Professional Gaming better known as eSports gets a dedicated spot in the 18th Asian Games that will take place in Jakarta and Palembang, Indonesia. The eSport category, however, will just be a demonstration event in relation to the latest move by the OCA (Olympic Council of Asia) which officially acknowledged and added eSports to its list of events in the upcoming 2022 Asian Games last April 17.
GI spoke to some of the personalities involved in the current eSports scene. The respondents were composed of journalists, team owners, publishers, broadcasters and event organizers who shared their thoughts on eSports as a medal event in the 19th Asian Games in 2022. We have compiled some of the notable comments based on the inquiry made by GI.
"If the Olympic Council wants to remain relevant with youth then this is inevitable," as per Fnatic Founder Sam Mathews, and "It is another step towards mainstream validation and acceptance of esports", as per Adam Simmons, VP of Content & Marketing at Level Up Media (Dingit.TV) in regards to the significance of this recent decision by OCA.
In relation to the inquiry on how the organizers should approach the dilemma of selecting which titles will be in the competition, some of the respondents states that
"Overall,it depends whether they want to have one game represent the whole of esports - a bad idea in my opinion" as per Paul Chaloner, MD, Code Red Esports
He also added that a favorable process would be to follow the principles of the Olympics which feature a wide variety of game genres covering a wide variety of age groups.
GI also asked for opinions about the reality of eSports becoming part of a global event such as the Olympics. This inquiry produced some interesting response from the respondents since it involves the technical aspects of both eSports and the Olympics,
"In order to fully represent the industry several games would need to be included in the Olympics," as per Véronique Lallier, General Manager Europe, Hi-Rez
she also added that creating a third type of game event for eSports (in addition to both Summer and Winter games) would also be a much more favorable/convenient move instead of integrating it to the main Olympic event.
But one of the responses to the latter question is probably the most interesting which states that
"the biggest challenge organizers like the OCA have is getting the best esports players in the world to take part," as per Dominic Sacco, Editor, Esports News UK.
His argument was that top players who earn top-dollar may not be interested in medal-based tournaments which is one a possible scenario that may actually happen.
eSports and the Olympics is a combination that needs thorough evaluation, analysis, study, and a solid foundation. The bold move made by OCA can be considered as the "Make or Break" moment that will determine the future of this collaboration. If OCA can pull this off, it's going to be a win-win for all, but still remains the million-dollar question which is if the Olympics is ready for eSports?
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Source: GamesIndustryBiz, OCA