The Esports Observer published an Op-Ed on Monday written by Trent Murray, who made the case that World Chase Tag is an esport.
As a long-time nerd about defining esports and their relationship to sports, this take left me scratching my head. When I read the article for the details, it only left me more confused. I think attempting to define in-person tag competitions as an esport fails to hold up to even surface-level scrutiny.
And it brings up an even bigger discussion: Esports needs to be better defined so random statements like “tag is an esport” can’t be even remotely argued. As esports grows, the qualifications must be more specific to reflect the industry’s competitiveness and legitimacy. It should not be acceptable to mock the concept of esports so easily and perpetuate the stereotype that esports isn’t a real thing to the general public.
Just because sports and esports are now native to the same platforms, focus on the same audience, and feature similar pace designs doesn’t mean they are the same.
What is an esport?
The Esports Observer attempted to define World Chase Tag as an esport in this article so I expected a clear and concise definition of what constitutes esports. However, they never provided one and instead only compared the characteristics of WCT to some esports, which is inductive reasoning at best.
We will look at those specific claims in the next section, but for now we would like to offer our own