Can eSport Racing Be Considered A Real Sport?
It’s no secret that I am a fan of Online Simulation (SIM) Racing. Yes, I am a grown man that likes the thrill of racing other car enthusiasts in online ranked matches. And I am not talking about a quick game of Mario Cart, or the cool racing game that you have on your smart phone.
I am talking about games like Forza Motorsport, Gran Turismo, and the new console release of Dirt Rally; games that put the player in a virtual racing simulation around some of toughest road and rally courses on the planet.
My game of choice right now?
Forza 6 on Xbox One. When I found out that Major League Gaming (MLG) and Microsoft were holding their first ever Forza 6 eSport Tournament, I was more than ready to jump into my racing seat and sign up.
Let’s face it; weekend track days can get expensive.
Not everyone has the money to go race at the local track every Saturday. When you factor in all the costs of getting your car ready such as tires, gas, safety equipment, food, not to mention track fees, it can really add up. If you happen to get into a wreck or break something on your own car, you are stuck funding the repairs out of your own pocket as well.
Sim racing gives the average car enthusiast a small taste of what it’s like to drive some of the hottest cars on the planet around the toughest tracks in the world, without actually breaking the bank.
But do you consider this an actual sport? Google defines sport as: “an activity involving physical exertion and skill in which an individual or team competes against another or others for entertainment.”
Most people say a sport needs to involve a degree of physical activity in it, as well as a certain set of skills and abilities.
Sport athletes also often endure a lot of hard work and training to be where they are today. While eSports may not have all these, not all sports do either. For example, Chess and Poker are considered sports today, although there is no element of physical activity within the sport. These sports do require skills and mental focus like other sports, but they just don’t involve a physical aspect to them.
Personally, I would say YES and for this reason.
Sim racing can hugely improve reaction times, whether the player is an eSport player or a physical sports player. It is a way of improving skills too, and doesn’t require the player to have a team mate with them to practice. It also takes a certain level of concentration and commitment to race online and achieve podium finishes consistently. I have a full race wheel setup at home that includes the Logitech 920 race wheel and pedals, shifter, the wheel stand pro to keep it all steady, and a cheap Recaro style seat to finish off my setup. Have you ever raced in one of the endurance races in Forza 6 using a Force Feedback race wheel? Fatigue definitely sets in around the 30 min mark if you are driving aggressively without using the assists!
So what do you think? Can eSport Racing Be Considered a Real Sport? Over the next couple weeks, we are going to be checking out all the MLG Forza 6 tournament action. We may even jump in the driver’s seat and see how we stack up against some of the best online racers.
The Forza Motorsport 6 tournament is a free-to-enter event which will allow players to compete in weekly one-on-one and team-based online race events, featuring S-Class cars on a variety of tracks found in the game. Players will be competing for a chance to race in the live Finals event and earn a share of the cash prize pool, which will be broadcast from the MLG studios in New York City on May 21.
You Can Watch the Forza 6 Live Finals here May 21st: MLG.tv/Forza