Posted on September 05, 2018 by ADMIN

Arsenal gamers – Should FIFA and other eSports be included in the Olympics?

The Worlds of eSports and Traditional Sports are Growing Closer

One of the biggest stories in the worlds of tech and gaming in recent years has been the dramatic, seemingly unstoppable momentum of the rise of eSports like FIFA which seems to very popular amongst JustArsenal readers. From its Southeast Asian roots in the early years of the twenty first century, eSports is now a global phenomenon, and stands on the brink of becoming even bigger.

Despite these successes, there has long been a rift between eSports and the world of more traditional sports – but with football clubs setting up their own gaming teams and pushes for eSports like FIFA at the Olympics, are the two worlds about to merge for good?

The Rise of eSports in Football

There has, traditionally, been much hostility and suspicion towards eSports from more traditional sporting environments, who see themselves as ‘real’ sports in a way that their digital counterparts are not. One of the key arenas in which this is beginning to change, however, is football. More and more clubs from around the world are getting involved, with Premier League clubs such as Manchester City and West Ham hoping to achieve success at eSports tournaments as well as on the pitch.

Although some clubs have been criticised for their failure to fully understand or appreciate the difference in culture between football and eSports, others have received more positive recognition. In particular, AS Roma’s partnership with Fnatic, and FC Copenhagen’s specialist eSports team North, are seen as positive examples to be emulated.

The Drive for eSports Credibility

Across the world, there are increasing pushes to have eSports recognised as a credible sport like any other.

In the UK, Chester King, chief marketing officer of the International eGames Group has become a figurehead for the drive to have eSports added to the list of recognised sporting activities by Sport England.

As well as the backing of King, eSports is also benefitting from the interest and backing of other notable names. For tech entrepreneur Tej Kohli, eSports represents an innovative merging of disruptive technology and competitive sports, that will help to erase boundaries and open up new possibilities both for players and spectators. For figures such as Chester King and Tej Kohli, investments, campaigning and other forms of backing for eSports are a crucial way of ensuring that it is seen as a viable new form of competitive sport.

Are eSports Heading for the Olympics?

While some of the proponents of eSports have their sights set on gaining recognition, others have an even more ambitious foal – competing in eSports at the Olympic Games.

One of eSports’ most successful rising stars, 22-year-old Lee San-hyeok – who plays under the pseudonym Faker – has now set his sights on the Olympics, arguing that eSports should be represented in the future. This follows its debut as a demonstration support at the 2018 Asian Games, where it met with both intrigue and suspicion.

An eSports debut at the Olympics might not be as far-fetched a target as some would imagine – the committee behind Paris’ bid for the 2024 games have made discussions between the International Olympic Committee and eSports representatives a part of their platform.

While the growth of eSports as an industry, and as a pastime for gamers and spectators, looks set to continue – but the idea that we may soon see eSports like FIFA 18 treated the same as competitive football, tennis or cycling is looking more and more likely.

16 thoughts on “Arsenal gamers – Should FIFA and other eSports be included in the Olympics?

  1. Kenny Rolfe

    Don’t know about FIFA what ever kind game it is but I used to regularly squash my fullback with my knee when I was playing Subbuteo. Does anyone remember the game where you had two sticks with magnets and you moved the players around with the sticks under the table/pitch. Remember once the old man putting his foot through the pitch when me and my brother was fighting over a disputed goal. Think it was a Tottenham -Arsenal game.

    1. stubill

      I had Subbuteo, but my favourite football game I had was Super Striker, the one where you pressed the head of the player down to kick the ball, and the ‘keeper was on a pivot, on a plastic stick and would dive, raising his arms to save the shot. Happy days.

      1. Kenny Rolfe

        Don’t know what game you played Stubill but it definitely wasn’t Subbuteo. “pressed the head down to kick the ball” LOL

    2. Midkemma

      I thought we flicked our subbuteo players?
      Or was that a later version and before they had magnets?
      Showing my youth now XD

  2. stubill

    Absolute nonsense, it’s not a sport, it’s a game that requires no physical effort, played by spotty youths binge drinking Red Bull in dark rooms. To even compare “gamers” to proper sportsmen/women is a real insult.

    About 12-18 months ago, there was a campaign to have Bridge recognised as a sport by Sport England, and this was rightly thrown out, as it’s not a sport, just like computer games.

    Of course Asian countries are in favour of it being recognised as sport, because let’s face it, they’re pretty crap at real sport.

    Any association professional clubs have with online gaming is purely a money making enterprise, and nothing to do with their core business.

  3. gotanidea

    No, unless the International Olympic Committee want to raise money from the game publisher/ developer

    It’s better to let those eSports stay at the game tournaments

  4. big g

    Esports are console games and therefore not sports. By definition sports are traditionally judged by distance or speed and strength whereas games like football, cricket ect. have referees. These are more commonly known as sports in modern times, however as an ex-gamer i don’t believe there should be a place for Esports as there is no real basis for them to be called sports unless you are judging stamina for button pressing or using a Wi.

  5. Durand

    Sport requires more than thumb and finger movements. Absurdity at it’s highest; only eclipsed by those who argue it is “sport.”
    Only thing funnier is drug testing for the gamers, and those caught doping.

    1. Midkemma

      How about F1?
      All they do is sit in a car and turn a wheel, gamers do that with gaming wheels…
      IOC recognises chess which is literally no more than a finger and thumb…

      1. Durand

        F1 is about more than a mere “driver” as you classify the sport. You forget pit crews? Are you aware of their job?
        Perhaps you don’t drive an automobile? To compare or equate a car with 1000 horsepower or more to a joystick and several buttons is idiotic; surely you know this?

        Perhaps you don’t know of the G-force involved in cornering at such high speeds, or the medical physicals drivers are subjected to?

        Coach potatoes with a joystick aren’t in same universe, sheer folly you pose the comparison.

        CHESS has been considered a “strategic game” by cultures worldwide for over 1000 years. Today’s “game” is a variation derived from Persia if I’m not mistaken.

  6. Midkemma

    Sport: Noun:
    “an activity involving physical exertion and skill in which an individual or team competes against another or others for entertainment.”

    Chess is a sport for the IOC, so much hard work moving a single piece ever 30 seconds or so. I can play Chess for a LOT longer than competitive eSport games.

    2nd part, skill. If you think it takes no skill then go win some eSport tournaments, some of them have good prize money.

    3rd part of this is individual or team competes for entertainment, that is what multiplayer computer games excel at.

    Definition seems to apply to eSports.

    The arguments on this thread…

    Not a sport, requires no physical effort. So tell the world that chess is more physical than gaming..

    eSports are console games so not sport. No, PC are not consoles, they are PCs. Steam is not a PS4 or XBone.

    Games are just button bashing.
    NO NO NO NO NO!!!!
    Who ever says that is a complete and utter n00b! Go play a game of Cod and mash the buttons, go on! Same with Tetris or FIFA or heck… Even Chess on the PC. Just mash the buttons and see how poorly you do. It is mental capacity. Reflexes and pre-empting. Knowing strategies and how to counter them.

    I am not going to say it needs funding from govs etc or it should be in the olympics, to claim it isn’t a sport though is pure nonsense and only an idiot would be so blinkered.

    1. Durand

      Are you in the generation that grew up playing games that require a monitor or tv? I grew up playing sports; outside, physically demanding, bleeding, and have had broken wrists, ankles, and couple knee injuries from sports.

      I’ve never sweated, bled, or got an injury from a game.

  7. Yossarian

    I used to play chess competitively, and I also used to play club football and rugby. As much as I love chess, I couldn’t call it a sport because there is no physical element involved, whereas football and rugby both involved required physical fitness, strength and coordination.

    Chess is a game, not a sport. Computer games are also games, not sports. Simple.

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