Over the weekend the Aussie esports and gaming scene was once again triggered by a clip from Channel 9’s show “Today” that was doing the rounds with the typical ignorant “Gaming is not a sport” angle.
I had full intentions of writing a thought piece explaining why esports is a legitimate sport and deserves to be in the Olympic Games. However, after some thought, I think they may be right.
Here are a few examples why I believe traditional sports should fight to have esports blocked from the Olympics.
Esports will get ALL the attention
Athletics, swimming and even basketball are ranked as some of the most watched sports in the Olympics. However, one video game can pull more viewers than an entire day of mixed sports during the Olympics! (Not to mention, more attention than the NFL)
According to statistics site Statista, at the last Olympics (Rio 2016) the highest rating day of viewership garnered 33.63 million U.S. viewers. Compare that to IEM Katowice pulling 46 million viewers, the LoL world champs pulling 43 million and so on.
If I was a traditional sports guy I wouldn’t want to be overshadowed by the new greatest thing to happen to the Olympics either!
Esports already makes more in prize money!
After doing some research on Olympic prize money, I have found there is a HUGE disparity in what each country pay their professionals in incentives. It can range from $1 million (Singapore) down to the USA’s $25,000.
For now, let’s look at the prize pools for some Esports:
ESL Pro League CS:GO – $580,000+
SMITE world champs 2018 – $785,000+
Call Of Duty World League 2017 – $1,525,000+
Dota 2 International 2017 – $24,687,919
Gamers are already making enough money, why do they need Olympic gold money too?
Fame… The Wheaties box is sacred.
Olympic heroes don’t get much bigger than Micheal Phelps (2.2 million Twitter followers).
We all know who they are and they have endorsements due to that fame… But, what if the breakfast companies of the world discovered Summit1g, Ninja Shroud or DrDisrespect each with between 1.9 million and 2.9 million followers each on Twitch?
The Wheaties box is an American icon, considered to be a sporting achievement if your picture is on the box. What if this happened!?
You know that’s going to sell!