Lee Sang-hyeok aka “Faker” won almost every title in his career. But, in his professional career as an athlete, he never had the opportunity to play for his country. This has now come to an end. Because this week is making history. Olympic history.
From Saturday, August 25th to September 1st, esports will be a sporting activity for the first time in Olympic history. The Asian Games are currently running in Jakarta, Indonesia, where esports was added to the programme for demonstration purposes. More than 150 athletes from 18 countries compete against each other to win the electronic crown in six different games:
- League of Legends
- Starcraft 2
- Pro Evolution Soccer 2018
- Arena of Valor
- Clash Royal
However, the medals won do not count towards the overall result of the countries. Esports only counts as a full medal event at the Asian Games 2022. The recognition of esports as a sporting activity by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in Asia was a milestone for its inclusion in the Olympic Games, said AESF President Kenneth Fok. He targets Olympic recognition for esports.
The IOC, on the other hand, demands that there should be a governing body for esports so that esports is regarded as an international sport. At present, “there are many international federations, but they would not (yet) cooperate”, said Fok.
The inclusion of esports in the Olympic Games could raise further questions about what defines the professional sport and changes it in the future. Because one thing is for sure, esports is gaining more and more popularity. According to the 2018 Global eSports Market Report by the market research agency Newzoo, the global esports market generated over 600 million USD in 2017 and attracted over 320 million viewers worldwide.
So it might be a good opportunity for the IOC to support esports to attract the younger digitized generation. Especially after the IOC included new sports like skateboarding and sports climbing for Tokyo 2020.
The big breakthrough to Olympic
If it should come to an inclusion in the Olympic Games, we all keep our fingers crossed, it would be a huge breakthrough for the esports scene. Not only would social acceptance be much greater, but many other countries would pursue the potential and recognize esports as a sport.
This leads to a chain reaction, states support esports organizations and federations in order to consolidate smaller leagues and regional structures. More young and older people would be enlightened and esports could reach greats that we only know from traditional sports. Who’s for that? We do!
What do you think of esports at the Olympics? Or do you consider esports to be a real sport at all? Write us your opinion in the comments!
Julian from Gamebuddy