Esports: The Road to Olympic Inclusion at the 2024 Paris Games
Competitive video games have gone mainstream, and they’re drawing the attention of some of the world’s biggest events. That includes the Olympics.
But the Olympic Esports tournament cannot feature games like Rocket League or high-octane wizard battles in Dota. Moreover, broadcasting eSports will be challenging because the games require different set-ups.
eSports as a demonstration sport at the 2024 Paris Olympics
The eSports industry has taken steps toward becoming an Olympic event, but it still has a long way to go. The IOC has recently announced that it would be adding eSports to its list of demonstration sports at the 2024 Paris Olympics. This is a significant step forward for the video gaming industry, but critics say it won’t have any impact on popular games like Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and League of Legends.
Several of the current 32 Olympic sports were first featured as demonstration events in previous Olympics, including canoeing at Paris 1924, handball (field) at Munich 1972, women’s judo at Seoul 1988 and taekwondo at both Mexico 1968 and Los Angeles 1984. The new proposal, which is in line with Paris 2024’s ‘Made for Sharing’ values, will include breaking, sport climbing and surfing, and if approved, athlete quotas will be determined by the IOC’s Executive Board.
France’s President, Emmanuel Macron, promised that he would add eSports to the Olympic calendar as part of his campaign to host the 2024 Games in his home country. But it will take more than a politician’s promise to bring eSports into the Olympics.
eSports as a sport
While video gaming has been popular for decades, competitive gaming or esports, has recently become a mainstream sport that attracts millions of spectators to online and real-world arenas. The popularity of esports has even drawn the attention of major sports organizations like the Olympics. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has expressed its intention to engage with video gaming communities in the future.
The IOC’s head of virtual sports, Vincent Pereira, told French sports publication L’Equipe that Paris has first right of refusal to host an Olympic eSports week next year alongside the 2024 Summer Olympics but other cities may be interested as well. He claims that a number of places want to stage a tournament after Singapore’s inaugural event last month which featured the Tennis Clash mobile game.
The eSports Forum brought together 150 representatives from the esports and gaming industries, including pro players/teams, game publishers and media professionals. The goal of the meeting was to explore areas of commonality and potential collaboration.
eSports as a business
eSports is a multibillion-dollar industry that attracts viewers from all over the world. People watch organized gaming competitions among professional players on digital video platforms such as Twitch and YouTube. These events are a huge draw for sponsors, who use them to advertise their products and services to a targeted audience. As the industry grows, it is creating more job opportunities for students who study esports business. These students can find jobs in the industry, including team or event management, marketing and facility design.
Those who want to start an eSports business should do their research well and get advice. They should also make accurate forecasts and financial planning to see if their eSports business can actually turn a profit. If they overestimate their profits, they might fail to succeed. They should also look for support and networks with entrepreneurial and small business groups near them. This way, they can connect with industry contacts and potential investors.
eSports as a platform
Esports, short for electronic sports, are a subset of gaming video content that encompasses organized games competitions among professional players and teams. Esports are hosted on digital video platforms and are watched by millions of people each month. They have leagues, team ownership, sponsorship deals, endorsements, and cash prizes from tournament winnings. They have also spawned a huge culture around them and are an increasingly important part of pop culture.
Despite its rapid growth, the industry has some serious challenges. Some critics believe that eSports lack the physical component necessary to be considered a sport, while others are concerned about its commercialization and corporatization. This has led to a number of mergers and acquisitions in the gaming world, including the recent buyout of Faze Clan by Gamesquare.
Despite these challenges, eSports is still growing rapidly across the globe. According to Newzoo, revenue has grown by 30% since 2015 and is expected to continue to grow in 2023.