The esports industry has grown quickly over the past few years and has become a multi-billion dollar global industry. Debate has arisen amongst the public whether esports should be considered as a legitimate sport and be included in the Olympics.
In this essay, we will discuss why esports should not be included in the Olympics. We will consider the potential implications of esports as an Olympic sport and analyze the arguments for and against its inclusion.
Why Esports Should Not be in the Olympics
Esports, known as electronic sports, refer to competitive video gaming on a professional or semi-professional level. It’s a rapidly growing form of sport which consists of individual or teams in games like League of Legends or Counter Strike: Global Offensive.
Esports has grown from an underground subculture and is now gaining attention from worldwide audiences, as people starting tuning into various online streaming services like Twitch and YouTube to watch these games, as hundreds of millions more viewers become aware of the vibrant and passionate esports culture.
Esports does have its origins in traditional “street” gaming, such as arcade games back in the late 80s and early 90s. But after the turn of the century, it has evolved from console to PC gaming with the advent and spread of broadband connections around 2000. Esports had been slowly growing steadily until 2020 when it really began to take off due to technology advances such as internet connections with lower latency that enabled higher quality competitive gaming experiences accessible through platforms like YouTube and Twitch.
As competitive gaming became more popular and mainstream, esports organizations were created to provide infrastructure for teams across multiple genres including strategy games like League Of Legends (LOL) and fighting games like StreetfighterV. Esports also started receiving more recognition from leagues such as Major League Gaming (MLG), which held tournaments around the world for event spectators. As more money was funneled into this industry from sponsorships by companies such as Alienware, Redbull and Monster Energy, we finally arrive at today’s booming esports scene that is organized much like professional sports with stars playing competitively in front of thousands at stadiums while millions follow their favor teams through digital media broadcasts.
Overview of the Olympics
The Olympics is an international multi-sport event that is held once every four years. It was first established in 1896 and is currently held under the protection of the International Olympic Committee (IOC). Athletes from around the world compete to become the best in their respective disciplines, earning prestigious medals and boasting rights while doing so.
While impressive feats of athleticism are no doubt incredible to watch and celebrate, some modern sports have yet to join their list of Olympic events. One of those sports is esports, which has slowly started cementing its place in competitive gaming but has still yet to make it into the Olympics roster.
Reasons Why Esports Should Not Be in the Olympics
Esports are a relatively new form of competitive video gaming and have become increasingly popular, but ultimately, there are several reasons why esports should not be featured in the Olympics.
Although esports may have some parallels to traditional sports, there are many differences that separate the two, such as the lack of physical activity, the lack of a global governing body and the stigma surrounding gaming. Let’s dive into why esports should not be featured in the Olympics.
Lack of Professionalism
The lack of professionalism in the esports industry can be a major hindrance for the potential for it to be included in the Olympics. Due to multiple developers, players, and teams playing different games, there are varied levels of standards from team to team and game to game.
This could result in an inconsistency among tournaments and competitions where some teams have access to better resources than other teams. The lack of standardized rules or regulations mean that some teams may be able to gain a competitive advantage due to uneven playing grounds or even cheating due to loopholes.
In order for esports to compete in the Olympics, more standardized rules must be established so that all players have an equal opportunity across all games and across all leagues. This would require governing bodies like the International Olympic Committee (IOC) who are capable of coming up with standards that every player within each respective game must adhere too, such as equipment regulation and bonus point systems. Until these governing bodies come together and create a unified set of rules that everyone adheres too there is no way for esports to become an official sport at the Olympic Games level because there simply is not the professionalism yet which is needed for all competitors to follow said rules or regulations.
Lack of Standardization
Esports lacks standardization for a successful Olympics debut. One key element of the Olympics is having official rules, regulations and a code of conduct governing each event. Currently, the main esports regulatory body is the International e-Sports Federation (IeSF), established in 2008 to promote and develop e-sports around the world.
Even though IeSF is an Olympic Recognized Sport Federation, it’s still too young and not widely recognized yet. It has set guidelines that are tailored to different areas such as fair game play, competition guidelines, foundling ethics and referees; in addition, these rules depend on each game title due to variety of genres. Therefore, there have been many debates on which key elements should be kept in mind while creating standards and regulations.
To become an Olympic sport, great effort needs to be put into unifying esports’ different titles under one common rule set or judging system.
Lack of Global Representation
The Olympic Games are thought to be a representation of the world’s major competitive and athletic events. Esports represents a much more narrow area of both competitive and athletic gaming and thus would not accurately portray the global competitive state in the same way. Even today, with the rapid growth of esports, there are still many nations that have yet to join in on the esports scene or where esports is seen as an inferior activity compared to traditional athletics or sports competitions.
Many players around the world who hope to compete in esports professionally are unable gain access to appropriate resources necessary for training and competing at top-level competition due to financial, cultural, institutional, or geofencing limitations. This inequality could be more detrimental if Esports were integrated into the Olympics. Nationals teams formed solely for Olympic purposes may reinforce those existing injustices where underprivileged competitors are kept from participating at a global level due to lack of motivation from superior teams recruited solely from specific regions filled with prosumer hotbeds such as South Korea or China.
In order for an obsessive argument regarding why Esports should be federated into The Olympic Games as an official event, international equality must first be achieved in opportunity provided superabundantly by engaging governments and corporate sponsors who invest deeply into growing their esport communities on a worldwide scale. Until then, integrating Esports too early into The Olympic Games could make any kind of unequal footing of talent magnified onto an even larger platform than today’s active scenes before having addressed the issues of representation so many remaining countries face year after year over their lack of access or opportunity to participate safely and fairly representing their entire nation within regional qualifications unaffiliated with any third party tournaments held by platforms such as ESL One or Dreamhack Global Tour Circuits around the world.
Esports, for all its accomplishments and commercial success, may not be ready for the Olympics.
The Olympics are a prestigious event with a long and distinguished history and the inclusion of esports might mar its reputation, as well as the institution of the Olympics.
This article will explore some counterarguments as to why esports should not be included in the Olympics.
Esports Gaining Popularity
Esports is quickly becoming one of the world’s fastest-growing and most popular recreational activities. From its humble beginnings in the late 90’s and early 2000’s, esports has transformed into a multi-billion dollar global industry that hosts hundreds of tournaments every year. For a backdrop, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) recently indicated its interest in exploring the potential for esports to attend the Olympic Games either as a demonstration sport or as a full medal event. As esports popularity continues to skyrocket across all ages, geographies and cultures, there are numerous reasons why it should be considered for inclusion at future Olympic Games.
Esports brings together players from around the world on an equal playing field – regardless of their race, gender or nationality – to compete against each other in games that require complex decision-making skills. Furthermore, teams often have to work together to outmaneuver their opponents which suggests they must possess an even higher level of strategic adeptness than traditional sports teams or athletes.
Secondly, although it may take years of hard work and training for players to master specific titles without much assurance that competitive professionalism will pay off long term – it can still be argued that professional eSport athletes possess physical attributes such as fast reaction times, fine muscle control and hand-eye coordination which many other competitive Olympians also rely heavily on throughout competition.
Finally, there is no doubt that most Esports come with highly digitalized sporting venues which could help bring younger generations closer to sports by combining familiar technology with sports elements that many spectators would find appealing.
Esports Could Bring More Viewers to the Olympics
To make their case, proponents of esports in the Olympics point to the game’s worldwide popularity and its ability to engage young viewers. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) is not immune to the power of those demographics. In recent years, it has added other popular sports like snowboarding and skateboarding that appeal to younger viewers as part of its efforts to modernize and appeal to a global audience.
Furthermore, esports can also help boost interest in some of the traditional Olympic sports that have seen declining viewership with younger audiences in recent years. For example, competitive gaming could provide exposure for lesser-known Olympic sports, reaching them fans who might otherwise be unaware that such sports exist in the Olympics at all.
For many young people, esports represents an important part of their identity — something they are passionate about and want to feel connected with. The recognition that Olympic inclusion would lend esports can help deepen their sense of connection and engagement with the games as well as create potential pathways for broader involvement in other forms of sport. That could potentially include participation as a coach or official at other levels or even participation at higher levels themselves. In this respect, Olympic inclusion could be seen both as an opportunity for increased youth engagement with sport overall as well as a way to attract viewership specifically during Olympic events.
Esports should not be included in the Olympics at this time due to the fact that it is still in its infancy stage. Although it has grown rapidly over the last few years and has some popular professional leagues, it still does not have a sufficient international reach need to be part of the world’s biggest sporting event.
Additionally, its lack of consistent international regulation across different games and its still-smaller pool of professional gamers compared to traditional sports make it difficult to have any sort of unified competition. These are just some of the reasons why esports should not be included in the Olympics.