would they need to make fun of it, at all.

What’s your take on this matter? Do you think they handled O’Brien’s news appropriately?

Originally Published Dec. 19th 2013

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I'm a gamer, a software developer, and the founder of GamersSphere.com. I can always be found either playing games, or writing new articles about... more »

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  • Spyke_3447
    Quotes of the day:

    "It's not a sport it's a game" - ROFL... so stupid xD

    "Do you have any statistics on how many of those people go to star trek conventions" - Pointless comment, nonsense dismissive asshole.

    "20 million people watching the damn thing, they gotta be crazier then..." Someone put this guy to bed and change his nappy please.

    What's crazy is dismissing something that gains 20 million viewers as nothing, if it want's to call itself a sport. Then the 20 million people will decide that it's a sport. And already may have decided.

    What's crazy is stating "it's a game" when that's EXACTLY what every other sport technically IS.

    What's crazy is bringing up star trek in an appeal to ridicule knowing full well it's a fallacy and not how a professional needs to act.

    These guys sound scared. They're about to be obsolete. And I say good riddance, especialy if this is how they act.
  • Rothalack
    Master O' Bugs
    SOOOO well put. You are absolutely right, they are scared, they know they are obsolete. Every quote you brought up makes me angry as well. Those first three are absolutely worthless. I can't believe those people get paid to say worthless crap like that. They took absolutely no initiative to educate themselves with what they were looking at, except that one lady who courageously spoke up and said it was a sport.

    One other decent thing said in there was "cyber athlete" I honestly think that is a great term to go in between. Sport I don't believe carries the connotation of physical activity, athlete does. So saying an ESports pro is an "athlete" is incorrect while saying cyber athlete is absolutely correct.

    Another thought, they call hunting a sport and that is just sitting in a tree for many many hours and pulling a trigger. Seems pretty similar to sitting in a computer chair, clicking and key stroking for hours.
  • Jinu_3460
    The word "sport" comes from the old English word "disport" which basically means a diversion; amusement; or play. So in a sense, video games as well as poker, billiards, fishing, etc. are all valid sports in a literal sense. Of course, people have their rights to an opinion of what they consider as a "sport" and may not agree, but mocking others or calling them idiots for an opinion about a term--well that's just asinine.
  • JohnHeatz
    Featured Correspondent
    that, I didn't know, this is indeed one of the best answers on this matter that I've seen, and I totally agree with you on it
  • Amy White
    Former Editor in Chief
    Gotta love meaningful application of etymology. Well done, sir. Well done.
  • Richard Whelchel
    Correspondent
    I hate to be a black sheep and disagree as well, but I tend to correlate sports with athleticism. I understand that training for esports is demanding, but it's nowhere near the amount of conditioning a football, baseball, and basketball athletes have to endure. Even NASCAR drivers have be in shape -- otherwise how will they fit through the window of their stock car? Yeah, they kind of went overboard in the video mocking gamers, but a session of "two-a-days" for football will kick your ass harder than a six hour starcraft or LoL binge. Don't get me wrong, even though I don't consider it a sport, I still found the pundits comments distasteful and oblvious. Good article though!
    Last edited 2 years ago
  • BuzzIrk
    "It's just a game." So what is Baseball, Football, Soccer, etc.?? So these "athletes" aren't very athletic, but neither are race car drivers, relatively speaking.

    It's like any competition, be it on the field, track or deserted island (Survivor TV show). People watch to see "the thrill of victory, and the agony of defeat."
  • JohnHeatz
    Featured Correspondent
    completely agree with you. One point that I read about this is really interesting.

    By definition, some people may say this isn't a sport as it "doesn't involve any physical activity" yet, if the intensive training sessions aren't physically demanding, well, I don't know what is.
  • Bob Szes
    Contributor
    You may or not remember, in the 1990's things like skateboarding and doing tricks on a bmx bikes was seen as a fringe side thing the kids where doing. Yes it generated allot of money but it was it's own thing; extreme sports. I see E-Sports in a similar vain.
    Last edited 2 years ago
  • JohnHeatz
    Featured Correspondent
    indeed, quite a few sports started the same way, with a lot of hatred towards them. The thing is, as Jay mentioned, eSports don't really need to be broadcasted in TV, I mean...20 million people watching the championship on the internet? Which other sports had that many viewers without being on TV?
  • Bob Szes
    Contributor
    Yes its very impressive. The person watching a MOMA championship is watching most things from their PC or Mobil device. If they brought it over to Television I don't think they would grab any new viewers. Maybe some preteens that don't have access to the internet would become fans.
  • Germaximus
    Correspondent
    That's your argument? "T.V." practically doesn't exist anymore. Everything is watched on the internet. Even T.V.
  • JohnHeatz
    Featured Correspondent
    no idea where exactly you live, but for me, TV is quite alive still and I just watch online some livestreams that aren't broadcasted over here
  • WhyteDem0n
    While the distribution of online content is on the rise, TV is far from dead. TV viewer numbers far outweigh those of digital distribution of the same content. TV is very much alive and kicking. Judging by your comments on this article, the only thing that seems to not exist is your logic.
  • Jay Ricciardi
    Senior Editor
    Haters gunna hate.

    Thank god eSports doesn't need the support of broadcast television. Also, I love the look on Bryant Gumbel's face that reads "Hey, guys, maybe MAYBE we shouldn't alienate 2 million potential viewers."
  • JohnHeatz
    Featured Correspondent
    I actually laughed a bit when I saw that facial expression :P he knew this wasn't going to be good for the show
  • Amanda Wallace
    Associate Editor
    if I could upvote you I would.
  • Germaximus
    Correspondent
    lol I'm a hardcore gamer and I think calling gamers athletes or calling gaming a sport is absolutely ludicrous.
    I think the guy getting a sports Visa for playing video games is completely idiotic.
    It's cool that gamers get that recognition but it's also bullcrap.
  • JohnHeatz
    Featured Correspondent
    Well, I completely disagree with you there. If you follow a little bit of one of these guys' daily lives, you'll see that they actually have to be training quite a few hours a day to become an actual team, or to polish their strategies.

    Here in my country there are a couple of well known LoL teams which have gone to compete for different international tournaments, it so happens that a couple of friends are a part of one of these teams, so I do know how hard they work to be even noticed, not to mention to win tournaments.
  • Germaximus
    Correspondent
    lol Yeah cuz playing video games is "training". Wholly crap dude. When I play video games I get better at them over time. It's not training, it's playing video games.
    Last edited 2 years ago
  • Jay A
    Featured Contributor
    I don't think you understand the legitimacy of eSports, and I would suggest doing a little bit more research before continuing your rant. I also agree with Jay (ha) below in being thankful that eSports doesn't really need broadcast television or approval of the masses. It's doing great on it's own and will continue to grow and evolve.

    You might get better at video games over time, but until you get paid to train, (yes, TRAIN) daily and compete internationally, I wouldn't be comparing yourself to professional gamers.
  • Germaximus
    Correspondent
    You might want to actually know what a sport is before you make a silly argument.

    Anybody that thinks gaming is a sport is an idiot.

    Professional gaming should have its own category which should just simply be "Professional Gaming". Sports sure as hell isn't it.
    Last edited 2 years ago
  • Jay A
    Featured Contributor
    Last word last word.
  • JohnHeatz
    Featured Correspondent
    well, you just called me, and millions of other people idiots...that's really classy.
  • WhyteDem0n
    Nice. You literally just referred to millions of dedicated gamers as idiots, not to mention the professionals themselves who live and breathe their game all day, every day.

    If poker, hunting, fishing, and vehicle racing can be considered sports while requiring no physical exertion and broadcasted on major sports networks, then gaming most certainly can be among that list.
  • Germaximus
    Correspondent
    lol Well I also think anybody that considers poker, hunting, and fishing a sport an idiot. Same goes for Chess. I mean come the hell on.

    I don't care about being "classy" when people are acting like idiots and think it's okay.
    Last edited 2 years ago

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