It’s already been confirmed that esports will be featured in the 2022 Asian Games, but the Paris bid committee is highly interested in featuring the growing market of competitive gaming in the 2024 Olympics.
The inclusion of esports in the Olympics have been in talks for nearly a year, but what’s keeping this from becoming a reality is what the International Olympic Committee thinks about competitive gaming. IOC President Thomas Bach is unsure what esports is and if it involves the same physical training as other sports.
Competitive gaming involves, if not the same, training and preparation, both physical and mental, like any other sport. If they actually attend an event like EVO or CEO, they will see that these are not just kids and adults playing games, these are real athletes sporting jerseys competing to be champions in their games of choice. The difference, it may be more exciting to see Street Fighter players with an inch of life trying to get the last punch than watching synchronized swimming, no offense.
Gamers face the same abuse, mentally and physically, and suffer injuries like professional athletes that can ruin their careers. It’s a growing community, if not one of the friendliest, that exist. It will definitely help their decision if they attend the pro scene and see them in their environment. They will be impressed with every headshot, hadoken, and perfect KO they see.
Esports is a multi-million dollar sport that is projected to become a billion dollar business by 2019. Sports outside of competitive gaming are buying into the hype with other sports, including the NBA, creating leagues for the 2K series.
Former Laker Rick Fox owns Echo Fox, one of the leagues top teams home to Street Fighter V player Justin Wong and Injustice player Dominique “Sonic Fox” Mclean. E-League also featured professional athletes including WWE diva Eva Marie, former Laker Shaquille O’Neal, and NFL star Reggie Bush playing SFV for charity.
Perhaps following the Asian games, the IOC will see how big this sport has grown over the years, and would want to include it in the 2024 games. Although it’s projected that the program will be formed by 2019, but that still leaves plenty of time to include one more sport.