ESPN: eSports are not actually sports


Are eSports real sports? ESPN’s intrepid leader doesn’t seem to think so.

“It’s not a sport — it’s a competition,” ESPN president John Skipper said Thursday at the Code/Media Series conference in New York. “Chess is a competition. Checkers is a competition. Mostly, I’m interested in doing real sports.”

The dismissal is curious, given ESPN partnered with Valve earlier this summer to broadcast The International, the world championship for Dota 2, and how the network airs stuff like cup stacking, competitive eating, spelling bees, and poker tournaments. Somehow those must be real sports. 

I wonder where the man stands on the great Gone Home debate. Videogame or no, Mr. Skipper?

Sorry, Twitch: ESPN’s skipper says eSports ‘not a sport’ [Re/code via Polygon]

Kyle MacGregor Burleson