I was really excited to be given the opportunity by BBC Minute to talk about e-sports and their place in the Olympics.
The interview can be viewed at the following link: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p050jrj4
Due to the nature of BBC Minute, there wasn’t an awful lot of time to include all of what I had to say on the matter. I firmly believe that E-sports should be a part of the Olympics and here are some of my reasons why:
- There is an audience for it
E-sports events are huge, especially in countries like South Korea where e-sports get more rating than traditional sports. I experienced the popularity of e-sports in the UK first hand when I attended Worlds 2015, which was held in London.
- Players are highly skilled and train hard, just like any other athlete
Taking League of Legends as an example here, player’s have to be skilled at so many things. They need to know all the champions inside out (damage brackets, etc), they need to know the map and the best strategies for every situation their team may encounter, they need to farm effectively and know when to take trades, they need to know when to teamfight, when to engage/when to defend and the list goes on.
- It would help break down “gamer” stereotypes
The gamer stereotype is STILL a thing, even though games are becoming a bigger part of our lives. Children are still taught that “staying inside and playing games” is inherently bad, which it isn’t. Living an unhealthy lifestyle is bad, but you cannot blame games for that. If games did not exist, then it would be something else.
- It would lead to more funding, even perhaps producing better quality games
At present, most e-sports is self funded. With more investment from big organisations, we could see some really exciting quality in our games.
Of course, there are a lot of downsides and possible issues with this idea. The main one I think is how do we decide what games can be considered e-sports? Are we saying only MOBAs, sports games, FPS and RTS are viable? What about fighting games? What about speedrunning? What about mobile games?
Certainly there is a lot to consider, but I would personally love to see more growth in the acceptance of e-sports.