Will Esports Make it to the Olympics? The Rapid Growth of Esports

Will Esports Make it to the Olympics

Are esports coming to the Olympics? There is no denying that the Olympics are becoming much more interested in esports, and there is even a specific event that the organization is running in 2023. This may be a sign of testing the water.

There are always going to be people who question the decision for new sports to be introduced to the Olympics, especially when they don’t have the same athletic merits as some other sports. Lots of events have been integrated into the Olympics over the years and some have been discontinued. There even used to be a Motor Boating category.

What makes for a good Olympic sport? This is a matter of some debate, but with esports proving to be quite so popular, they will inevitably be considered for inclusion.

Olympics Criticized For Not Including Top Teams

The closest that we have currently seen to Olympic inclusion for esports is the Olympic Esports Series.  The event debuted in Singapore in June 2023, and there has already been confirmation there will be another series to take place in 2024 (separate from the main Olympic Games).

If you’re the sort of person who follows esports, then you may look at the sports chosen for inclusion and feel a little bit confused. None of the most popular teams and esports games have been included.

If esports is to become part of the Olympics, the Committee could do with including the top teams and take advantage of their followings. Here are some of the best, most influential esports teams, that have the potential to bring their millions of young fans along to Olympic events. Without including the most popular esports in the form they are played, it will be hard for Olympic esports to take off. The likes of Evil Geniuses, FaZe Clan, and other top esports brands are nowhere to be seen in the current Esports Week event.

Though Fortnite is in the games, we don’t see the battle royale game that a lot of people know and love. Instead, there are 12 players from the Fortnite Champion Series playing in a modified Fortnite Creative Island version of the game. People want to play Season 5 of Fortnite, rather than a specialist game designed just to involve the shooting aspect of Fortnite.

While the Olympic Esports Series includes games like chess in association with Chess.com, there are none of the huge esports events such as Dota 2, Valorant, and CS:GO. Those who know and follow esports teams may be disappointed at the selection.

There were some unusual games at the event such as virtual versions of tennis and a regatta-style event. We don’t expect those to replace the likes of League of Legends any time soon in the esports scene.

Why Did the Olympics Include Unusual Games?

It is easy to criticize the International Olympic Committee for not choosing the top games and the top teams, but there are some reasons why they haven’t gone for World of Warcraft, Valorant, CS:GO and other popular games.

Polygon reached out to the IOC to see why they chose these games. They responded with a statement, explaining that the games must “align with the Olympic Values. This includes participation inclusivity, such as technical barriers to entry, the gender split of the player base, and avoiding any personal violence.”

So, games that feature a lot of fighting, or games that require specific, expensive equipment to play, might not make it to the Olympics. Also, this shows that the demographic split of some of the male-dominated esports games might not fit with what the Olympic organizers are trying to do.

This explains some of the choices like Just Dance, which was included in the game because it appeals to a wide range of people.

Will Esports Make it to the Olympics?

It is fair to say that the Olympic Committee wouldn’t be spending so much time and effort on esports games if they didn’t plan to make esports a bigger part of The Olympics in the future.

However, in the current format, it is unlikely that esports will take off. The games that have the biggest following and teams that people love and idolize are not going to take part in the current game selection at the Olympic Esports Series, which could be a big stumbling block. What is the point in including minority esports games if the viewers just aren’t there?

The esports industry is expected to grow rapidly and could be worth USD 6.75 billion by 2030, according to studies, so the Olympic Committee will undeniably have a close eye on this. However, it is also very likely they’ll be paying close attention to the cultural impact that the games have before choosing whether they are right to be involved in the Olympic Games.


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