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

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?

Featured Correspondent

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

Published Dec. 19th 2013
  • 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
  • Richard Whelchel
    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!
  • 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 Nat
    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.
  • 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?
  • GameSkinny Staff
    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
  • Germ_the_Nobody
    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.

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