Esports, or electronic sports, is the collective term for video game competitions. Tournaments draw millions of viewers each year and promote thousands of professional players. There has been an increase in interest in making esports an official Olympic sport, so it’s important to consider any potential drawbacks before a decision is made.
This article will take an informative look at the potential drawbacks of including esports in the Olympics and provide some food for thought for those interested or involved in this issue.
Are Esports Going to be in the Olympics
Esports is an umbrella term for competitive video gaming, and it has grown rapidly in popularity in recent years. There is a lot of discussion around whether or not esports should be included in the Olympics, and it has gained traction with esports athletes and venues around the world.
In this article, we will discuss the potential drawbacks of including esports in the Olympics.
What is Esports?
Esports, short for electronic sports, is a form of competitive gaming where players compete in video game competitions. Generally, esports involves professional teams and players competing on large stages in front of audiences either in-person or online. Esports are most often categorized by genres such as first-person shooter, fighting, real-time strategy (RTS), and multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA).
The popularity of esports continues to grow worldwide with millions of fans watching competitions online either through streaming services such as Twitch or by attending live tournaments across the globe. Teams and players participate for large sums of prize money from both public and private organizations. Some countries classify esports as professional sports while other nations recognize them as official national sports making it possible for people to receive relevant education, grants and even citizenship based on their individual or team’s performance.
The ever-changing landscape has caught the attention of many official sports leagues resulting in the emergence of an official Esports League that exists within the Olympic Movement known as the International eGames Committee (IEGC). This governing organization strives to standardize many aspects of competition including rules enforcement, tournament formats, judging criteria and more while providing support to various national organizing committees (NOC) across different regions around the world. Though successful events have been hosted with recognition at an all-time high it remains unclear whether esports can be properly included into the Olympics due to certain drawbacks associated with having a prominent virtual presence at such a major event.
Popularity of Esports
In recent years, esports – organized, competitive video gaming – has gained in popularity and public recognition. As traditional sports are canceled or postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic, esports have become increasingly popular worldwide. This has prompted discussions of whether esports should be included in the Olympic Games as an official sport. Supporters of this idea argue that professional gamers competing in these events demonstrate athleticism as they require a great deal of skill and quick response times, while others think its too far removed form traditional sports.
But there’s no denying that the appeal of esports continues to grow, with more people engaging in esports competition virtually and watching multiple tournaments on television screens each week. Statistics from Matchmade show that more than 3 million players participated in 2019 League of Legends tournaments globally, a 25% increase from 2018. The trend for increased viewership speaks for itself with about 456 million hours watched on Twitch (a streaming platform concentrating on esports) in 2019 — a 31% growth over 2018 — according to Matchmade’s report.
The incredible success of gaming titles such as Dota 2, League of Legends and Fortnite can only spell good news for the ongoing development and evolution of competitive gaming globally—the growth curve continues to rise exponentially each year!
Potential Drawbacks of Including Esports in the Olympics
Esports is gaining increasing popularity, with championships and leagues popping up around the world. The International Olympics Committee recently announced their intentions to consider including esports as an official part of the next Olympic Games.
While there are many potential benefits to this, it is important to understand the potential drawbacks as well. This article will focus on the potential drawbacks of including esports in the Olympics.
Lack of Oversight
The lack of oversight and clear standards for global esports is a major limiting factor in the consideration of esports for the Olympics. Unlike traditional Olympic sports, such as swimming, diving and gymnastics, the world of esports does not have one universal governing body or regulations. Without standardization, it can be difficult to determine who is eligible to compete and which games should be included.
Furthermore, there is no single uniform rulebook that outlines acceptable gameplay methods, meaning that what may be considered fair play in one region might not be seen as such in another. This could lead to disputes between countries regarding rules and regulations during an Olympic Games. Additionally, it can also lead to disagreements over doping regulations since there are currently no standardized anti-doping policies throughout the various regions for esports competitions.
Potential for Cheating
The ability to manipulate an esports title through the use of game code and/or malicious software is a major concern for any sports organization who may be considering adding it to their competition list. While cheating is not unique to esports, it does have the potential to give players a competitive edge over their opponents that can have major implications.
Security breaches are another potential downside of including esports in the Olympics. If organizers are not properly prepared, this could lead to compromised infrastructure and player data, as well as unauthorized access of tournament systems. The possibility of cyber attacks or data thefts must be addressed by robust security measures before these events can move forward safely.
Moreover, any form of competitive gaming comes with its own set of complex violations that can affect competition integrity—from account boosting (when pros are paid to play in accounts they do not own) to match-fixing, teams could suffer from a lack of proper regulation. This highlights the need for stringent anti-cheating measures such as dedicated event control teams monitoring and investigating all suspicious activity. As the global esports industry continues to grow exponentially in size and complexity, clear enforcement and guidelines must be put into place in order for organized tournaments like the Olympics Games to meet the highest level of fair play expectations from its participants.
Lack of Professionalism
Although professional esports players show a great deal of skill, ultimately playing video games is not seen as a traditional sport, and some believe that the inclusion of esports in the Olympics would be damaging to the prestige of the Games. With video games come a lot of warnings and triggers that can be off-putting for some more traditional viewers.
Traditionally, sportsmanship is an important component of Olympic event judging, but when it comes to playing video games professionally there are no rules against things such as trash talking or celebrating after performing well in a match. This lack of professional conduct could be off-putting to some viewers and cause them to question the validity of esports within the Olympics.
In addition, unlike physical sports where athletes must demonstrate physical fitness combined with technique and agility, players competing in Esports require little more than dexterity and good reflexes. This reduces the level of personal achievement necessary to be successful in an Olympic events making it easier for individuals to qualify – which could devalue both player accomplishments and medals won through Esports in comparison to those achieved by athletes competing in traditional events.
Overall, the inclusion of esports in the Olympics has its pros and cons. On the one hand, it can help widen the reach of Olympic events and introduce younger generations to sports through video gaming. It can also bring increased sponsorships from companies interested in marketing their products to esports fans.
On the other hand, there are several potential drawbacks such as controversies over rules, lack of standardized regulations or safety standards in some countries, lack of physical fitness related to gaming, and potential for cheating or unfair advantages.
As modern technology continues to evolve and become more integrated into our lives, different types of esports should continue to be evaluated by Olympic officials for possible event inclusion. Ultimately, it will be up to individual Olympic committees to assess the benefits and drawbacks of esports inclusion on a case-by-case basis while considering what is best for their respective athletes.