Esports have grown so big that it’s up for consideration for the 2020 Olympics after the International Olympic Committee responded to the International e-sports Federation with the steps needed to make it a reality. The sport has already been included in the 2018 Asian Games.
This is big news for gamers who spend countless hours online and competing in tournaments. It’s exciting for gamers to know that one day their skills in their favorite games can make them Olympic champions. But hold on from blowing balloons and making space on the shelf because gamers will have questions as to what will make them a qualified participant if this dream sees light.
It’s going to be different seeing these players on a bigger stage outside of CEO and EVO. These are guys who leave with a lot of money from these competitions and I am not sure how much an Olympic athlete makes but these kids, and some adults, make more in a weekend than a teacher or police officer does in a year. But on the other hand, I wonder if there will be a special medal for them?
In the world of competitive gaming, there are multiple games from Rocket League to League of Legends that offer big tournaments with major payouts behind them. Before players make their bid, it’s important to first know what game(s) will qualify. My bet is it will definitely be team player games such as the ones mentioned above that take strategic planning. so I’m sorry, Splatoon players, but you’ll still have to stick to the local competitions.
More people are buying into the growing brand, including the NBA, which announced that they will start their own e-league by next year. The market is expected to grow to a billion-dollar industry by 2019 according to USA Today.
Although the games aren’t mentioned, there are already talks of who will be participating, including Brazil, Great Britain, and the United States. What makes this even crazier is that card games such as poker were pushing for a spot in the Olympics for years, but competitive gaming involves more skills and requires hours of practice like any other sport.
2020 is still some time away and I’m sure as time goes by there will be more details on eligibility and the games that will be offered. Even if it doesn’t make it into the Olympics, the idea that it was considered still shows how far and how big competitive gaming has become.