According to market research firm Newzoo, around 205 million people watched eSports in 2014. eSports revenues are expected to reach a massive $1.1 billion by 2019. While these figures are impressive and show that eSports is growing at an absolutely incredulous rate, many still don’t see eSports as ‘legitimate’, saying that it has no business being compared to ‘real’, physical sports.
Something that may help eSports become mainstream (or, more mainstream, even) is new event eGames. At the London Games Festival, the British government’s culture secretary Ed Vaizey announced non-profit organisation International eGames Committee, also revealing that the International Olympics Committee would be on board to advise what could be the Olympics of eSports. Find out more after the break.
eGames Could Be the Olympics of eSports
The very first eGames will take place this summer alongside the Olympics 2016 in Rio de Janeiro – future eGames events will also take place once every four years in the Olympics host cities and there are also plans to use the same venues as the Olympics, albeit one month after the Olympic games have concluded.Four national teams are on board for the inaugural eGames, including Great Britain, the United States, Brazil and Canada, who will put together ‘eTeams’ of players who can be male or female but must be over 18.
While it seems unusual that countries like China, South Korea and Germany (where eSports is massively popular) are not involved, the plan is to get more countries involved in future events, with the International eGames Committee putting together national advisory boards to support the athletes.There will also be an international advisory board set up to establish things like ethics and codes of conduct, regarding things like doping.
Other big questions about the eGames include how participants will be rewarded and which games people will be playing. Although it has been said that gold, silver and bronze medals will be offered instead of prize money, the International eGames Committee is reportedly still deciding on how to reward those who take part. Games-wise, the committee will spend this month deciding which games will be played at the eGames and how it can avoid those games’ major tournaments, with the likes of the League of Legends LCS, the Call of Duty World League and the Dota Majors being mentioned.