Esports, or Electronic Sports, is a form of competition that is usually video gaming based. It is wildly popular around the world, with millions of people watching and playing in tournaments.
It has been growing rapidly in recent years and with that, the possibility of it being part of the 2020 Olympic Games has been raised. We will take an overview of esports and whether it stands a chance of being in the 2020 Olympics.
Will Esports be in the 2020 Olympics
Esports, also known as electronic sports or competitive gaming, is a form of competition with in the digital realm. It involves players competing against each other in popular video game titles, or specialized software made just for esports matches. It has grown to become an integral part of the gaming culture and a constituent of the sport-entertainment economy. Esports can be enjoyed by spectators either live at tournaments or through streaming services such as Twitch, YouTube Gaming and Facebook Live.
Esports tournaments encompass many different types of competitive events. Some tournaments are hosted by third-party course while others are organized by game publishers themselves as part of promotional events and initiatives. Popular esports titles include Defense Of The Ancients (Dota), Counter Strike: Global Offensive (CS: GO) and League Of Legends (LOL). In addition to these games, mobile games such as Clash Royale have also had their own circuit of international tournaments in recent years with huge prize pools for pro players who can make their mark on the global scene.
The International Olympic Committee recently announced its decision to recognize esports as a legitimate form of sports competition beginning with the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, Japan.
Popularity of Esports
Esports has quickly grown in popularity over the past few years. From major tournaments drawing millions of viewers worldwide to rising player salaries, competitive gaming has become a legitimate and successful sporting event. Last year, esports prize pools exceeded $100 million for the first time in history and anticipated growth is estimated to be even more impressive this year.
Esports reached new heights when it stepped into the mainstream spotlight with 2020’s COVID-19 pandemic driving online streaming viewership up by 200%. The popularity of esports has soared as fans are thrilled by watching their favorite teams play, as well as tapping into a sense of community among likeminded gamers across the globe. With its quick growth and wide spread appeal, it’s no surprise that companies are investing heavily in sponsoring high profile teams and major tournaments to reach their target audiences.
The driving force behind the surge in popularity is that esports competes with traditional sports on an international level. In 2020, three of the most follows esports competitions were from Asia including League of Legends World Championship from Shanghai China and Overwatch League from South Korea. Looking forward, large scale events such as Dota 2’s The International continue to grow in scope every year with over 20 million viewers tuning in globally for each competition resulting in millions of dollars earned by winning teams and individual players alike.
History of Esports in the Olympics
Since the rise of competitive gaming in the late 1990s, esports has been gaining recognition and traction around the world. As a result, many have been asking the question: is esports going to be included in the 2020 Summer Olympics? Let’s take a look at the history of esports in the Olympics to better understand the chances of its inclusion in the upcoming event.
Previous Attempts to Include Esports in the Olympics
Since the rise in popularity of esports, several attempts have been made by industry leaders and organizations to include esports in the Olympic Games. In 2004, the International e-Sports Federation (IeSF) was formed with a mission to represent and govern esports at an international level. The IeSF also hoped that adding esports to the Olympics would establish it as a legitimate professional sport.
In 2018, the IeSF joined forces with The Global Association of International Sports Federations (GAISF) to push for official recognition and consideration by the IOC towards inclusion of esports in international sports competitions such as the Olympics. Despite these efforts, another key factor that stands against formalizing esports into an internationally-recognized Olympic event falls on its perceived nature as based on video gaming results instead of traditional physical activities.
While other professional players may physically demonstrate their individual gaming prowess, this still may not convince IOC members who will be responsible for deciding sports included in future Olympics. As such, fitting criteria and standards have yet to be agreed upon regarding esports formalization – ranging from establishment of governing bodies to qualifying criteria with respect to countries and players participating at major competitions including those held during Olympic Games.
Reasons Why Esports Has Not Been Included in the Olympics
Although esports have gained prominence in the past years, it has not yet been included as an official event in the Olympic Games. There are several reasons why esports has not been deemed an appropriate candidate for the Olympics. Firstly, having a video game represent a nation in the Olympic Games conflicts with the core values of Olympism which speaks to upholding “the dignity of sports”, practicing sportsmanship and displaying fair play. Although some would argue that esports players are athletes who compete against each other using physical skills and logic to achieve success, others consider it to be more of an intellectual pursuit as opposed to an actual sport.
Additionally, there is a lack of agreement between international organizations over which titles should be allowed in future Olympic championships. This difficulty is compounded by the sheer number of games that represent different genres such as shooters, card games, and battle royales — making it difficult for international organizations to narrow down suitable candidates that can satisfy everyone.
Furthermore, many traditional goaltenders feel that there may be potential risks related to introducing violent video games into the mix of events at Olympics; this would draw out further debate over these matters which could further discredit any chances of having esports as part of Olympic events anytime soon.
Consequently, while it would wonderful if esports were one day included in Olympics ceremonies due to its growing popularity around the world — changing public perception about what constitutes ‘sport’ and amending traditional understanding of Olympism will have to occur before we can start seeing competitive gaming on nine-ringed platforms.
Chances of Esports Being Included in the 2020 Olympics
With the ever-growing popularity of esports, many are wondering if these competitive video games could be included in the 2020 Olympics. It may seem unlikely, but there are some indications that esports could eventually be included in the Olympics. Let us take a closer look at the chances of esports being included in the 2020 Olympics.
Factors That Could Influence the Inclusion of Esports in the 2020 Olympics
There are a multitude of factors that could influence the inclusion of esports in the 2020 Olympics. As technology advances and develops, so does the scope and quality of virtual gaming and esports. With this advancement, there has been an increase in interest from government officials, who have observed the growth of electronic sports and its potential for inclusion in the Olympics.
Furthermore, there has been considerable backing from within the sport itself, with organizations such as ESL lobbying for esports to gain full Olympic recognition, as it is seen by many within these circles to be deserving of such a prestigious honor. Additionally, many champions within traditional sports have stood in support of esports being included at the Games due to its capacity both as a source of entertainment and as an avenue to promote physical health amongst youth.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) openly acknowledges that it is considering including video games on a trial-basis at Tokyo 2020 if certain criteria listed on their website are met by various governing bodies. If these criteria are satisfied then they will look further into creating guidelines that should support overall integrity and excellence. The key stakeholders involved in this process are game publishers/developers whose products must meet international standards on regulation, player safety/fairness, data protection/privacy rights and anti-cheating measures. Governmental bodies would also be required to provide sufficient evidence proving that Esports does indeed merit inclusion within the Olympic Games before any selection can take place.
Arguments For and Against Esports Being Included in the 2020 Olympics
For Esports in the Olympics: In recent years, esports has enjoyed increasing popularity both as a hobby and a professional sport. As a result, there is a growing movement to make it an official part of the Olympic Games. Advocates argue that esports’ global presence and popularity make it an ideal candidate for being part of the Olympic family while maintaining international unity. In addition, they point out that esports’ ability to bring together gamers from around the world provides an opportunity for large-scale social interaction and cross-cultural communication that can combat societal divides.
Against Esports in the Olympics: While many people appreciate the role that esports can play in international relationships, they also have raised some objections to including it in the Olympic games. Chief among them is the fact that there are no unified rules or regulations governing all tournaments. This brings up questions of fairness as well as whether only certain games like League of Legends or Roblox should be included among others. Additionally, some have expressed concerns about adding electronic athletes to an already crowded lineup of traditional “sports”. Ultimately, opponents worry that including esports would water down both its culture and fan base by reducing its distinctiveness.
As the 2020 Olympics draws near, the question of whether esports will be included still remains. Ultimately, with the surge of esports in recent years, the International Olympic Committee needs to take into account the potential benefits that esports could bring to the Olympics as well as its growing influence in the world. Let’s have a look at the various implications of esports being part of the 2020 Olympics.
Summary of the Chances of Esports Being Included in the 2020 Olympics
The 2020 Olympics has been the biggest topic of conversation in recent months. In this article, we have discussed the chances of esports being included in the 2020 Olympic Games. On one hand, there is much potential for establishing a successful e-sports league and many believe that it is an appropriate time to bring esports into the Olympic program. There are many positive aspects such as playing video games on a global stage, increasing sportsmanship and giving an opportunity to youth gamers to hone their skills.
On the other hand, there are certain drawbacks when it comes to implementing e-sports in the Olympics. For one, competitive gaming’s current lack of structure and lack of ruleset will make it difficult for Olympic officials to consider including competitive gaming in their program. Additionally, opposition from mainstream sports organizations may also hinder its progress as competitive gaming has yet to be recognized by major sporting bodies such as FIFA or PESF.
Overall, although there is much hope for esports making its debut at the 2020 Olympics, due to various factors it is still uncertain if esports can officially break into mainstream sporting events such as The Olympics anytime soon.
Final Thoughts on the Topic
The 2020 Olympics is likely to be the first time esports are officially part of the program. Discussions regarding the potential inclusion of esports have been ongoing since 2018, and in December 2018, they were officially adopted as an Olympic event. Whether or not it actually makes it onto the final list of events remains to be seen.
Esports fans remain cautiously optimistic that their favorite games will make it into the program for 2020 and beyond. This would give them a chance to see professional gamers from around the world come together and compete for gold medals in some of the most fan-favorite video games. Although not everyone agrees on whether or not esports should be included in the Olympics, there is no doubt that if this happens, it would bring worldwide attention to and recognition for this increasingly popular industry.