eSports Making History

New category of “sports” being considered in 2024 Olympics

Cody Bennett, Staff Writer

On October of 1958, physicist William Higinbotham created a game, no others could match.

Pong was the very first video game ever created and was a smash hit, it has now accumulated over $62 billion dollars since it’s release. Back then, eSports in the Olympics weren’t even a thought.

In present day, that dream is reality.

Organizers of the upcoming 2024 Summer Olympics met a couple weeks before the 2018 Winter Olympics to discuss if eSports would become part of their lineup. The President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) holds back some of those thoughts.

Polygon, a video game news website, sat down and talked to the IOC President Thomas Bach.

“We want to promote non-discrimination, non-violence and peace among people,” Bach said. “This doesn’t match with video games, which are about violence, explosions and killing. We have to draw a clear line.”

Websites that hold game live streams like Twitch or YouTube Live have millions of watchers on Game of the Year 2016 winner, Overwatch, and others including, Dota 2, Rainbow Six Siege and League of Legends which were all originally on the lineup of games for 2024.

With a global audience of 320 million players worldwide, and more than $840 million dollars in sales in 2016, competitive video gaming will be included in the 2022 Asian Games. eSports made history as the first games have made it into the big leagues of professional athletes.

If eSports were to be in the lineup for the Summer Games, more IOC regulations would have to be put into place with anti-doping, betting and manipulation.

In 2015, 42 million United States teens were counted among the population. Among those, 97% of teens played video games, according to ACT for Youth. Adding the eSports into the line up, directors believe the views on the Olympics would sky rocket since it now appeals to the teenage demographic of 46 million kids.

“[eSports] is showing growth, especially within the youth demographic across different countries,” Bach said.

With eSports and Games at an all time high, players and kids alike now look forward to watching the Olympics, which are a time of peace and competition of countries around the world.