Sunday, December 17, 2017

The Bi-weekly Gamer: Esports and the Olympics

September 5, 2017 by Adam Boyle, staff writer

Esports could become a medal event at the 2024 Paris Olympic Games.

The Paris Olympic bid committee recently announced that they would be looking into the possibility of adding esports to their list of medal sports.

Things aren’t set in stone yet, but every talk that’s held is a step toward seeing your favourite team or players on the podium.

Furthering esports’ chance of getting a spot at the Olympics, it was recently announced that esports would be a medal event at the upcoming Asian Games, an event recognized by the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

The Bi-weekly Gamer is a column about competitive gaming that appears in every issue of Nexus.

As the upcoming generation gets more involved in esports and the industry continues to grow, the demand for widespread access and acceptance of esports will also grow. What better way for esports to enter the public eye than the Olympic Games? One of the only wild-card factors is what games will be entered.

The industry is changing fast, and, in an effort to provide longevity, companies like Blizzard and Riot Games are hammering down permanent leagues, like Blizzard’s Overwatch League.

Smaller games could be on the table as well, though—fighting games or trading card games like Hearthstone or The Elder Scrolls: Legends could see the spotlight too. Likelier picks are Call of Duty, League of Legends, Dota 2, Overwatch, and Starcraft 2, as they would have the largest viewer base.

But not everyone would be happy to see video games in the Olympics, which for generations has been considered one of the pinnacle events for people to showcase their athleticism.

The Paris Olympic bid committee may decide they want esports in the Summer Games, but, ultimately, it’s the IOC that will make the final call.

What this could mean is that even if esports is chosen, all it will take is a couple of IOC members to shut down all the hard work and force everything back to the drawing board.

It may be a few years away yet, but the day is coming when we’ll see a swell in national pride due to Canadian esports teams in the Olympics.

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