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Professional Gamers Are Athletes, According to the United States Government



In a landmark decision that you are sure to forget about tomorrow when you wake up, the United States government has officially began recognizing professional video gamers as athletes, forever changing the landscape of professional sports. Thanks to a lobbying effort by gaming company Riot Games, pro gamers from across the world can apply and be awarded visas to come to America to showcase their unparalleled Duck Hunt skill. (Still popular, right?)


What does this mean for Kentucky and the recruiting wizard that is John Calipari? First, it will now be harder to convince athletes with both basketball and gaming aspirations to spend a year in college when they could be making millions thousands hundreds tens playing the latest edition of Halo. Would you rather take the fifth most shots as an amateur college basketball player or the first most shots on Call of Duty 25? Exactly. Second, Coach Cal’s words of wisdom will now ring hollow to many athletes who used to buy into his ideas about teamwork. You want to talk about “shared sacrifice?” Try dragging your virtual teammate to safety under a barrage of computer programmed bullets and then we’ll talk about sacrifice.


In all seriousness, video games are fun and a good way to spend time with your friends, even if it ends in a fight after you score the winning touchdown in Madden; saying professional gamers are athletes is taking it a bit too far, in my opinion. But hey, to each their own. I’ve been beaten and then cussed out by a multitude of 13 year olds in my video gaming days to know the professional ranks are not for me.


Finally, from the second most famous Calipari, a friendly PSA to start off your Monday morning. Those headphones won’t drown out the stink, bud.



Article written by Tyler Johnson

17 Comments for Professional Gamers Are Athletes, According to the United States Government

  1. Kevin C.
    10:09 pm July 14, 2013 Permalink

    LOL @ Erin Calipari’s tweet. Can we assume that was aimed at Dad? πŸ˜€

  2. JGC
    10:31 pm July 14, 2013 Permalink

    Professoinal gaming requires nearly as much energy exhaustion as any sport, as the brain is the most energy-hungry organ we possess. While you’ll never see a professional gamer visibly out of breath due to a lack of oxygen for their muscles, the mental effort required is phenomenal. Often times gamers are playing for many hours at a time in best 2 of 3 or 3 of 5 tournament matchups that can be upwards of an hour per match. Mental lapses and endurance are definitely issues, which is why many pro gamers pop adderall for focus – it’s basically their form of steroids.

    Also, DOTA 2 international teams are playing for a total pot of $2,500,000. They’re also professionally sponsored to play video games and often supplement this money from ad revenue when tens of thousands of people watch them play on their online streams. It’s a pretty good life; if you’re good enough.

  3. Bub
    10:35 pm July 14, 2013 Permalink

    Still more athletic than Nascar.

  4. Wildcatsteeler
    10:43 pm July 14, 2013 Permalink

    @2 Agreed. He’s making fun of it but it’s become a very serious business and a very lucrative career for many. Seems absurd to refer to them as athletes but as the story says it’s necessary for them to get the visa’s they need to travel the world. As someone that was a kid when it all started, I had pong, then Atari, then Colecovision etc. Then I became a real athlete and played sports for around 25 years and now that I’m older I’m back to gaming again. The games out now are amazing.

  5. Bobbum man
    11:22 pm July 14, 2013 Permalink

    Yeah professional gamers can make really good money, I dunno if I call them athletes, but I’d love to get paid to play games

  6. Ridge Runner
    11:41 pm July 14, 2013 Permalink

    We have came a long way since Mario was my first thought…

  7. olfactory organ
    11:43 pm July 14, 2013 Permalink

    Some things are better left unsmelled. Γ°ΕΈβ€˜Ζ’

  8. GizzyGames
    12:25 am July 15, 2013 Permalink use code KSR at checkout for 10% off. Buy those old Nintendo games! Local pickup available! (Louisville)

  9. Zed
    5:46 am July 15, 2013 Permalink

    Erin is very intelligent, highly stylish and elegant
    Cal must be very proud of her

  10. Terry Blue
    7:46 am July 15, 2013 Permalink

    WOW, didn’t know Erin Calipari was so crude!

  11. Musehobo
    8:26 am July 15, 2013 Permalink

    9 & 10, Really? Cause I’m sure you don’t ever talk about farts. She’s a normal person…besides having above average intelligence.

    I have had many problems with certain activities being called “sports” for years. I feel like for sake of the government and visas we should all be a little lax about the term. But for my personal reference, I feel like there should be a clear definition. has it as “an athletic activity requiring skill or physical prowess and often of a competitive nature”. I think this definition would exclude a lot of things we call sports…including video games. The skills require less “athletic” ability, and more mental ability, although hand-eye coordination is helpful. But the fact is, when a 500 pound dude can do it…it’s not very physically strenuous.

    And although I’d like to make a case for cheer-leading not being a sport, I think I’d be wrong as far as the definition, and I’m sure no one would agree with me. I think my hang up on it is that it’s primary purpose is to “cheer” on actual sporting events. But I know they have competitions now, and yes, athletic ability is necessary. But can we just agree that it’s a little dumb?

  12. Mike In The Wood
    8:39 am July 15, 2013 Permalink

    Professional gamers are very hard working and practice their craft as often as a football or basketball player if not more but they are not athletes. At best its competitive performance art.

  13. Thank you
    8:57 am July 15, 2013 Permalink

    #3 – nuff said.

  14. rickshelton
    9:38 am July 15, 2013 Permalink

    Erin… seriously!!! A thought in your head can stay there. This is why I tried Twitter for a week and then quit.

  15. ukclock
    10:29 am July 15, 2013 Permalink

    Riot games is the company that registered it. Its bigger than you think. League of Legends has 30 million worldwide registered users, and its professional league games average 120,000 viewers for north america. These guys make more than you. not an insult, they can make up hundreds of thousands of dollars a year. look this up.

  16. Bleed Blue
    4:08 pm July 15, 2013 Permalink

    As somebody that has dipped their toe in the professional gaming scene in Call of Duty, I know exactly how hard it can be. My team and I for one tournament spent 3 weeks practicing everyday for about 7-8 hours a day, you would think just sitting all day would not be that bad, but it honestly exhausting. Some of the other pros I know earn upwards of 250,000 a year playing professionally. Majority of the tournaments that host CoD the prize pool is about 100,000-500,000, the top 5 teams are the only ones that earn money also.

  17. lou eaton
    4:29 pm July 15, 2013 Permalink

    Hopefully, prof gaming will be more exciting than poker or at least as exciting as watching paint dry……perhaps it will replace baseball someday or pumpkin shooting contests…..