Esports vs Gaming | How Are Casual Gamers Different From Professional Gamers? (2023)

Masakari and I witnessed the beginnings of esports around the turn of the millennium.

Since then there have been coined many undefined terms around esports, such as “virtual sports,” “eGaming,” or “competitive gaming.”

With over 20 years of experience in esports, Masakari and I can give an exact definition to individual terms and especially to esports and gaming.

In this post, we answer the most frequently asked questions about esports in distinction to the term gaming.

Here we go.

Note: This article was written in English. Translations into other languages may not provide the same linguistic quality. We apologize for grammatical and semantic errors.

What Does the Term Gaming Mean?

In general, the term gaming describes all types of playing online and offline video games. Gaming is divided into casual gaming for fun and competitive gaming for profit. Both types can be divided into single-player and multi-player gaming, in addition to the different genres. 

What Does the Term Esports Mean?

Generally speaking, any virtual sport is part of eSports. The “e” in the word stands for electronic and refers to the fact that a technical component (computer, console, mobile device) powered by electricity is always required to play an eSport. The partial term “sport” shows that the participants permanently play with or against each other according to fixed rules to compete with each other.

When Was the Term Esports Coined?

The now-defunct Online Gamer Association (OGA) first used the term eSports in a press release in 1999. From that point on, eSports was used as a collective term for all virtual sports. Other synonyms have developed in parallel.

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Is Esports a Real Sport?

Generally speaking, esports include all games played according to competitive rules that aim to maintain or improve one’s skills. The physical aspect of esports is often doubted, but it is scientifically proven that athletes in esports are exposed to similar stresses as athletes in classic sports. As long as people aren’t just playing competitive video games in their minds, it is a real sport.

Casual vs Competitive Gaming – What is the Difference?

Playing video games for pure fun or as a hobby is indeed called casual gaming. The majority of gamers play as a pastime and for good entertainment. Competitive gaming focuses on ambition and winning against competitors. Competitive gaming includes everything from competitive gaming in leagues and tournaments without prize money to professional gaming with prize money in the millions. Several players compete against each other based on a fixed set of rules.

Esports vs Competitive Gaming: Is There a Difference?

In general, the term competitive gaming encompasses all competitive organized structures such as leagues and tournaments, regardless of time and financial dimensions. Professional characteristics such as prize money, spectators, media coverage, reputable organizations, contractually bound esports teams, and longer-term sporting structures give rise to a virtual sport in the sense of esports.  

Why Does Esports Have Different Names?

In 1999, the term “eSports” was invented by the Online Gamer Association (OGA). By the time this term had gained media acceptance, many terms had emerged in parallel also attempted to condense competitive digital gaming into one word. In addition, there are marketing terms for products for professional gamers, which can also be considered synonyms for Esports. 

How Do Pro Players Get Their Names?

In general, the choice of a nickname is subject to only a few restrictions, such as character length or copyrights. Pro gamers and also casual gamers choose their names themselves. Personal experiences, sympathies for specific topics, and creativity are taken into account in the selection. The names can be changed at any time, depending on the game.

Many players, like Masakari and me, keep their first nicknames for a lifetime.

How Big is Esports?

In 2021, global profits in Esports exceeded $1 billion. With annual growth rates of over 25% in many countries, Esports has played a significant role in the positive development of the entire gaming industry. Estimates for 2021 suggest that over half a billion people now follow Esports.

In this article, we have looked at how big the gaming industry is compared to other entertainment industries:

Esports Viewer Statistics?

In 2021, over half a billion people watched one or more Esport disciplines. About 50% of them are esports fans. The other half are interested and casual viewers. The Esports event with the most viewers to date was the League of Legends World Championship with 139 million viewers.  

Is Esports in the Olympics?

Meanwhile, the Olympic Committee is advocating the expansion of Olympic sports to include esports to attract younger audiences to international Olympic competitions. The addition of augmented and virtual reality to video games gives many disciplines a more significant physical component that warrants Olympic integration.

Is Competitive Gaming Worth it?

The will characterizes competitive gaming for constant improvement, performance evaluation from within and without, and excitement for players and spectators. Competitive gaming consumes a lot of time for training, leagues, tournaments, and communication. The reward for the effort, besides money and fame, can be very intense experiences with team members and fans. Nothing tastes better than a victory against good opponents.

If you’re interested in competitive gaming, check out this post that gives you insight into the more ambitious part of gaming (whether you play PUBG or not):

Final Thoughts

We have collected many great memories from over 20 years of esports and competitive gaming, but also, in the total of 35 years as a gamer, we had a lot of casual gaming moments that we would not want to miss in our lives.

Gaming is ultimately the umbrella term for everything.

The more competitive severe gaming as a subarea is the separation from the fun casual gaming. And professional esports can be defined as a subset of competitive gaming. It’s all a matter of perspective.

Of course, we hope that Esports will continue to grow in the future and complement classic sports in a meaningful way. In the meantime, more and more Esports titles are coming onto the market, which is enjoying ever-increasing popularity among players and spectators alike.

If you have a question about the post or pro gaming in general, write us:

GL & HF! Flashback out.

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