A New Olympic Sport?
E-Sports has become a hugely popular and new sport within the last decade, and now it’s poised to take its first steps onto the global stage. E-Sports will debut as an event at the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta, signaling the continuation of the sport’s meteoric rise in popularity.
The announcement from the Olympic Council of Asia details that the sport will be in the 2018 and 2022 editions of the Games as a sort of trial run. Popular games like DOTA 2 and League of Legends have been rumored to be part of the Games, though nothing is concrete as of yet. Still, the question about E-Sports’ legitimacy as a sport is a hotbed of discussion.
“Should you really receive a medal for playing a video game?” “It shouldn’t be grouped with the grueling sports that people work for years to become the best in.” These are just a couple of the multitude of arguments against having E-Sports be officially recognized at formal competitions. However, I think that it deserves as much of a place at this table as any other sport. Sure it’s not a tremendously physical sport, but then again, sports like shooting aren’t either. It’s an Olympic sport that requires nothing more than pointing and shooting. E-Sports requires the same thing. Also, it takes the same amount of time—years—for the sport’s best to become the best, just like other sports. So it should be on this level of athletic competition.
But does it deserve to go up one more level? The idea of having E-Sports at the Olympic Games has been floated for a few years, but there haven’t been any positive developments on that until now. If the sport can get into the Asian Games, it’s only a matter of time before E-Sports makes it to the Olympics.