@branthog: I see what you're saying, but I think the defense of esports as sports and being athletic might partially come from people shitting all over it. Yeah, it's not the best term but until we get something better the people who hate it because of the comparison to "real" sports should back off because whining about how they aren't throwing enough balls doesn't help anybody.
The problem I see with "gaming competition" or something to that effect is the fear(or reality) that they will be dismissed as silly games. Mainstream sports seem to have transcended the idea of being just a game even if they are just that. I don't love the term esports either and I feel a little silly whenever I say it but a better term doesn't exist at the moment. I also dislike when people attempt to detract from the amount of skill and effort that goes into these games. It might be a different skill set but I would absolutely argue that it's just as difficult as any other sport.
And for the record, I know you're not one of the people I'm talking about, just making conversation.
I should clarify that I have a pet-peeve about people abusing words in a disingenuous way to promote their own agenda; this falls right in line with that. So I have an inherent pedantic dislike of this whole thing. :)
Anyway, Poker isn't a sport, but had huge coverage on ESPN and lots of people enjoy watching it. Nobody was fooled into thinking "well, poker is obviously a sport!". Likewise, calling video games a sport isn't going to fool anyone, so they might as well just call it what it is.
A lot of skill and talent goes into basketball or counter strike or chess or ballet or playing the cello, but these are all different activities. Sports defines a particular activity that employs a certain subset of skills and talents. Other things define activities focusing on other ones.
I think part of the reason people shit all over it is the audacity of trying to claim you're a sport when you are definitively not. If you don't call yourself a sport, there's one less thing for people who don't like your event anyway and never will to shit on.
Someone who is going to dismiss "Counter-Strike Tournament/Competition" is also going to dismiss it if it is called "eSports". So, I say, why not use the one that is actually appropriate? At the least, anyone judging the form of competition will have to do so on its own merits and not merely dismiss it because it isn't a sport.
That's why I also subscribe to using the term "competitive (video) gaming" as opposed to the term "e-Sports". David Philip Graham, a prominent fighting game commentator who is also an attorney, wrote about this a year ago and how he is also pretty much against the use of "sports" as a way to legitimize the various competitive gaming scenes. Its the fastest way to get legitimacy but then there are also some associated caveats to it as well and he feels that its better that "competitive gaming" should try to stand on its own merits rather than try to use the term "e-Sports" and trying very hard to associate it with various types of sports in order to gain legitimacy.
It's a very long editorial but if any of you duders got some free time, I suggest reading that article. He tries to frame it from a fictional perspective in the future where "e-Sports" is extremely popular at the start of every section and then proceeds to makes some very good points in terms of the caveats/disadvantages.