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Esports and the Olympics have been a hot topic of conversation for the past two years. Since the meteoric rise of esports and it’s ability to capture the attention and the passion of a younger demographic, some have wondered how long until the Olympics embrace esports. Esports has slowly been making it’s way toward an Olympic debut with some games appearing as a demonstration sport in the 2018 Asian Games and again as a medal sport in 2019.
As of the latest Olympic Summit held earlier this month the International Olympic Committee has made another decision regarding esports inclusion in the Olympics. While it has previously been stated by the IOC that video games could be considered sports, they’re not yet willing to include any epsorts that aren’t already emulating traditional sports. This leaves room for games like Madden, FIFA or NBA2k but the breadth of the most popular games such as DOTA2, League of Legends or Counterstrike are left out in the cold.
Robbie’s Thoughts: It’s a real shame the Olympic Committee keeps dragging their feet on this issue. I understand the reluctance of including games with simulated violence on the Olympic stage. There are certain values that we want to uphold as a global community. Esports will not wait though and more so than any other type of competition, competitive video games is a global movement. The popularity is only increasing, the views, the money and the investment is only increasing. Younger generations are moving away from traditional sports and playing more games. If the Olympics are struggling to capture the attention of the younger audiences now, what does that look like in another 10 or 20 years? If the issue is violence, then lets address it as adults. Esports are moving into High Schools and they’re finding ways around the issue of violence. Middle School will be next. Just as traditional sports permeates all stages of life so to will esports. The Olympics shouldn’t be the exception when they have the best platform to bring together every nation on earn in celebration of competition and gaming.
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