The Difference Between Esports and Video Games

This past year has been big for esports; getting more of the limelight, having traditional sport teams purchase esports teams, getting viewership on ESPN and other network channels. However, every time I give a presentation about esports, one of the most common question I get is “what are esports?”


For all intents and purposes, its competitive video gaming, but I want to stress is that all video games are not considered esports. So, lets define some of the characteristics of video games that are considered esports.


  1. Competitive Nature

One of the biggest keys to an esports title is that fact that you are competing against an opponent.  This can be two individuals or two teams of various sizes.

  1. Overall Game Objective

There needs to be some sort of overall objective aside from just beating the game. With most esports’ titles the game objective has something to do with destroying the other person’s base.

  1. Production Value

This one is not a definite characteristic, but we are starting to see often, that the more successful esports titles have good production value. The game creators have casters, desk analyst, interviewers and the whole nine yards. Again, this isn’t for all esport titles, but it is becoming much more popular.


I hope this small list of characteristics helps. No, World of Warcraft is not an esport. No, Super Mario Bros. is not an esport. Yes, Hearthstone is and esport. Yes, Super Smash Bros. is an esport.  Just remember that all esports are video games, but not all video games are esports.