Game organizers have verified rumors that the Olympics were hacked during Friday’s opening ceremony. However, the source of the attack has yet to be revealed. While systems including the internet and television services were affected on Friday evening, organizers assured media that the breach “had not compromised any critical part of their operations,” according to a Reuters report.
Cybersecurity experts noted in January that there were early suggestions that Russia-backed attackers may have wanted a payback as a retaliation against the nation’s ban from the Pyeongchang Games. The Russian federation has not been allowed to compete as a result of anti-doping regulations (though Russian athletes have been taking part of the games as the Olympic Athletes from Russia, or OAR).
Russia denies the hacking and North Korea may also serve as a prime suspect. The hack was short-lived and quickly addressed. “All issues were resolved and recovered yesterday morning
Olympic decision makers are still debating over the possibility of esports entering the world’s leading international sporting competition. The discussion opened in April, with the news that esports would be making an appearance at the 2018 and 2022 Asian Games in Jakarta and Hangzhou, with esports being elevated to medal sport status in the latter event. In August, it was announced that esports was up for contention to be added to the roster of sports at the 2024 Games, despite an earlier comment from IOC President Thomas Bach that some “violent” esports titles are “contrary to all theiir values”.
Four major decisions were made when leading representatives of the Olympic Movement met in Lausanne, Switzerland on the 28th of October, following invitations from the IOC:
- Firstly, acknowledgement of esports’ burgeoning growth helped lead the Summit to recognize the potential for engagement of the youth with the Olympic Movement;
- esports “could be considered as a sporting activity”. This follows some research which suggests that the preparation, training and capacity for physical demands at esports’ highest level mirrors that of traditional sports
- For IOC recognition as a sport, esports titles’ content “must not infringe on the Olympic values”. This statement parallels earlier concerns outlined by Bach;
- Additionally, the IOC necessitates the existence of “an organization guaranteeing compliance with the rules and regulations of the Olympic Movement”. This body would manage issues such as anti-doping, betting, and match-fixing.
The decision of what constitutes an Olympic sport is an ever-changing, growing thing, alive with the context of its time and the preferences of its committee.
The New York Yankees has announced an investment partnership with Vision Esports, the largest single shareholder of three esports-related companies. The two organizations will create and manage an “ecosystem” of esports properties that include Echo Fox, Twin Galaxies, and Vision Entertainment.
The New York Yankees and Vision Esports will seek to accelerate the growth and increase the global brand awareness of the three companies – Echo Fox, a leading professional esports organization founded by three-time NBA Champion Rick Fox; Twin Galaxies, a one-of-a-kind League Operator considered an authority on performance validation, statistics and skill indexes; and Vision Entertainment, a studio that creates esports-specific content for scripted and non-scripted platforms.
Team Liquid has sponsored champions in games such as Starcraft, League of Legends and more. Formerly, Liquid’s Dota team was American, but their European one took the crown in a more volatile and profitable environment.
The current roster had varying success throughout the pre-championship season. They performed well in the grand Russian event Epicenter but failed to do as well in the Dota 2 Asian Championships. Still, their victory was foreshadowed in their victory at DreamLeague Season 7’s Atlanta finals, where they took first over other international teams.
The most impressive—and game winning—was one final Juggernaut slash by Miracle-, superpowered by a Double Damage rune that helped to wipe out the entirety of Newbee.
Nothing is certain just yet, but discussions are a positive step forward for the recognition of esports at the Olympics.
Esports will be present at the Asian Games, the Olympic Council of Asia announced in April. An event recognized by the IOC, the Asian Games’ esports program will likely help push along the Paris Olympic bid committee with their discussions.
Team EnVyUs has secured a major investment from Hersh Family Investment and Interactive Group, according to an ESPN report.
The group is led by Kenneth Hersh, an executive in the oil and natural gas industry, and is based in Texas. The company reportedly offered EnVyUs a $35 million deal, which would make it one of the biggest acquisitions in the esports sector. EnVyUs is headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina, but will relocate to Dallas to align with its reported Overwatch League slot, ESPN said.
Disney will be launching a new, stand-alone ESPN streaming service in 2018. This is wonderful news to those who have left cable behind but still yearn to watch sports. It is also big for ESPN, which has had a rough couple of years. The sports media empire lost 12 million subscribers since its peak in 2011, and the company fired a number of high-profile employees in 2017, including NBA reporters Marc Stein and Chad Ford. Former ESPN writer Bill Simmons claimed that the company was too slow to recognize the importance of digital infrastructure.
The new ESPN service will offer “approximately 10,000 live regional, national, and international games and events a year, including Major League Baseball, National Hockey League, Major League Soccer, Grand Slam tennis, and college sports. Individual sport packages will also be available for purchase, including MLB.TV, NHL.TV and MLS Live.”