Just a passing fad. That was the opinion of many critics when it first came to esports. Something that might catch on, for a bit, but would quickly be gone and forgotten because who really wants to watch people play competitive video games?…. Turns out, lots of people. Esports is now one of the fastest growing gaming industries, with fans across the globe tuning in to watch matches online and live events drawing crowds of thousands upon thousands.
For players looking for something different in a career, esports professional player is now more than ever, a very valid option. If you’re good enough. The billion-dollar industry can certainly afford to pay players handsomely in salaries, as well as offering huge prize pools at tournaments. So it is very safe to say, they’re not going anywhere for a long time yet.
It’s not all been a bed of roses for the world of esports though and one of the hottest topics in the industry as a whole right now, surrounds the controversy of them potentially joining the Olympics. There have been many arguments both for and against them being represented, though one thing is clear, they won’t be making the shift if they even do, anytime soon.
Delving a little deeper, both sides of the argument do have valid points though there’s still definitely a good feeling that we will see the move eventually. Currently, the main argument against them joining is based on how violent the games themselves are. While killing does go against the values of the games there is a lot to be said for games that are designed for younger audiences, or even ones that are more cartoon based in style.
Not all games and not all esports games are designed with shooting and realistic killing. There are plenty that are family friendly such as Super Smash Bros and there is definitely something to be said for the games selecting the titles they’d allow. It’s also entirely possible for some games to be changed, similar to how some are censored so they can be published all over the globe. That’s not to say they should be stripped of what makes them great, but there may be simple graphical changes that could be added, to keep them more in line with the Olympic theme.
Things are still a long, long way off when it comes to the Olympics. Indeed, they may never get there if we’re incredibly unlucky, but the fact that they are even in consideration speaks volumes about the industry itself. Clearly, there is a market and that market is reaching wider and wider audiences. Sports channels are beginning to air tournament matches, there are plenty of events and tours, even official leagues. If things have progressed this quickly, just imagine where the industry could be in say ten years time.
We’ll have to keep our fingers crossed for the Olympics, it would be a valuable platform for giving fans even more access to the events they enjoy. One thing is for sure though, whatever happens, esports are here to stay.