Competitive multiplayer video games also known as eSports have become a global sensation. In online games like League of Legends and Overwatch, expert gamers compete against each other. Millions of fans also tune in to watch their favorite eSports gamers compete in tournaments.
This has got people talking about whether the Olympics should include eSports. Here, we will explore the reasons to do it. We will also discuss worries about eSports in the Olympics and what the future holds for eSports. So why should the Olympics include eSports? Let’s find out.
Reasons ESports Should Be Included in the Olympics
Video games are becoming popular in many spheres. Nowadays players can enjoy even gambling casinos for real money to try out new games without having special skills. In players’ opinion, video gaming oughts to be a part of the Olympics for many reasons. Some of them are:
- It promotes inclusivity and diversity
- It embraces tech innovations
- It can increase profit
- It has global appeal and a large fanbase
In the following paragraphs, we will describe each reason in detail, so you could estimate them and make your own decision.
It Promotes Inclusivity and Diversity
Traditional sporting activities are often limited to certain areas. They also need enough funds for planning. But, eSports is accessible to anyone with an internet connection and a gaming console.
The Olympic’s core values are peace, unity, and understanding among nations. ESports can be an excellent way to connect people from different parts of the world. If the Olympics include eSports, it shows that the International Olympic Committee (IOC) values diversity and inclusivity.
Also, egames is a diverse industry, with players and fans from all walks of life and backgrounds. Many eSports athletes are people who are successful and recognized through their skills. These athletes represent a new generation of sports stars. By including eSports in the Olympic event, the IOC can acknowledge these players and admit their contributions to the sporting world.
It Embraces Tech Innovations
The Olympics tend to embrace tech advancements. This includes the electric timer in 1912, electronic scoreboards and instant replay. This has improved the experience for both athletes and spectators. Egames, being a virtual sport, also rely on technology. This has made it advance rapidly.
The use of technology in egames could improve the experience for athletes. Also, the use of virtual reality could take the fans to new heights in experience. No wonder live streaming of egames events has become more popular. Athletes could also enjoy tech innovations. They can be useful in training and performance analysis. Also, athletes can use them to fine-tune their skills and improve their performance.
It Can Increase Profit
ESports enhanced the creation of gaming computers, fast internet, and improved gaming software. With these, egames have become a true sport of the 21st century. Also, some egames require an immense amount of skill and coordination. These make them no less a sporting activity.
By embracing egames, the Olympics could attract more fans. These mays may include young people who may lack interest in the Olympics. Also, the global eSports industry might reach over a billion dollars in profits by 2025. So eSports in the Olympic Games could increase profits through sponsorships and TV rights. In the same way, product sales can be increased to support the economy.
It Has Global Appeal and a Large Fanbase
The increasing eSports fanbase is pretty obvious. The number of viewers rivals classics like basketball and soccer. Major tournaments and leagues have also sold out arenas. As a result, gamers have an opportunity to win prizes worth millions of dollars and entertain their fans with a great show. The appeal of eSports is also obvious because young fans love it.
And as we all know, this demographic is highly coveted by advertisers and marketers. Also, the global appeal of egames is a huge plus. Online games and egames tournaments are accessible to anyone with an internet connection. This has made it easy for different people to come together to compete and watch their favorite egames events. With the great benefits, egames bring to the table, it is clear that they should be in the Olympics.
Addressing Concerns and Challenges of Including ESports in the Olympic Event
As the popularity of virtual sports continues to grow, more people are advocating for them to be included in the Olympics. But, the IOC needs to handle some concerns and challenges. This must be done before it can integrate egames into the Olympic events. Some of the issues include:
- Many people don’t see egames as real sports.
- Some video games contain mature content.
- ESports may not provide a fair playing ground for all players.
- ESports may draw attention away from conventional sports.
- The governance of egames in the Olympic event is unclear.
- The legitimacy of eSports gamers as athletes is in question.
Many People Don’t See Egames as Real Sports
Critics argue that the Olympics should be for classics that need physical activity. But, many Olympic sports, such as shooting do not need physical exertion. However, they are still considered sporting activities.
Some Video Games Contain Mature Content
Graphic content in some games has led to calls for restrictions on the game types in eSports competitions. Such measures ensure that the games are appropriate for all ages. But, it is worth noting that many games, such as boxing, involve physical violence.
ESports May Not Provide a Fair Playing Ground for All Players
ESports athletes can have an advantage with better gadgets or faster internet connections. While this is a serious issue, the IOC can solve it easily. With proper rules and regulations, players can compete fairly.
ESports May Draw Attention Away From Traditional Sports
Some worry that eSports in the Olympic games may take away from the usual sporting activities. But, eSports in the Olympic events could bring more attention and interest to the event.
The Governance of the Egames in the Olympic Event Is Unclear
There are also concerns about how the Olympic games will govern eSports. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) and international sports federations have Olympic guidelines. Also, eSports have their own rules. So it remains uncertain how these rules would fit into the Olympic movement.
The Legitimacy of ESports Gamers as Athletes Is in Question
ESports players prepare and put in many hours of practice to develop their skills. This is just like athletes in other traditional sports. Also, egames players face mental and physical challenges. And these are just as hard as the challenges faced by regular athletes.
Examples of Successful Integration of eSports in Regular Sports Events
The debate continues over whether the Olympics should include egames. But, some sports events have already embraced the growing popularity of egames. Here are some examples of sporting events integrating eSports gaming into their programs:
- The Asian Games
- Formula E
- National Basketball Association(NBA)
- FIFA World Cup
- X Games
The Asian Games
This Asian event is a sports event that features a wide range of sports. Egames made its debut as a sport in the 2018 edition. It featured League of Legends, Hearthstone, and Pro Evolution Soccer. These eSports activities attracted regular sports fans and the gaming community.
Formula E is an electric car racing series. It included eSports by launching the ABB FIA Formula E Race at Home Challenge. The challenge was during the COVID-19 pandemic. Professional drivers and gamers competed against each other in simulated races. Millions of viewers streamed the event online. This generated huge profits for the organizers.
National Basketball Association (NBA)
The NBA has also recognized the potential of eSports. It has created its own eSports league, the NBA 2K League. The league features eSports gamers representing NBA teams. These teams compete against each other in the popular video game NBA 2K.
The league has since been successful, with a growing fan base. Also, major brands have signed sponsorship deals.
FIFA World Cup
The FIFA World Cup is the biggest event in world soccer. It has also recognized the potential of eSports by launching the FIFA eWorld Cup. The event features players competing in FIFA, the popular soccer video game.
Fortunately, the event has since been successful. And this is quite obvious with the growing number of players and huge winnings.
X Games is a popular extreme sporting event organized by ESPN. In 2014, they included the video game, “Call of Duty: Ghosts” as a medal event. This caught people’s attention and became one of the most popular events in the competition. It also helped the competition gain a high number of viewers.
Since then, the event has continued to include video games in its program. Popular ones like Apex Legends now feature in the event.
The IOC has not yet made a final decision on the idea of eSports in the Olympic program. But, the fact remains that eSports are becoming more popular around the world. Also, virtual gaming is getting more popular, and professional gamers are increasing. This has led to the creation of an international eSports federation.
It is no wonder that eSports has become a huge industry. Like other athletes, the players involved prepare well for their competitions. As the distinction between sports and games becomes less clear, it will be interesting to see if eSports become a regular part of Olympic activities.