Yep you heard right. The US Government has recently approved the League of Legends Championship Series (LCS) as a sport on par with NBA, NFL, and the NHL. The LCS functions very similar to other national sports with weekly regular season games leading towards playoffs and the eventual championship. The news came from the Twitter of RiotDeman, one of League of Legends professional casters.

So should we expect League of Legends games to be broadcasted on ESPN and on demand any time soon? Not quite. The approval was more for technical reasons rather than a government’s secret desire to see League of Legends as the next American pastime. By approving the LCS professional League of Legends players can now obtain visas more easily, allowing foreign players easier passage for tournaments.

The approval also most likely only applies to League of Legends and not Esports in general. Similar to how the NBA and NFL both involve a ball, but are played completely differently. Starcraft 2, Dota 2 and any other Esport eligible game would need to go through a similar process in order to receive the same recognition.

I guess the question now is, how long until League shows up on ESPN 8?

Michael Dunaway has been part of the MMOBomb team for years and has covered practically every major Free-to-Play title since 2009. In addition to contributing First Look videos and news articles, Michael also serves as the Community Manager for the upcoming MMORPG, Skyforge.

100 COMMENTS

  1. Btw, I’m a pro Dota 2 player, am quite fit cause i workout daily, have a girlfriend, and work as a game tester ๐Ÿ™‚ full time…. Just recently bought a home. How is gaming making you fat and lonely again? ๐Ÿ™‚

    And yes i train for 8-9 hours a day. Had more blisters on my hands than most athletes ๐Ÿ™‚ was even in the hospital because of traveling to much and not sleeping while on a tournament… how is that not dedication and hardship.

    Btw i was a professional football player for a 3 years, i guarantee ..this is much harder and demanding than football.

  2. Sport doesn’t mean u have too use your physical athleticism or physical dexterity. Sports that require your mind are very hard to be pro at. If u want to be PRO at something u must train hard, such ion football or LoL, both are hard – believe me or not. For an example: at the beggining of a LoL match, the ”Picking” part, ur already using your mind, trying to counter the other team strategies. In football the couch make strategies to beat the other team and they use their physical athletiscism and dextery.

  3. I can’t believe how stupid you guys are I mean, playing a video game involves getting fat and not having friends or girlfriends?, sorry but you guys are blind if you think that. Because LOL is a videogame it can’t be a sport?, I can assure you that any professional team of LOL can beat (in terms of intelligence) any football team or any basketball team, remember NFL and NBA teams wouldn’t be nothing without coachs players basiclly just do whatever the coach says, in fact LOL players have the same role as a football coach and the champions are basiclly the athletes.

    You guys have to see further, thank god I don’t live in the US.

    • WHY YOU WHINING ABOUT LOL BEING U.S NATIONAL SPORT? OR ARE YOU JUST ALL JEALOUS CUZ YOUR STUPID GOVERNMENT CAN’T EVEN APPROVE A VIDEO GAME GROW UP KIDS! MAYBE AMERICA IS TIRED OF WATCHING NBA OR OTHER SPORT. SO GO HOME AND STFU!

  4. I think people are misreading this, the LCS Championship is a sport now, and also how does LoL make you fat? I play it all the time and if anything I’m slightly underweight, its not LoL that makes people fat its idiots who wont take care of themselves and trust me it doesnt just happen in video games, hell most of the gamers I know are in perfectly fine shape.

  5. First of all, league of legends is the worst game ever I’ve seen. 100% p2w. The guy who have been playing this since beta will have entire pool of champions and runes etc. The guy who pay for the entire pool even he never played more than 1 year to any game will have much advantage between the legit players. In dota the average age is much more than in LoL, in LoL if you die 1 time ppl will cry like babys because they got all about 8-30 years, most 8-15. And approving that rule on the US for a simple easy way to get visas is pretty simple and senseless. Peace now go and buy more riot points ma’ friends. You gonna make that guys golden.

  6. ยซHello Kitty Online has been considered a sport a long time before League of Legends. But over time, these athletes suffered from diabetes and heart attack after abusing energy drinks. They disappeared into oblivion…ยป All that to say: At the beginning, video games were toys, entertainment, hobbies. I’m just not sure if I like to see that we are encouraging people to go on an alternative career that doesn’t require to go to school at all and consist to play a video game… Well, I suppose the world is changing and we have to accept it. Good luck to you, gamers.

  7. so… do all the other “tournaments” from games now also count as sports?

    Does this mean we can have gaming as a profession and won’t get bashed by society for saying we play games all day long and have no life? lol?

      • A topical answer from those who don’t have anything to say. Has it crossed your mind that English might not be his/her main language?

  8. There are more people playing PvP games then people practicing sports. Also, people can play a PvP game even when they are old while playing a physical sports is not likely possible.
    I think all competitions should be called sport no matter if they happen in reality or virtual reality,

  9. ok im not a fan of moba not from dota not from lol i think this is a step forward for gaming but why make lol a sport ? even minefield is more strategically challenging then lol

    • I’m surprised nobody else has mentioned this before in the comments section here… This really isn’t that bad. E-sports should be, at the least, sports…

      But again, like you said, South Korea did it first and look at all the marketing, and industry/culture that has built over there.

  10. Obama isn’t the reason why we get this shit as a sport it’s the laws Obama can’t do crap cause congress and the HOR are all republicans not democrats but still WTF US i thought you guys still have some sanity inside you still but i was wrong. but E-Games does sound like a good idea ppl who play games i bet inside the want to play it but still don’t complain it wont change anything without giving a reason i kinda love Games so i cant wait till more games become E-Sports

  11. Keep hating with American Euroshit

    Sports = Mind and physical competition..

    Learn your shit before you guys complain, ohh yeah all this Euroshit do is complain since WWII.. Atleast American starting to give a way and opening a door with E-Sport gamer around the world, welcome to 2013 old Euroshit..

  12. I wonder if pro LoL player will have annual drug tests now? Maybe we’ll hear about starting an illegal dog fighting ring,or maybe start a fantasy draft. This is about as stupid as calling Nascar a sport.

    Oh and before you lump all Americans together,not all of us like this either.You want to blame my country for this,I’ll lay out the welcome mat for you and write a 30 page essay on why America sucks right now.

  13. Get back to me when I care. Football and Hockey are still where it’s at. Lol..a game..yes, let’s blur the lines between game and sport. Sorry I’ll just stick with the playoffs and superbowl.

  14. i think Because we use our fingers to Click and press buttons so fast… and the government thinks its SPORTS!? O.o okay…………..

  15. Question : Do you play any sports sir.
    Answer: yes i see my self as quite a sportive person i train 5 hrs a day
    Question: really what Sport do you play
    Answer Lol

  16. If lol is considered a sport, starcraft, dota 2 and many other competitive games will be considered sports as well. This is a step forward for gaming.

  17. So pathethic, copying a game ,then making it into a sport.. This game is dying slowly, because Dota 2 is rulling, by the next 5 years i expect LoL to have less than 10 players who are above 18.

    • so pathethic, having a grudge over a game who is just more popular than th game you play.

      Face teh fact league of legends is more popular. Even most of the league fans play both games.
      Just dota fans can’t get over teh fact of lol just ebcause of a fansite. That’s pathetic.

  18. All you idiots saying, “Oh my god, ridiculous, why is it a sport, so dumb…”

    Did you not freaking read the actual words in the article? It’s for technical reasons more than just seeing it on TV. Like said above in the comments, it would be hard to get into China for your tournament whenever, after you’re asked your reason for coming to they’re country, you say to play a video game. Now there won’t be any confusion as far as legal things because League is now considered a real sport. That is ALL it is. Stop getting pissed off over something that helps people more than it doesn’t.

  19. Man, this comment section is full of mad Dota fans cuz LoL is more popular and leading the MOBA trend haha. How pathetic.

  20. Same government that says pizza is a vegetable.

    Same government trying to shut down the net and have control.

    I would avoid both the game and US gov/ declarations

      • In what universe is that possible ? I’ve played league the first time and I played it with four of my friends and they are all max level. I’ve had a first blood against experienced players and dominated the whole game.
        On the other hand, my first game of dota was a disaster. I died so much and fed the enemy.

        In LoL a potion doesn’t stop working if a creep hits you ffs! Nuff said.

        • I suppose you played Dota before LoL which would explain why you sucked in Dota and did good in League.
          Stop hating on the game cus its not “hardcore” enough for you.

  21. Besides as written above (if you read at all)

    The approval was more for technical reasons.

    Players can now obtain visas more easily, allowing foreign players easier passage for tournaments.

  22. I dont understand how you can not like this even if you dont like the game itself. This is the biggest thing since the invention of the videogame! E-sports getting the respect it deserves is what matters here, not wether its a good game or not. Open your eyes people.

      • Hmm.. Chess should not be a sport.. same lol..
        I play lol from 2 years.. and i like it .. but his… is just crap:)

        • Yes I agree that chess and LoL shouldn’t be sports but since chess already is a sport than there’s no reason for LoL not to be besides on Wikipedia sport defines mainly physical but mind competition too.

          • Me falling asleep at the front of my monitor watching an idiot try to bait me out for a 3 hour match in LoL is considered a sport now? Shit… this is sad.

  23. did you guys not notice it said they are doing it for more so technical reasons than for title. I’ve always considered Esports on par with other official sports. They get paid and do what they love. Athletes supposedly love what they are doing and get paid too. Saying it isn’t a sport because it doesn’t require physical activity is saying that so many other things not classified as a sport are. I would imagine as gamers you guys would enjoy games being recognized more than a mindless waste of time… even if it is only for technical reasons.

    • Yep and here’s what it says in the “Meaning and Usage”, Definition part: “They also recognise that sport can be primarily physical (such as rugby or athletics), primarily mind (such as chess or go), predominantly motorised (such as Formula 1 or powerboating), primarily co-ordination (such as billiard sports), or primarily animal supported (such as equestrian sport).” So using you’re mind like in chess or go is a sport.

  24. Does the US government want people to get fat and die. Sports should only be called sports if they have physical elements to it. I agree that chess should be a sport because it involves strategy. LoL shouldn’t be a sport because all it involves it tapping buttons on a keyboard.

    • LoL requires tons of strategy. And making healthy lifestyle decisions has nothing to do with the government. That is a personal choice. You want to be fat? Go ahead. Your choice, nobody else’s. And if you can call chess a sport, you can definitely consider gaming a sport.

        • both games have teh same basis, dota is just more complicated and have more active items than lol. Sometimes more complicated doesn’t mean its better.

          • What in LoL makes it a sport? The complete lack of a learning curve or the complete lack of gameplay mechanics that could make the game challenging?

        • After watching many Pro games on LoL and watching some “pro” games on Dota ill have to say that they have no clue what they are doing in dota. It seems like 6 years old kid using for the first time a mouse and keyboard. xD I like both games, its just the truth.

  25. Seriously? how about chess or archery… sports can be anything involving precision tactics and any type of agility let it be finger or the whole body + its a 5v5. Which part of this isnt a sport compared to some others?

      • no,Having the mind power needing to make the real time decisions,involved with League of legends, chess, and or any other game that involves the mind need to be recognized as a sport,

        • Yeah in something I agree, but thats exactly the problem, chess and others that use mind that have people dedicating themselves for years now but still its not official. This thing with LoL is just because its market friendly.

          • You need to dedicate yourself to LoL, if you want to go pro. A lot of players put school on hold over it, so it’s not something you can just pick up, and be good at. A lot of players played since season 1, which is already few years back, and they’re still not even platinum. Not everyone has the capacity for it. I think I’m safe to say that to play LoL, you need to use everything that you use in Chess, as well, in order to be great at it + a bit more, because…well, you don’t have skillshots in Chess, but you do need a strategy in LoL and good decision making, like you do In Chess. ๐Ÿ˜€

    • Do you people use that as an insult to everything even when it doesn’t make any sense? Nobody in the US likes the government.

    • Even Italians are more clever than US peopl, yeah yeah italian economy and politcs suck but at least they don’t do this shit.

      • Yes Italians are clever in fact so clever Ceasar came up with the idea to create gladitorial games to distract citizens from ideas of revolt. That’s what you see here in America today with boxing football baseball All American sports to create division/rivalry amongst people. My city’s better than your city. Big deal you cares who wins in whatever sport or whatever video game rivalry that exists.

    • In tournaments related to games, there are teams all around the world. The benefit of recognising LoL a sport is that players can easily get a visa to go to another country for the tournaments. Imagine trying to convice China you’re going to the US to play a game. Yeh…..good luck with that.

      Riot also had lots of paper work and such to do to get it, I think people are misunderstanding this LoL is a sport thing more than anything. It’s not about it being a sport, it’s about making it easier for teams to apply for visa’s and have top tier teams show up to tournaments.

      Is it a dumb idea now?

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