Pac-Man’s offspring are going to devour sports as we know them – Orlando Sentinel

Go back and circle last Wednesday on your calendar. The sports world officially began changing into something most of us can barely comprehend.

The University of Utah announced it will begin offering scholarships for … are you sitting down? … video gaming.

On the scale of productive activities, playing video games used to rank somewhere between watching “The Jerry Springer Show” and smoking pot. Now it’s a way to get a college scholarship?

Not only will students get a free ride, they’ll compete against other colleges on a national level in front of multitudes of adoring fans. If I didn’t know better, I’d say that sounded like football.

Someday eSports might be bigger than football. If that sounds preposterous, you haven’t been paying attention to e — for electronic — Sports.

Until the Utah news, my knowledge of eSports consisted of yelling at my kids to stop playing Minecraft and go outside and play. A little research showed that every human being born after 1995 spends 23 hours a day staring into a smartphone or tablet, and 17 of those hours are spent playing video games.

They’ve formed teams and leagues and battle for championships in sold-out arenas. They’re not into traditional sports, so traditional sports are trying to get into them.

European soccer teams have signed e-players to compete in soccer video leagues. Last week, New York City FC just signed a guy to compete in international e-soccer tournaments.


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