Opinion: The Debate is Over: It's Esports, Not eSports, E-Sports, or Digital Athletics

by Kevin Knocke

The Associated Press, the largest non-profit news association, has just decided that the word "esports" will be used in its publications as just that: Esports.

As in, it's just a word like email.

In fact, the organization claims that it's now classifying the word in the exact same way as email, including the same grammatical rules that apply to it as well.

So no, it's no longer eSports, or e-sports, or Electronic Sports, or Digital Athletics, or any of that nonsense.

Lou Kesten, reviewer for the AP, had this to say:

Here are general rules to keep in mind when using the word in publication:

  • At the beginning of a sentence, the "e" in esports is capitalized, but not when used mid-sentence
  • Esports is not a proper noun, hence why it's only capitalized at the beginning of a sentence
  • In a title or header, either "Esports" or "esports" is allowed

On Twitter, medical editor @Mededitor had this to say:

Personally, it always felt like "eSports" was just trying so hard to legitimize the scene, as if to say, "SEE?!?! There's a capital 'S' for sports! It has to be sports now!"

If someone uses esports, are they trying to make a principled argument about equating traditional sports athletics with playing video games? No, come on. It's just a quick way to refer to what are obviously competitive games being played professionally.

And that always felt a bit cheap. Esports is just an easy way to explain what the activity is, just like email.

This doesn't even begin to address people who think that the industry shouldn't even use that term in the first place, but hopefully this decision puts that to rest as well.

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