The top athletes from all over the world take part in the most popular global sporting events like the Summer or the Winter Olympics. There are plenty of sporting disciplines in which these athletes from various nationalities, ages, gender, and sex compete against each other to win medals for their country. They take it as a great pride to participate in the Olympics as it gives them the opportunity to bring laurels to their country. There are new disciplines that get added to the sporting disciplines during the Olympics. There is a strong debate going on whether to include eSports as a competing event in the Olympics or not.
Is There a Scope for eSports in the Olympics?
The electronic gaming industry is a money-making industry that is worth $1 billion now. The popularity of this sector has grown in leaps and bounds, and still, there is no sign of these kinds of professional events in the Olympics. Many believe that the biggest sporting event of the world has lost its previous charm and demand because of the non-inclusion of games that attract the youth. They feel that the only way to regain the most happening event’s lost glory and to drive in more and more youngsters to watch it by adding sporting disciplines that attract the youth. There is nothing more attractive to the youngsters now than these kinds of games, and it is about time that this makes an official appearance on the big stage.
Apart from electronic gaming, the next big thing that draws the attention of many players is online casinos. The gambling websites are fully aware of how to draw the cream of the crowd to their business. They do so by offering top online casinos Canada, matching welcome bonus, or other bonus offers that the players find it very hard to resist. The result is that the gamblers sign up to make full use of these promotions, and the operators enjoy better footfalls. However, since online casinos involve gambling, it cannot feature as part of the Olympics.
IOC Has Previously Endorsed Electronic Plays
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has taken a liking to electronic sports for many years now, and it considered this as a gaming activity in 2017. It had even gone on to formally support the Intel hosted Starcraft 2 event in Extreme Masters Circuit. The Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) joined hands with the Asian eSports Foundation (AeSF) and Alisports to introduce this gaming category as a demonstration event in the 2018 Asian Games held in Indonesia. It has all the possibilities to become a legal medal event in the Asian Games.
There is no doubt that the viewership for the various clashes between top nations in the electronic game finals is peaking with every event. The popular titles that feature during the popular gaming events are League of Legends, Clash Royale, Starcraft 2, Arena of Valor, Pro Evolution soccer, etc. The testing of this gaming discipline in the Asian circuit could turn out to be a stepping-stone for it to be included in the Olympics as an exhibition event.
Looking at It with a Marketing Perspective
The Olympics used to be one of the most popular televised events. It was a not-to-miss spectacle for many. However, things have changed now, and the viewership of this greatest games exhibition has taken a nose-dive in the past decade or so. The repetition of the age-old games and the non-inclusion of new ones are not doing it any good.
Those people who are still glued to the TV sets to watch the various plays unfold in front of their eyes are the older fans, and there are not many means of getting the younger ones. The average age of TV viewership is over 50 years old. It is time that the IOC thought about introducing the modern youth-oriented games to draw crowds to the stadiums and to increase TV viewership. In comparison, eGaming has an average viewership age of 26 years. The marketers willing to sponsor advertisements for this biggest event are also targeting the youth. So, adding this popular gaming discipline can turn this event back into the most sought after the live show on television.
IOC Is Worried about Violence
The IOC has made sure that the peace, respect, and unity through the sports is one of the major driving forces of the Winter and Summer Games. They are adamant about making sure that it holds firm on its tradition and helps the nations to have better understanding and peace through the sports. There is a bit of worry among the IOC team that the inclusion of this gaming can cause a big issue by forcing them to let go of their traditions. The most popular eGaming titles like CS: GO, League of Legends, etc., are popular because of its violent content. It is based on combat and violence elements. The IOC is not very keen on including the violence competent in their tournament roster. There is no room for warfare in the Olympics arena.
What Can IOC Include?
One of the things that the IOC can seriously think about is to focus on the titles based on the sports theme. This means that they can look for popular titles like Madden or NBA 2K or other simulating titles to be part of the Olympics scheme of things. This might sound exciting and in tune with the rules of IOC of not supporting violence. However, the fact is that the playfield themed titles are not a favourite among the diehard electronic games fans. Who knows what reaction could these have from the viewers when they are included in the Olympics?
There is scope for this gaming category to make its debut on the Olympics stage. But, there needs to be a lot of thinking into it. The biggest challenge would be the kind of titles that can be included. There needs to be a lot of things sorted out before the inclusion of eSports into the premier summer or winter games.