It's the debate that will seemingly never die: is esports real esports? Should professional gamers be considered athletes, or even semi-athletes considering the amount of hours they have to train, research and prepare? Should video games even be associating the most proficient of its kind with the word sports at all?
One university has been investigating that subject with a little more academic rigour, and their findings are set to add more fuel to the already heated debate.
Photo: Riot Games
According to a report from German broadcaster Deutsche Welle, German Sports University has found that the amount of cortisol produced by those playing video games professionally was equivalent to that of a race-car driver. "This is combined with a high pulse, sometimes as high as 160 to 180 beats per minute, which is equivalent to what happend during a very fast run, almost a marathon," GSU's Professor Ingo Frobose explained.
"That's not to mention the motor skills involved. So in my opinion, esports are just as demanding as most other types of sports, if not more demanding."
Professor Frobose has been studying pro-gamers for the past five years and said the hand-eye co-ordination and strain induced was something not present in any other sports, particularly given the nature of how the body and brain was being taxed.
"Esports athletes achieve up to 400 movements on the keyboard and the mouse per minute, four times as much as the average person. The whole thing is asymmetrical, because both hands are being moved at the same time and various parts of the brain are also being used at the same time," Professor Frobose added.
The professor added that most esports athletes are unfit, however, and fail to understand the stresses that they are placing on their body. A better diet and physical training could also result in players extending their professional gaming career by four to five years, according to Frobose.