Physical and Virtual: Differences between real sports and eSports

Unsurprisingly, there are a number of differences that can be found when comparing eSports and real sports events together. However, something that those who have never experienced one or the other may not know is that the two do also share a number of similarities, as well.

Indeed, one of the biggest and main differences that many will instantly be able to mention is that eSports are largely completed virtually, whilst real sports will be those that have been competed physically as individuals including traditional activities such as American football, basketball, baseball, etc.

However, perhaps one of the biggest similarities between the two, though, is that people can now bet on each of the two types of events. Since becoming legal, sports betting in Arizona has been able to thrive with a vast number of punters placing wagers on the action that continues to take place.

What, though, are some of the other similarities and differences that can be found when comparing the two? Let’s take a look at them below in greater detail:


Perhaps one of the most obvious similarities that can be found in regard to real sport and eSports is the fact that both require participants. As mentioned earlier, there is a difference in the way which each sport is played, however they still require people to be active in order for them to happen.

Those that compete in real sports will be physically playing, such as running around a field or court, whilst the participant in eSports is going to be the person who does all of the work virtually. For example, this could be using the controller to a games console in order to operate a game.

The duration of each sport is also similar, as both are defined by a period of time in which they are competed, whilst each sport also competes across a set format. This could be in a league or as a single-game knockout tournament, thus providing structure to each game that is being played across the two disciplines.


Unsurprisingly, there are a number of key differences that can be found when comparing the two, with many of them being more obvious than others to spot straight away.

One key difference will be the way that games are refereed, with real sports requiring a physical person to be in the middle and controlling what goes on, whilst eSports will actually just have a referee based within the game virtually.

The complexity of games will also be considered one of the biggest differences. With eSports having so many different games available, it can be rather difficult to truly understand what is going on at times, especially as the rules can differ. Real sports have a huge advantage compared to the virtual offering, as the rules adopted are typically set in stone and rarely do ever change.

Finances have always had an impact on how well real sports do around the world, as many of the biggest broadcasters in certain regions will continue to compete for the rights to show the games that they want their audience to view. For example, Fox, CBS and NBC always appear to have a set formula for the NFL, but they will compete to host the games that they want.

On the other hand, eSports are yet to truly see the huge financial rewards that real sports continue to provide, with many organizations only able to generate the income provided by the sale of their equipment that is used for the games that are played, as well as the sale of internet subscription services that allow them to be accessed.


As can be seen, there are a number of similarities and differences that can be distinguished between real sports and eSports. One of the biggest takeaways will have to be that real sports are those that are known throughout the world that are popular with fans because of the traditions they provide, whilst the other discipline is where players are competing against one another via means of virtual use such as game consoles.


With that said, though, there is no doubt that eSports are becoming even more popular and are hitting the mainstream market, but whether they overtake real sports in regards to popularity is something that would be highly doubtful.

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