Video gaming: more than just a hobby

The world of e-sports is upon us. E-sports, or professional video gaming, is one of the fastest growing sectors in the entertainment industry to date.
 
With venues like the Staples Center in Los Angeles, the Olympic stadium in Korea and the Mercedes-Benz arena in Germany consistently being sold out to thousands of fans, it’s hard to not classify e-sports — and its players, as athletes. However, popular opinion in the United States doesn’t match what is actually happening in the world of e-sports. There are many people who mock gamers who watch e-sports events or attend them live.
 
I would ask that if a gamer can obtain a work visa in the U.S. to game professionally and have a theoretical salary income in excess of $110,000, why would they not be considered athletes and their fans as sports fans?
 
These players put in more practice and conditioning into their sport than most other athletes do. Their teamwork and critical thinking abilities are significantly higher than the norm, and many put in more dedication and effort into their work than just about any other occupation I can think of. I just think it’s time that people stop stereotyping and start understanding.