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Could Esports Be Featured in the 2024 Paris Olympics?

By Chris Blain in Sports
| December 12, 2017 12:00 am PDT
Esports Olympic Rings

Trying to remain steady, the soldier slowly peeks around the corner to identify what obstacles stand in the way of his goal, Site A. The soldier’s team is completely wiped out, and the chances of victory are extremely slim.

At this point, there is no other option for victory than to plant the bomb and attempt to take out the enemy. The coast looks clear as the soldier sneaks forward and begins to plant the bomb at Site A. Once the bomb is successfully planted, the timer begins to tick down.

The soldier is aware of how outnumbered he is, and the chances of the other team disarming the bomb are a certainty. The time is diminishing quickly, and there is only going to be one last stand to attempt.

After planting the bomb and starting the timer, the soldier runs and hides far enough away that he will not be noticed by the opposing team’s radar. He posts up behind some cover and takes out his sniper rifle, zooming in on the bomb area.

As the tense seconds pass by, the opposing team slowly shows up to the area, one enemy checking out the area as bait to draw any potential fire his way. The soldier knows better and understands that there is only going to be enough time for one solid attack; he has to make it count.

Slowly, the enemy approaches the bomb and then runs away, expecting to get shot. The soldier slowly tenses, but continues to hold. He waits. Finally, the enemy believes he is alone, the remainder of his team comes to the area, and they disarm the bomb.

With ten seconds to go, they know they have the victory, until suddenly they hear the metallic ping of a grenade bouncing off the wall. An eruption of fire engulfs the soldiers, and they attempt to flee from the area as repeated shots chase them the entire way.

Time is dwindling down as body after body hits the ground. The final enemy gets decimated as the clock is about to expire, and the lone soldier emerges as the victor. Match concluded. The United States is the victor!

Today you will learn about the potential that esports has of becoming part of the Olympic Games, and some of the reasons why there is a good chance of it occurring. As esports bettors, we should hope this will occur, because the options it can provide to our gambling repertoire are vast.

Esports in the 2024 Olympics – It Could Happen, but Should It?

No one can deny the unbelievable growth that esports has seen within the competitive entertainment scene, and more people are becoming fans daily. Those within the leadership tiers of the competitive video gaming movement are pushing for them to get recognized as legit sports.

Whether you agree or disagree with these players getting recognized as athletes is a moot point, because the scene is clearly on its way to becoming a staple within the sports community. Already, in 2018, the path to franchised esports teams is underway.

There is already talk of them becoming a part of the 2020 Olympics, and so the question should not be if they will be in them, but rather, when. The idea of including esports in the global competition may seem silly to some, but in retrospect, they can provide many different benefits.

Give Countries a Chance at Gold

For many years, we have seen many of the “power countries” take home the gold medals in most of the Olympic Games, because frankly they have more advantages over their competitors. Equipment, financial backing, coaching, and so on all play a huge part in pumping out quality athletes.

That is no fault to those countries, because the Olympic Games are supposed to provide the best competitors in the scene so that they can represent their country with pride. Many countries are unfortunately not in a situation where they can train their athletes to the same levels as their competition can.

Esports is a great equalizer in that situation, because the equipment that is required to train a top-notch team will be excessively less than what most Olympic Games require to train at top levels. Now those who have never succeeded in obtaining a gold medal in the traditional games might have a shot.

It does not mean it will be cheap or easy to succeed against their competition at all, but having a chance at success is far better than continuing with the process of playing catch-up. A single country does not dominate esports, and it is one realm where everyone can find themselves on equal footing.

Esports and Leagues

The process of becoming recognized as “actual” sports is well underway in the competitive gaming scene, and there has been significant progress made when it comes to the franchising of leagues. League of Legends World Championship Series and Overwatch League are good examples of the progress.

They are instituting specific sets of rules that players need to abide by within the league, and are setting a standard for other esports to follow. The process of establishing esports into leagues further separates them from the stereotypical casual video game that many people still associate with the genre.

Big names have faith in the scene, such as Joe Lacob, majority owner of the Golden State Warriors, and his son Kirk, with their purchase of a LoL franchise. They had to spend $13,000,000 as an entry fee to finalize that deal, and that is no chump change.

With power players like that getting into the gaming scene, it is only a matter of time until these leagues teams become common household names. There is great growth possibility that looms ahead for the scene, and many are getting on the bandwagon.

The fact that those who are already goliaths in the traditional sports world are recognizing the potential in these games is a clear indication that they deserve recognition.

It only helps the scene if esports gains more legitimacy, because it will better the chances of getting them onto that Olympic roster.

Esports Already Drug Tests

One of the interesting things that people may not know about the professional gaming scene is that they already drug test their competitors under World Anti-Doping Association (WADA) standards. That is right; esports already holds their players to Olympic drug-testing standards.

Although there are critics of the fact that people who are playing video games get drug tests, the fact remains that it occurs. When the esports community wanted to institute drug testing, they went with WADA standards for a reason.

Their goal for the testing was to make certain that players were not taking advantage of drugs such as Adderall to increase focus and provide an unfair advantage. The stance that they took was intended to show the world that competitive gaming would be holding their athletes accountable for their actions.

The international Olympic stage is hardly the easiest competition to become included in. When it comes to introducing something new and establishing yourself as a legit contender to be a part of these games, applying the WADA standards to your participants appears to be a very smart tactic.

Esports Is Ageless

Let us not forget one of the most important aspects of why esports can be a great addition to the Olympic stage: the fact that age does not limit a person’s ability to compete. Whether you are 7 or 70 years old, you can play esports competitively against other opponents.

Of course, someone over the age of 70 may suffer issues relating to their reaction time, because of likely decreased mental alertness. The same would go for a young child who has yet to develop wisdom and experience that they can only gain as they age.

But the whole idea is that they can still both compete in esports and their age will not restrict them as much as it does with our current Olympic setup. Most people who compete in the Olympic Games are roughly between 18 and 22, because that is when most people are in their peak physical condition.

As they start to pass by that age, the chances of them finding success, especially obtaining gold, diminish greatly. The realities of embracing real life and growing into an adult also approach, because training takes an excessive amount of time to get to that level.

Esports professionals have that exact issue in common with current Olympic athletes, because they need to train for excessive amounts of time to perfect their craft. That is one reason that we tend to see many younger participants in the professional esports scene.

Most adults do not have the time that is required to dedicate to many of the most popular esports games, and because of this, it is hard for them to break into the scene. People are considered old grizzled veterans at the ages of 26-30, and others will retire at the age of 22 because of burnout.

That does not mean that they have stopped playing the games or lack the skills by any means, but rather are focusing on other aspects of their lives. If esports players could obtain Olympic gold medals from playing these games, one could foresee the age range expanding greatly.

Wrap Up

Overall, there seems to be a real chance for esports to become part of the Olympic schedule, based on the fact that it is already meeting much of the criteria that others follow. One cannot deny the huge growth that the competitive video gaming world has seen through the years and the audience it attracts.

If the Olympics has an agenda of reaching out to a younger generation, they can do so by incorporating the competitive gaming scene into their fold. There are many styles of esports that appeal to a variety of age groups, and in my opinion, watching video games sounds more appealing than watching curling any day.

Let’s not forget one of the other awesome things to consider: wagers!

When it comes to the betting world, the addition of esports into the Olympics will open so many different categories for gamblers to explore.

Remember, the players that make up the professional esports teams are a mixture of nationalities. Some of the greatest teams may feature some of the best players we have seen from multiple genres to represent in this international competition of skill.

That can indicate that individual player research will be very important, because the teams that professionals get associated with will not necessarily be those who are competing. Professional players will be representing their country, rather than a brand.

That can be very important when people are looking to place wagers down, because certain players have become very acclimated to competing with specific teammates. If professionals are thrown together with other players from their respective country, then their game style could be impacted.

While we wait for the changes to come to the competitive esports scene, we must always remember to utilize the time to increase our player research skills. Team research is useful, but when the Olympics become involved, that player research is what will put the money in your pocket.



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