eSport Olympics: What Could eSports Benefit from Medal Games?
Electronic Sports (or eSports) is being considered as a medal event for the 2024 Paris Olympics Games. The IOC (International Olympic Committee) is awaited to award the 2024 Games to Paris, and Tony Estanguet plans to discuss with IOC and eSports organizations about including competitive gaming as part of the Games.
“We are not yet 100% clear whether eSports is really a sport,” IOC President Thomas Bach said earlier this year, to Inside the Games website. This shows that there are a lot of unclear questions that should be answered before any decision.
The 2024 Olympic Games program will be prepared in 2019 and the final decision coming after the Tokyo Olympics in 2020.
What are the benefits of eSports recognized as medal games?
- It could help boost viewership among Millennials (nearly 51% of eSports fans are millennials between age 16-25, according to Nielsen) – The Olympics faced its firstdecline in numbers in more than a decade at the 2016 Rio Games. The viewership numbers were 25% smaller compared with four years earlier in 18-49 year old age group at Rio, according to Bloomberg. The involvement of eSports could help address this situation.
- More diversity in the Olympic program – Athletics and water games are essential part of the Summer Games, but is this really enough for youngsters? The world changes rapidly with emerging sport like quadcopter race which doesn’t existed several years ago at all. Younger generations require new fresh experiences that stand closer to their taste.
- It helps deal with eSports as a legitimate, mainstream sports genre – 3.6 billion unique people watched the Rio Olympics, which is a big number, but only a small fraction of fans related to any sports genre. Esports is a young phenomenon, if the Olympic committee would include it as part of the Games it could lead to introducing Video Gaming to older audiences.
- Central control for eSports – Esports lacks an independent, overarching governing organizations, which can result imbalances among different games and teams. Yet the Olympics could give rise to a stable governing body that oversees the eSports ecosphere, similar to how FIFA and FINA oversee international sports.
- More broadcasters for eSports events – Currently the broadcasting platforms are limited for eSports including Twitch, YouTube, Facebook and traditional media outlets like Turner’s TBS Network, ESPN, and Canal Plus
Is this is an urgent necessity?
In 2017, The International 7 Dota 2 event in Key Arena set an own record with over 4.7 million concurrent online viewers watching the competition live. With numbers like that, it’s easy to see why Olympics planners are considering legitimizing a new unique sport genre that takes place on screen.
The Staples Center in Los Angeles will host the League of Legends final in October and guess what L.A. will also host the Summer Games in 2028. If not Paris than Los Angeles.