Legal ruling could boost eSports validity, but that might not help ESPN ratings

Legal ruling could boost eSports validity, but that might not help ESPN ratings
Ben Parfitt

The brain is a muscle, right? Whether or not a court agrees with this could decide whether eSports takes another big step towards a perceived legitimacy as a sport.

The Daily Dot reports that the English Bridge Union is currently contesting a Sport England’s decision to exclude bridge as a sport. The union argues that as the brain is a muscle, games that require thought most definitely do require a level of exertion, thus qualifying them as sports.

Furthermore, British High Court judge Nicholas Mostyn has ruled that the claim has validity, stating that he “cannot see how this case is not arguable”.

Of course, should the courts rule in the EBU’s favour then other activities, such as eSports, can legally claim to be legitimate sports as well.

Although this, of course, is only half the battle. eSports has already made huge strides in this area, not least of which was its appearance on ESPN 2 in the US recently (even if the development was not universally well received by the channel’s talent).

Viewer numbers from both Forbes and Awful Announcing suggest that the Heroes of the Dorm final attracted around 100k viewers. For the past five Sunday evenings for that same time slot, viewer numbers had not once dipped below 286k.

Note though that the event did face some high-profile opposition in the form of the NBA playoffs and MLB showdown between the Metz and Yankees.

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