A well-known Twitch streamer, known as Ninja, has made history by being the first professional gamer to ever be featured on the cover of an ESPN magazine.
Ninja, real name Tyler Blevins, is a 27-year-old professional gamer. He started out small on Twitch, recording videos of the games he played; however, it wasn’t until the release of Fortnite’s battle royale game mode that he got so popular.
ESPN, known for their sports related programming, has covered E-sports, competitions involving video games, for the past few years now; however, they never had a professional gamer featured on their magazine before.
According to espnfrontrow.com, “Ninja Breaks Through for Historic ESPN The Magazine Cover”, ESPN was looking for the perfect candidate to feature on their magazine, and with the sudden growth of popularity of Ninja, ESPN found their candidate.
The ESPN magazine issue, which was released on September 21st of this year, delves into the life of the famous Twitch streamer, how he got so popular and how he stays on top in the gaming community.
With the growing acceptance of E-sports and the video game community, a question emerges from it. Are video gamers equivalent to athletes? Here’s what Valencia students and faculty have to say about it.
Do you believe video gamers are athletes? Why?
“I believe video gamers are definitely some athletes because they have to use all their potential and their mind, and like they’re just like athletes,” says Jomar Barreto, a 19-year-old mechanical engineering major.
“I know that they have events for video gamers. I mean, I guess not in a physical sense that they are athletes, but I do believe that it is like a type of sport for them,” says Alondra Margary, an 18-year-old psychology major
“Yes, in a virtual sense,” says Isabella Gloian, a 15-year-old dual enrollment student.
“I think they could be because there are a bunch of tournaments. And, to me, if you are playing a sport and making money, then that makes you an athlete,” says Alejandro Joglar, an 18-year-old general studies student.
“I believe that some video gamers are athletes, you know? They end up winning money for it, so it is a similar way that athletes play. They can win money,” says Anthony Delorbe, a 19-year-old theatre major.
“I do think that in order to be a video gamer, you are exercising your mental muscles, so to speak. So, it does take some strategy, but then I have to ask myself are chess players considered athletes? You know? And things like that. So, I will probably lean-to no.”
“Video gamers are really athletes in some perspective, like the game Just Dance, because when you play video games with Just Dance, they give you the cardio work out and everything including for your body. So, basically, you are burning up calories,” says Randy Vélez, a 22-year-old video game design major.
“I do think that in order to be a video gamer, you are exercising your mental muscles, so to speak. So, it does take some strategy, but then I have to ask myself are chess players considered athletes? You know? And things like that. So, I will probably lean-to no,” says Courtney Moore, a 39-year-old librarian working at Valencia East Campus.
“Sure,” says Paige Sutton, an 18-year-old physical therapy major, “I mean, yeah, mentally they are because it’s a lot of mental work.”
“So, for me, considering an E-sport technically a sport for ESPN, is a big step and I’m really unsure about it because I did actual sports in high school. And, it’s just a very different stand point on what you consider a sport,” says Javier Molina, a 19-year-old psychology major.
“Maybe video gamers are athletes because they have to think a lot through these games. Now, I don’t know the definition of athlete, but I think I’m on board with saying that those video gamers are athletes,” says Stephen Kaminskie, a 32-year-old senior instructional assistant working at Valencia East Campus.
“Based on if you define a sport, or something like that, as something where you have to dedicate an amount of time to it. You have to build up some type of skill for it. To me, that qualifies as a sport,” says Sonja Mollison, a 43-year-old librarian working at Valencia East Campus.