Not everyone in­volve in sport in fa­vor of ES­ports in Olympic pro­gram

Business World - - World Sports -

TOKYO — The pos­si­bil­ity of es­ports join­ing the Olympics pro­gram has gained trac­tion in re­cent years but not ev­ery­body in­volved in the sport fa­vors it.

Rahul Sood, the CEO of es­ports bet­ting com­pany Unikrn, be­lieves the ben­e­fits for the International Olympic Com­mit­tee (IOC) far out­weigh those for stake­hold­ers al­ready in­vested in elec­tronic sports gam­ing.

Last Novem­ber, the IOC rec­og­nized es­ports as a sport­ing ac­tiv­ity and it is set to be a full medal event at the 2022 Asian Games in Hangzhou.

Or­ga­ni­za­tions like the Asian Elec­tronic Sports Fed­er­a­tion (AESF) are look­ing to get es­ports in the Olympic fold and hope that the IOC, grap­pling with an age­ing au­di­ence and wan­ing ap­peal for some tra­di­tional sports, will see it as the fu­ture.

Not ev­ery­body within the es­ports com­mu­nity, how­ever, sees Olympic in­clu­sion as the holy grail for the sport, Sood said.

“Some of the es­ports com­mu­nity are pumped to see video games at the Olympics, but many don’t see the point,” Sood told Reuters via email.

“I be­lieve es­ports doesn’t need the Olympics as much as the Olympics needs es­ports. They would have to make a re­ally good case for this to hap­pen, if I’m be­ing hon­est.”

Sood said many of the top es­ports com­pe­ti­tions, such as Counter Strike’s

$1 mil­lion ELeague Premier and Dota 2’s

The International, take place dur­ing the sum­mer months and would clash with the Olympics. —

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