E-Sports at the Olympics

6 min readMar 16, 2021
E-Sports at the Olympics

eSports are constantly growing and the scenario that wants e-sports to be included in the program of the Olympic Games in the future, is not far from reality.

Who doesn’t know E-Sports anymore ? Probably no one is ignorant anymore, as games like Counter Strike, League of Ledgends, Dota 2 and Overwatch are extremely popular and are gaining ground even in the betting industry, as there are many players who decide to have fun betting on E-Sports matches. .

The “eternal” counter that creates “headaches”

Is eSports a sport? Should those who play be considered athletes or not? These are the two big questions that cause a few “headaches” and their answer is usually positive or negative, depending on the side that supports it, the one who expresses it. Those who do not particularly like e-sports strongly argue that video games and athletes who play and excel in them can not be considered sports.

At the same time, the other side claims that it is a sport and of course the players who compete with each other are athletes. The arguments of those who claim that E-Sports is a sport, mainly concern the training that the player needs to do, but also the elements that need to be distinguished, such as of course good reflexes, quick thinking and good strategy.

Of course, everyone can have their own point of view and consider or not consider E-Sports as an active part of the sports spectrum, however the International Olympic Federation has given its own answer to this question for three whole years.

Their recognition by the ILO


It was October 2017 when the International Olympic Committee clarified through its official announcement that E-Sports could be part of the program of the Olympic Games in the future. The summit had announced its view that E-Sports show strong growth among young people and can be a platform for participation in the Olympic Movement. At the same time, he stressed that the competitive E-Sports could be considered as sports activities and all the involved bodies will be prepared and trained with intensity that can be well compared to the athletes of traditional sports.

However, the “green light” given by this announcement was “extinguished” a short time later, by the President of the IOC, Thomas Bach, who had focused on the violence of some games.

It is impossible to include in the Olympic Games games that promote discrimination and violence. Such games are contrary to the values ​​of an Olympics and of course can not be accepted. In order for the E-Sports to be included in the Olympic Games, a solution must first be found to this issue.

were his words, in the context of the 2018 Asian Games held in the capital of Indonesia, Jakarta.

The missed opportunity of the Asian Games

In that event, E-Sports had their place. Although they were not in the official program of the Asian Games, but several demonstration games took place, which in fact received positive reviews and helped to increase the popularity of e-sports. Besides, E-Sports are particularly developed in Asia. And in fact the Asians did not stay there.

E-Sports have been included in the official program of the 2022 Asian Games scheduled to take place in Hangzhou, but this will not happen in the end. A few days ago it became known that they will not be an official sport. The main problem in this case is that there is no official body to represent E-Sports. For example, the WESC Federation is made up of sports teams and cannot represent everyone. For this reason, E-Sports were “cut” and this is an important obstacle for their entry into the official program of the Olympic Games.

The tournament before the Tokyo Olympics

Nevertheless, the intention to start slowly being in the program of important events or even before them is obvious. It is noteworthy that the global giant called Intel, had planned to hold an E-Sports tournament in Tokyo, next July, shortly before the start of the Olympic Games, in order to further increase the popularity of e-sports.

Naturally, this tournament will not take place, as the Olympics that would take place in the capital of Japan, was postponed for 2021, due to the outbreak of the coronavirus and its thousands of victims around the world. The prize for the winners of the Inter World Open was $ 250,000! In fact, qualifiers were planned on all continents of the world, so that the top eleven national teams would emerge that, together with the host Japan, would claim the top spot in the tournament.

According to what was leaked, the players would compete in Street Fighter V, but also in the Rocket League.

What games can be included in the program of an Olympics?

The above statement by IOC President Thomas Bach clarified everything. It is unlikely that a violent video game will be included in the program of the Olympic Games. Automatically, there will be no games like Counter Strike and generally any game that belongs to the FPS category . Instead, of course, this list will include some Sports games such as the following:

  • Pro Evolution Soccer or FIFA
  • NBA 2K
  • Forza Motorsport
  • Madden NFL
  • Rocket League

Naturally, it is considered much easier for the viewer to watch a video game about football or basketball, than a strategy game that he may not be aware of and that is extremely difficult to learn in a short time.

Subject with TV coverage

Another important issue that complicates the possibility of including E-Sports in the official program of the Olympic Games, is that of television coverage. Not unfairly. Since 2001, the ILO has set up OBS to manage television rights, as demand has grown enormously. The major television networks around the world buy the rights and show a specific image, but they have the right to conduct separate interviews, of course having their own comment. Nevertheless, it will be very difficult for a channel to secure E-Sports, as the financial loss at the beginning of the effort will probably be much greater than the profits.

The television networks that will cover the Olympic Games, are considered to be sure to prefer another sport that they believe is more popular than E-Sports and in which the viewer’s eye is more accustomed to watching. Nevertheless, the will of the ILO itself is given to solve this problem. After all, it is the popularity of E-Sports that prompted the International Olympic Committee to seriously consider including them in the official program of such an important sporting event as the Olympics.

The conclusion

The possibility of E-Sports joining the Olympics is highly realistic. The interest is constantly increasing and of course it does not go unnoticed. However, it was mentioned above that there are some important “obstacles”, but at the same time there is the will of all parties involved, in order to overcome them.

At this time, it should be considered very likely that at the Paris Olympics in 2024, there will be e-sports, most likely as a demonstration event. The shortest period of time that E-Sports will be included in the official Olympic Games program should be considered to be the 2028 Games assigned to Los Angeles, USA.

But what is certain now is that time is running backwards in order to see E-Sports at the Olympic Games.




love to write about sports, casinos, eSports and anything related to gaming