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Will Future Olympic Events Finally Feature Esports Matches?

Date Posted: October 4, 2017

Esports might earn its spot in future Olympic events. Key Olympic figures and games specialists give their reasons why esports should be one of the sports played in the Olympics. If this happens, Bitcoin sportsbooks and casinos such as mBit Sportsbook and Arcanebet are likely to offer odds for the Olympic esports matches.

Before esports Bitcoin betting fans can celebrate, however, there are certain roadblocks that esports must overcome in order to be recognized as an official Olympic sport. One of which is how games of esports matches are private properties of gaming publishers such as Valve and Blizzard.

Feasibility of esports in the Olympics

One of the main arguments as to why esports should not be in the Olympics is how video games are not considered as actual sports in a traditional sense. Unlike tennis or basketball, there is no physical exertion or reflex that is required to play video games.

A counterpoint to this is how Olympic sports such as archery and shooting do not require as much physical strength and reflexes as other sports. Esports still demand a certain amount of dexterity among players in order to tactfully maneuver their in-game avatar in a first-person shooter or to press the right hotkey command in a MOBA game.

Olympic figures are also considering the popularity of esports tournaments. The industry has considerably grown over the years that more than 120 million people watch major esports tournaments. Some esports events are even rivaling traditional sporting events.

Last year, the highest audience that the NBA could gather was about 31 million viewers during the Cavaliers and Warriors finals match. Surprisingly, there were 36 million viewers who watched Koo Tigers and SK Telecom’s League of Legends match at the Mercedes-Benz Arena.

Moreover, Olympic figures see esports as an opportunity to draw in younger viewers to the event. This can help bring in more revenue to the Olympics

Tony Estanguet, co-president of the Paris Olympic bid committee, said:

“The youth, yes they are interested in esport and this kind of thing. Let’s look at it. Let’s meet them. Let’s try if we can find some bridges.”

Roadblock for esports

There is a series of hurdles that the esports industry must overcome in order to be recognized by the International Olympic Committee (IOC). One of the challenges includes the involvement of game publishers to their software. Publishers have the rights for the broadcast of its games. Olympic organizers will need to negotiate with the game developers in order to make their esports titles available in the event.

The biggest hurdle that esports needs to go through is the depiction of violence.  IOC is very protective of the image of the Olympics. To have sporting events that involve the use of violence in order to win a game or gain a lead over an opponent could tarnish the international sporting event’s image and reputation.

Fortunately, there are some esports games that have strayed from any kind of violence. Rocket League is a prime example of this where cars are used to play a game of football.