E-sport needs a new self-image

There is no question of e-sports being on everyone's lips yet - the electronic-based replay of sports is still more of a niche phenomenon. But that doesn't mean that there aren't already weighty interests at play here.

E-sport needs a new self-image

There is no question of e-sports being on everyone's lips yet - the electronic-based replay of sports is still more of a niche phenomenon. But that doesn't mean that there aren't already weighty interests at play here. Big names in sports, as well as the entertainment and marketing industries, have long since discovered professional console gaming. What was once a video game popular primarily with teenagers has, over time, become a high-stakes game. This is also why the e-sports community desperately needs to redefine itself.



The big money at the consoleThe

community of e-sports fans has always had a certain image problem. There are more than a few people who can't see any athleticism in professional video gaming - especially since it's not just sports games, but also games like Fortnite that are fought out on a professional level. So the hope that e-sports could establish itself as a new sport alongside the relevant well-known disciplines, so to speak, has always been rather remote, despite the involvement of well-known sports clubs such as Schalke 04 and Manchester City in the field. The latest setback for the e-sportsmen's efforts to actually be recognized as athletes came only recently from the German Olympic Sports Confederation: e-sports is not a sport, according to the official verdict of the top sports watchdogs, who based this ruling on an expert opinion. The desired non-profit status is now denied to the e-sportsmen with this result and the way to general recognition has not become easier.

The competition must move more into the foregroundNow

the sport is generally not a child of sadness, as far as the proximity to big money is concerned, think of the salaries of footballers or the fees of boxers.

Nevertheless, the sports federation likes to pretend that it is primarily about the friendly competition between amateurs. Reports about a victory bonus of

1.5 million dollars for the 17-year-old winner of the Fortnite world championship or about the e-sportsman Tfue suing his clan for the dear money are more of a hindrance. The question remains whether it should be a new message in the external presentation for the e-sportsmen or whether one is content with what one has, renounces the non-profit status and continues outside of organized sports. In the long run, however, this will probably mean the end of growth, because sport attracts sponsors and advertisers much more than gaming on the console. In fact, it shouldn't be that difficult for the e-sports sector to improve its public image.

After all, the concentrated play over hours, the tactical approach, the implementation of strategies and the necessary hand-eye coordination are definitely elements that point to a classification as a sport. In the interest of recognition as such, it will be necessary to clearly emphasize these aspects. If this succeeds, and if war games and the like fade into the background, then e-sports will still have enormous potential for growth.