With the Asian Games 2018 currently under-way in Jakarta and Palembang, athletes are competing not only in soccer, swimming or tennis but also in six video games including Arena of Valor and Hearthstone.
What are the E-Sports?
E-sports is defined as a multiplayer video game played competitively for spectators, typically by professional gamers. They can also be defined as a form of competition using video games.
A person might say that E-Sports are not really sports but the competitive video gaming is the latest trend. This competitive video gaming will be a $1.5 billion industry by 2020, researchers say.
The Indian digital gaming is one of the top five mobile gaming industries in the world. The industry is already worth over $890 million. It is estimated that the Indian gaming market would be $1.1 billion and the number of users would be 628 million by 2020.
Should they be considered?
A summit was held in October 2017 by the International Olympic Committee (IOC). It acknowledged the growing popularity of E-sports.
It was stated that “Competitive ‘E-sports’ could be considered as a sporting activity, and the player’s involved prepare and train with an intensity which may be comparable to athletes in traditional sports”.
Tony Estanguet, co-president of the 2024 Paris committee, plans to make a case for the sport’s inclusion at the Summer Games.
He said that “The youth, yes they are interested in E-sports and this kind of thing. Let’s look at it. Let’s meet them. Let’s try [to] find some bridges.”
The youth believes that electronic gaming would increase their self-esteem. Such sports require strategy and skills. It would encourage the young generation to increase their competitiveness too.
It will also lead to an increase in the viewership of the Olympics as more people would want to watch these sports. Over the past few years, the fan base of E-Sports has become massive.
Why are people opposing it?
E-sports has caused a lot of deaths. In 2011, the Korean government acknowledged that the country had a problem with young people addicted to gaming.
To tackle this they introduced The Cinderella law which forbids children under the age of 16 from playing computer games between midnight and 6 am.
The argument that E-Sports shouldn’t be considered is fought by the people who see the definition “sport” as being physical contact.
Tim Warwood said that “Sitting down for hours in a darkened room playing computer games doesn’t strike me as a sport”.
It is also believed that the sports that rely on computers shouldn’t be involved. The way jet-skis and motorboats aren’t included.
If E-Sports are accepted, there are chances that sports like poker or chess, could also be included. It is argued that the Olympics should only have traditional sports.
E-sports at ASIAN GAMES 2018
E-sports have been included in the Asian Games 2018 as a demonstration sport. It means that the medals won in this sport will not be counted in the official overall medal tally. It is said that they will be an official sport in the 2022 Asian Games.
A total number of 27 NOCs participated in the qualifiers. The games selected were League of Legends, Hearthstone, Starcraft II, Pro Evolution Soccer, Clash Royale and Arena of Valor. The Games also featured two mobile games Clash Royale and Arena of Valor.
Tirth Mehta from India secured its first-ever bronze medal for Hearthstone in E-Sports after he prevailed over Vietnam’s Nguyen Anh Tuan in the maiden esports event of the Asian Games.
Well, the organization committee is still in the discussion with the IOC regarding the need to include the sports in the Olympics to keep it relevant to the young generation.
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