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.
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.”
They’re saying there’s cutthroat competition, cash prizes, gambling, spectators, even juicing controversies in eSports. Adderall ( used to treat narcolepsy and ADHD) is a particular favorite among hardcore gamers. And the eSports business is booming; Newzoo Research estimates that eSports will be a $1.1 billion business by 2019.
Earnings can depend on the person and the game. the gamers are signed to a contract and paid to play.They may not make Major League Baseball–level cash, but there are similarities between the lives of professional gamers and professional athletes. Competitors often wear sponsor-backed jerseys or other branded gear.
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Sherry “Sherryjenix” Nhan, a pro Street Fighter player, began in an all-female fighting game tournament. In her words, she “got destroyed” in that first competition, however, she became hooked. She became determined to keep practicing and grow her skills.
T.L. Taylor, a professor of Comparative Media Studies at MIT, describes discrepancies to Compete: “What we hear from women is that when they go online and are not hiding their gender, they often face consistent pushback.”
Pro gamer Sherry Nhan also described the persistent harassment she has received online, such as gendered insults and disparaging comments about her looks. However, Nhan says that the fighting game community has always been welcoming to her when it comes to in-person interactions. Rachel “Seltzer” Quirico, a former pro gamer and current esports host, echoed that sentiment: “Whether you’re a sister or a brother in this scene, it’s very much a family feel for me.”