E Sports Worth The Olympics?
One of the largest and most recent debates involves putting video games into the Olympics! It is a hot topic and curious idea to the world and is brought up due to the latest growth in the esports community. The idea itself is causing a lot of stir in many communities throughout the world and expands farther than just the esports community. The idea will be decided on for the 2024 Paris Olympics. Co-president for the bid committee Tony Estanguet plans on speaking to the International Olympic Committee and current esports executives on the idea.
In response to this notion of bringing esports to the games, a large portion of the esports community is excited about this amazing new opportunity for gaming. Many believe it is time that esports gained a larger worldwide presents. In fact, bringing esports into the Olympics is beneficial for both parties. One of the benefits that is important for the Olympics is that it brings in millennial viewers. When discussed how it helps the Olympics with viewership article by Kevin Tran, Esports in consideration for 2024 Olympics, from Business Insider stated “The Olympics faced its first ratings slip in more than a decade at the 2016 Rio Games. And prime-time viewership for the 18–49-year-old age group at the 2016 Games was 25% smaller compared with four years earlier…The inclusion of esports could help address this, as nearly 51% of esports fans are millennials” (Tran, 2017). The Olympics also help esports grow into a larger sport which has the opportunity rival the NFL or MLB. The community of esports would grow from publicity from the Olympics and it may be in the position to create a single governing body for esports. In the same article Tran states “Esports lacks an independent, overarching governing body to revert to for industry related matters, which can lead to power imbalances among different genres of gaming in the industry. Yet the Olympics could give rise to an overarching governing body that oversees the esports industry, similar to how FIFA oversees international soccer.” (Tran). This creates a more connected community and will give it more opportunities to compete with larger organizations. This would also lead a large expansion of esports.
There are many reasons people believe that esports should not be allowed to be presented in the Olympics. Some have said that it doesn’t hold up to the traditional value of sports and the Olympics. Yet when somebody thinks about the type of skills required for each event it’s not equal which leads to debate whether some events deserve to be in the Olympics. In ESports Are Real Sports. It’s Time for the Olympic Video Game written for The Guardian it questions “How do we even compare various current Olympic sports using a broad understanding of physical excellence, when we have the 400m dash and prone rifle shooting in the same Games? What is demanded by one is not demanded by another, so there is no objective measure” (Moosa, 2017). Esports qualifies for the Olympics based the traditional sense due to events like shooting and archery.
When it goes to esports joining the Olympics there are many in outcry trying to prevent it. When discussing esports it is important to note that it’s not as popular as other professional sports. Some people believe that esports is more of a competition than a sport. It doesn’t require the physical intensity of football or running. This is only one of the many characteristics it doesn’t have in common with traditional sports. Chris Chase stated in his article Will Video Games Ever Be an Olympic Sport? (We Hope Not.), that “eSports are neither a sport nor an activity that vaguely resembles a sport (e.g. diving, rhythmic gymnastics, synchronized swimming). They have no business in the Olympics, even with the IOC focused on youth” (Chase, 2017). This is a valid argument due to the fact that video games have been only seen as a hobby for decades. Sure, you can compete with other players but it is not the same type of competition. Bringing esports into the Olympics could also cause issues with the current Olympic community. There are many who would boycott the Olympics if they brought esports into the games. It could cause viewership to decline drastically and could possibly kill the games.
There are many different views on the topic it would be better to ask if the benefits outweigh the disadvantages people argue. When looking at it many will say that the benefits are far more important because it mostly introduces more millennials into the Olympics which means more fans fly to see the games or view it on a television. It honestly makes no sense to not allow esports into the Olympics based on conservative and old-fashioned ideals. I believe it is time to modernize the games further than what they are currently. It would also just be an economically intelligent choice to allow the Olympics to survive longer by adjusting.
When comparing both argument I find that the reasoning behind the Olympics not allowing esports is all about personal belief and not about inclusivity. The idea that they would allow sports such as equestrian and shooting but not allow esports is mind boggling. All of those require different muscles and training which should respected by the world. Each competing nation allows only the highest skilled players with the most training. The Olympics will still hold their values of competition and possibly help build industry standards for esports.
The idea that a new Olympic sport might be coming is an exciting feeling for many. There is a huge community that would love to watch more content while the Olympic games happen. If esports join the roster it won’t happen for a while which gives many time to help support the idea. The introduction of esports will greatly benefit the Olympic market and expand esports to become more popular. This will be a huge step for esports as it is essentially an untapped market for many businesses and entrepreneurs. I am personally excited to see what this topic will become even if it is dismissed by the Olympic committee. The world is entering a new era of modernization in sports and technology. In general, we can only expect the answer to this debate to come after the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Chase, Chris. “Will Video Games Ever Be an Olympic Sport? (We Hope Not.).” FOX Sports. 18 Apr. 2017. Web. 10 Sept. 2017.
Moosa, Tauriq. “ESports Are Real Sports. It’s Time for the Olympic Video Games | Tauriq Moosa.” The Guardian. Guardian News and Media, 11 Aug. 2017. Web. 10 Sept. 2017.
Tran, Kevin. “Esports in Consideration for 2024 Olympics.” Business Insider. Business Insider, 14 Aug. 2017. Web. 10 Sept. 2017.