Irene Cecotti considers if eSports are the New Olympic Sport of the 21st Century.
Nobody thought that video games would eventually become so crucial that even top-tier sports clubs have started investing in eSports. Video games like DotA, League of Legends, and the one that started it all Counter-Strike have players making well above the $500,000 threshold per annum!
eSports Took the Sports Community by Storm
The turn of the century came with a technological revolution. Bill Gate's vision to put a personal computer in every household is on the right path to becoming a reality. This paved the way for the gaming industry. In a matter of years, eSports has done what it took some other sports to achieve in decades. The young population was at the forefront and the cornerstone for its fast expansion.
It seems like only teenagers and adolescents were not surprised, but the entire sports community was, indeed, stunned by its potential and what was already going on the ground. Thanks to streaming services like YouTube and the pillar of this segment Twitch, eSport players or gamers can obtain the resources they need to thrive and get by a few years ago. Even regular online casino players are streaming from their cosy homes. If this got your interest, do your homework before indulging in online gaming.
eSports are nowhere near maturing! There is still a lot that needs to be done, but nobody can argue that it is headed at a dead-end street. But why?
Officially Considered a Sport by the IOC
Due to its overwhelming popularity, the big budgets and the stakeholder's eSports have acquired over the years. Governments could not turn a blind eye anymore. In simple words, it became "a thing". Such a big thing that, one by one, governments started recognizing it as an official sport. Eventually, it got the attention of the International Olympic Committee (IOC). It ruled that it should be considered a sport! And they were right! Now eSport teams, regardless of the game at hand, had the leverage they needed to challenge the authorities and get the credit fund's tax returns. For some eSport clubs, to obtain residence permits, they need to bring their significant players worldwide.
Primarily, the eSports culture started in South Korea, but it did not take long before Western Europe, and the US began following their lead. Dreams were broken and futures destroyed, but super teams were eventually created. Once the word of the size of their contracts was out, everyday folks started to change the opinion of this rather attractive "sport". Today, there are eSports tournaments with international teams on an almost monthly basis. Heck, they even have their very own leagues, leaderboards and their coaches! Pension, benefits, accommodation, healthcare, pro gamers have all of this! After all, they are pro eSport players!
eSports to Become an Olympic Sport by 2024 - Official Medal Event
The Olympic Games are the real deal! Imagine teenagers who rise to fame become golden Olympic medallists. It is too much to digest at once, but this is so close to happening. Maybe not in 2020, but 2024 most definitely! The IOC has already announced that it is considering adding a wide array of esports for the upcoming Olympic Games that will take place in 2024. This is big.
This gives video game enthusiasts, or should we say, professional eSport players, a purpose, an ultimate achievement, which once accomplished will place them in the hall of fame. Their name will be carved in history.
Now, people who are not familiar with this kind of sports and do not know any facts about it are against what is going on with eSports. Millions of dollars are at stake? You might not be able to get a gold Olympic medal, but you sure can take it for a test run. Do you still think it is too late to go through the entire tutorial of that game a bloke mentioned in the local pub?
If you happen to be one of them, here are some arguments that will hopefully change your opinion.
The Life of a Pro Gamer - Stress, Mental and Physical Exercises
Playing video games is fun and exciting, but with millions of dollars at stake, players must be prepared to go the extra mile to come on top. They know the rules, the strengths and the weaknesses. This mental focus causes severe physical and mental stress. Stress which must be controlled and dealt with. Although they are sitting in their comfy chairs, their hearts are racing, and they are as focused as a Formula 1 pro driver going 200mph. This is taking its toll, and no wonder all of them retire by their late 20s. It is not like they move out of the industry entirely. Some of them become coaches. Others remain in their teams as supporting staff.
Pro eSport players hit the gym as well! However, it is not like their entire performance depends on it. Being in a sitting position for 8+ hours daily can be painful.
These coaches mentioned earlier, work with them 24/7. Game houses, entire houses, living space adapted for the needs of passionate video game players. It sounds like the dream of any teenager. On top of this, a big company is paying you hundreds of thousands of dollars, and you are famous. Where does it end?!
Financial Prospects - How Lucrative is eSports?
In numbers, the audience counts a little over 400,000,000 active fans. However, we are more interested in the money aspect. More than half a BILLION dollars went into the industry. This will only get bigger, reaching almost $2,000,000,000 by 2020. The thirst for eSports action seems to be unquenchable!
Fortunately, both the sports experts and the authorities have matters under control and lead the young "athletes" in the right direction.
2024 is, in hindsight, and with it, the birthday of another worthy Olympic sport with a unique background, and that is an odd setting.
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About the Author
Irene Cecotti is the Online Marketing Manager for KSOM, an international Online Marketing company.