eSports are about to become mainstream. The Olympic games in 2024 could be the first to include eSports. The Paris Application team is optimistic. Some hurdles still need to be cleared out of the way. eSports has many prestigious competitors. Kuro “KuroKy” Salehi Takhasomi from Berlin and his team “Liquid” have won the highest paying eSports tournament of all time. As the new world champions of the computer game Dota 2 the team gets more than 10 million US dollars.
Prize money is great, but soon, the cultural respect given to some eSports competitions could also increase. Paris will host the 2024 Olympic Games. And the hosts are considering including eSports in the games.
“We cannot explicitly exclude them,” Tony Estanguet, vice president of the application team told the Associated Press. “Young people are interested in eSports. We have to look at them. Let’s talk to them. Let us find out if we can find links or not.”
What are the arguments against eSports being included in the games?
First off, the organizers have to agree with the Olympic Committee. IOC President Thomas Bach has recently expressed his critical opinion about eSports.
Bach: “In terms of physical activity, we are not 100 percent sure if we can say that e-sports can be considered sports. We can’t see an organization or structure that gives us a guarantee that the values and rules of Olympic sport are maintained and controlled at all times at all levels.”
In fact, the eSports market is still very diverse. Normally, for every sport, the IOC is in contact with international umbrella organizations. The fact that these umbrella organizations do not exist for e-sports could reduce the likelihood that e-sports will become Olympic.
How could eSports become olympic?
The IOC has the final say. But there are numerous eSports advocates. Countries such as China, Russia, Finland and South Korea have already officially recognized eSports as a sport. In addition, eSports will take part in the Asian Games in 2022 as a medal sport.
“An examination of the sports university in Cologne showed that computer players are just as stressed during the competitions and are as physically challenged as the traditional top athletes,” Ralf Reichert told Welt am Sonntag. Reichert is Managing Director of the Electronic Sports League (ESL), the world’s leading platform for computer game championships.
Ralf Reichert added: “The question of whether we can call it a sport is much more pressing for other activities such as golf, Formula 1 or chess.”
The final decision about whether eSports will become Olympic, can’t to be expected before 2020. The number of players worldwide is to rise from two to about three billion by 2020. With a worldwide audience of 320 million a year, eSports is one of the fastest growing sports. It would be negligent not to discuss the topic thoroughly.