esports at the Olympics games, it could be happening sooner rather than later.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has indicated it’s intention to step up its backing of the eSports industry via the Olympic Channel.
This is a digital platform created after the 2016 Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro.
The channel has a sizeable budget of $450m and was set up to help keep interest levels in the Olympics at a high throughout the year and away from the periods during the actual running of the games.
Huge new audience?
eSports has grown from strength to strength in the last several years and has a reported 250 million players world wide, more than multiple Olympics sport federations added together.
With this figure continuing to rise, the IOC has been unable to ignore the new sporting phenomenon.
Back in autumn 2017 the IOC indicated that they now recognised eSports as an official sport.
This bridge built from the Olympics to esports should further advance the progress towards officially adding esports to the Olympic roster.
The IOC is believed to be extremely keen on incorporating eSports due to the average age of esports fans. Generally, eSports tends to be followed closely by people much younger than traditional Olympic fans.
By including esports in future Olympic games, they will be able to increase viewership by adding millions of new fans.
Some issues have arisen, however. The extreme gender inequality between professional gamers as well as the violent nature of many of the most popular games don’t fall in line with the inclusive message typical of the Olympic brand.
Nevertheless, the IOC believe these to be only small blips that can easily be sorted out over time.
Most recently, Olympic sponsors Intel helped with a StarCraft II competition at the Pyeongchang winter games. Canadian StarCraft II player Scarlett dominated the field to take home the prize fund of $150,000.
All of the gamers had the Olympic rings featured on their shirt, perhaps a sign of things to come in the near future, as a new breed of Olympic athletes are born.
eSports at the Olympic games could really be coming soon.
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