As the Olympic fire was extinguished over in South Korea and all the competitors go home with some bling. But there has been some talk in the past year that eSports could be introduced as an event in 2024 and while it could be a marriage made in heaven for both parties potentially as eSports would be getting recognition it deserves and competitors can get the chance to compete for Olympic gold. The IOC can tap into the youth audience that eSport has, but I have a sinking feeling that I wouldn’t be a completely good move for eSports.
Before I explain why I would like to add that this isn’t me shitting on eSports, while I’m not an avid fan I respect it hugely. My main complaint is that eSports is very big and there are many games involved from Overwatch to Rainbow Six Siege, the list goes on and on from there. My question is what games are deemed Olympic worthy? And fitting them into the heavy scheduling where lots of sports happen and medals earned per day and my fear is that would it get buried underneath all the other sports, sure there would be a heck of a crowd at the event itself, but would the rest of the world be tuning in by the millions to watch the men’s Rainbow Six Siege event or the men’s 100m? Unlikely in my view. This year’s Asian Games in Indonesia where eSports would be featured as a demonstration sport could be a test bed to see if eSports could prosper along with over sports, as the Asian games is recognized by the IOC, so it’s worth keeping an eye on that see how it goes down.
However, eSports does already rake in a huge audience already as the 2017 Intel Extreme Masters World Championship brought in 173,000 live attendees which is larger than most football stadiums and even the Super Bowl, including 46 million viewers from around the world which compared to Drumpf’s Inauguration which raked in just 30.6 million, so maybe it doesn’t really need to be part of the Olympics to blossom?
Maybe eSports could have its own Olympics itself under the IOC? Think about it you could fill out 1-2 weeks of events with the amount of games that have eSports. Bringing together people from different worlds from gaming from FIFA to DIRT 4 to F1 2017 to Overwatch. People would still tune in and it could all be streamed through proven channels like twitch and so on. While eSports and the Olympics could be a perfect marriage and be part of the Olympics altogether, but it could be better being its own man perhaps?
As I said, I’d be happy if I’m proved wrong.