Is Talk of an Esports Olympics Too Early?

Esports as an industry has been experiencing consistent and impressive year-on-year growth and now has a worldwide, established following. Some of the biggest events in the eSports industry fill out entire sports stadiums. That’s just how big the sport has come. Way on from the days where all of the top professionals were starting out by streaming from their bedrooms.

By the end of this year, the worldwide market for the esports industry is estimated to be around $4.3 billion. And so there is a lot of money in the game now for both players, sponsors, and event venues.A lot of the top online sports betting websites now allow players to bet on their favourite teams and players within esports, some of which also offer anonymous crypto sports betting.

Should it be called a sport?

And so, with the industry having grown to the size it is today and showing no signs of slowing down, it’s no wonder that there has been speculation surrounding whether it will start to slowly integrate its way into the Olympics. After all, nearly every developed nation has some form of esports infrastructure and has the ability to field players and teams for most of the major games that feature in the industry.

However, there is both support for and opposition to this proposition. Quite a few people think that it shouldn’t actually be classified as a sport. It’s not physical and you’re sitting in a sedentary position when playing online games. However, others state that the skill and commitment that you have to put in to get to the level of professional esports players justifies and warrants it being called a sport.

A huge base of professionals

Around the world, there are an estimated 250 million professional esports players. It has been formally recognised as a sport by the IOC, which recently hosted the first Olympic Esports Week that took place in June last year. However, it has yet to integrate itself into the main Olympics. However, some also say that it shouldn’t integrate with the main Olympics but it is so large now that it should have its own Olympics. It is encouraging, however, to see that the IOC does indeed recognise it as a sport and is giving the movement of the game its full support.

Not compatible with Olympic values

Another reason why we might not see the full integration of esports as a sport into the main Olympics is that some of the games that are top within the industry aren’t exactly compatible with Olympic values. For example, if you think that some of the most popular games are first-person shooters where your primary aim is to kill members of the other team, you can see why they would want to show a bit of restriction and discipline as to how much they are supporting these types of games. And so going forward, we can expect some type of annual international tournament to take place, with teams from all over the world representing their countries but not quite featuring at the main summer Olympics.

In Summary

There looks to be no slowdown in the growth of the esports industry and so over the coming years, we can expect to see it become even bigger and amass an even bigger following from around the world. And it also remains to be seen if certain changes are made or if the Olympics is looking to diversify its offering of sports events to show during the main Olympics, whether we could one day see the full integration of it within the main events.