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Over the years the eSport circuits have begun to grow. In much of Asia, the eSports arena has become a serious sporting event for many games, and is one that continues to do so at an unprecedented speed. So much so that the Asian Olympic Council has announced their interest in making the eSports arena an official Olympic Game sporting event in 2022 for the Asian Games in China.
Their inner workings may also push eSports into a worldwide Olympic Sport. There's a very daunting question sitting under all of this. Do eSports belong as an official Olympic sporting event? No, they really shouldn't, but after all there's a few good reasons the answer could be yes. So this is where we get to discuss why such a thing should never happen.
eSports are Much Bigger than the Olympic Games Already
When you look at pro-circuits for the Olympic Games, it's hard not to give a glance over each of the pro-circuits and wonder what they have to offer, and how they've amassed the fan bases they have. Since many of them feature major teams such as Dignitas, Cloud9, Elevate, and Eager. Many of these teams don't just play in circuits such as the Smite Pro League, but many of them also splinter off into other groups such as ESL (Electronic Sports League), the ESA (Electronic Sports Arena), and many, many others.
Games such as Smite, League of Legends, and DOTA 2 are no strangers to hosting their own major events. Many will see teams head to events such as Dreamhack where the best of the best will show down at the worlds biggest LAN event. In turn others will wait for events such as the Smite, League, or DOTA 2 invitationals or internationals where they will fight for millions of dollars in prize pools.
Due to these large arenas that bring in huge followings, these games offer unforeseen sizes in fan-bases as well as income due to ticket purchases. This is something the Olympics won't be able to do since the eSports leagues are already much, much larger than the Olympics, and even bring in more viewers than the Olympics could dream of. Basically, the eSports arena's are already much bigger than the Olympics could ever imagine being.
The Partnership Between the Council of Asia and Alibaba Could be a Conflict of Interest
While many of us already know that the Olympics would be a huge thing for eSports. The task of breaking into the Asian Games would bring in a rather daunting task due to their partnership with Alisports, a subsidiary of Alibaba. The conflict of of interest would be unimaginable due to the sheer amount of money that the games would bring in and how much the eBay of China would be making as a part of it.
Even with Alisports sponsoring the inclusion of the eSports division, the money being invested soars up to a solid $150 million USD in the International eSports Federation in order for the organizations submission to occur. This even means the company could aim for taking over the competitive video games arena for the Olympic Games and even help grow eSports more than they already have.
But what would it cost for other countries to invest into the Olympics and how much would it cost them to do so? A lot of money, that's for sure.
Recruiting Teams Could be Ludicrous in Difficulty
Much like any sport, the International Olympics Committee would be faced with a rather hard task of forming international teams. Doing so also puts a lot of weight on pro-gamers figuring out who they would look to recruit, how they would prepare, and what they would do for the Olympic Games in order not to void sponsorship contracts.
Many people in the competitive games arena's may also know that their hobby could change drastically if the Olympics Committee were to accept their sport. However, if they were, it would open up a chance for eSports to become a more widely recognized establishment, and open up a way for it to expand even more on a global scale.
This just increases the difficulty of teams recruiting people and hopefully not interrupting their yearly seasonal events.
Game Companies May be Owed Money for Their Games Being in the Olympics
If you are familiar with any game that takes part in the major eSports arena's, you already knw that they are owned by companies such as Valve, Hi-Rez Studios, Activison, and many, many more. With their games having a chance to become a part of the Olympics, the companies could be owed a bit more many than what they already make from consumers.
With this new approach, the games joining the Olympic roster, if this happens, could mean that professional eSports athletes could become even more competitive under the umbrella of a corporate entities game. This could also mean that those eSports gamers could very well need to be recruited by companies such as Blizzard, Riot, Hi-Rez, Valve, and even Super Evil Mega Corp.
As my fellow writer, Simon Rune Knudsen, stated. Games are privately owned intellectual properties. Their game rules change with patches that help fine-tune and alter characters as needed. This would make eSports much different than any other sport in the Olympics line-up. This means the Olympics would have to adjust to these changes and recognize them as official rule adjustments that happen incrementally over the span of the games shelf-life.
Just Remember, 2022 is the Big Year for eSports
While the International Olympics Committee still has five years to take eSports into consideration, this means eSports has a lot more room to grow, and evolve in preparation for the Olympic Games. For all we know, eSports could very well look different than we we know it as now. For all we know, eSports may adapt for such events, and help produce new arenas for those seeking to join an Olympic team.
During that time frame, eSports may even be more-so recognized as an official sport, which will set sail in becoming what many hope it will. For all we know, we will see a game developed specifically for the Olympic games. Those of you wanting to see where this goes, we have till 2018 and 2022 Asian Games to see how well the eSports arena works out in the Olympics.