Being a traditional athletic director, I have been told many times that I should be offended by esports, particularly the use of “sports” in its name. Competitors don’t jump (unless out of their seats), run, or use a ball. Certainly, all of that should be an affront to my natural proclivity toward the more traditional physically-taxing competitions like football, soccer, or lacrosse.
But esports offers nearly all the same rewarding traits – engagement, commitment, teamwork, leadership opportunities, dedication, sportsmanship – as traditional athletics.
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At the college where I work – SUNY Canton – esports has been incredibly successful. In addition to great participation, we’ve diversified our student activities while supporting academic programs typically populated by esports students, such as game design, graphic and multimedia design, engineering, and esports management.