A single capital letter has caused a lot of tension throughout this industry. After some debate, Wikipedia has decided to drop the capital S from “eSports,” which was previously acceptable on the site. It’s a decision that the Associated Press, ESPN, and Dot Esports have made before it—but one some parts of the industry have held onto.
On Oct. 16, Wikipedia came to a consensus that “eSports” is out in favor of “esports.” Using a hyphen between “e” and “sports” is acceptable, too, as in “e-sports.” But “esports” is now the preferred use for the site. “Esports” is necessary when starting a sentence.
“There is a unanimous consensus that the use of ‘eSports’ is not reflected in reliable sources and thus is not correct and should not be used,” a Wikipedia editor wrote. Across a short discussion period, multiple editors opposed the capital S, citing the AP decision and noting the lack of usage at reputable media outlets. There was major support for the lower case s, but more of a debate regarding the hyphen, which is why Wikipedia chose to keep it as an option. AP typically use an “e-” as the proper way to designate certain words regarding the internet and computers, like “e-commerce.” Certain words, like “email” and “esports,” are an exception to the rule in the AP Stylebook.
Other style sources like the Chicago Manual of Style and the Modern Language Association haven’t weighed in on the debate for the word’s use in publishing and classrooms, respectively. News publishers across print and the web are hardly together on this one yet—”eSports” is still rampant in mainstream publications—but more authorities standardizing style is a net positive.