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E-Sports Included in Olympics

Daniel Ahn, Business Manager

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The Olympic Committee had finally reached a topic that was unforeseen by a majority of the panel, the inclusion of video games in the Olympics.  The International Olympic forum of 150 representatives discussed the logistics of the 2020 and 2024 Olympics, including the legitimate possibility of the addition of esports events in the future.  

The forum opened with skepticism of the scale and appeal of professional video games, to which Steve Bornstein, former CEO of ESPN and current chairman of the Activision-Blizzard Esport Division, responds “eSports will rival the biggest traditional sports leagues… It is in the interest of this committee to consider its inclusion.”

Video games are changing in both content and scale.  The 8-bit days of “Pac-Man,” handheld dominance of “Pokémon,” and computer based online multiplayer video games like “Overwatch.” Spectating professional video games is a rising challenger to film and television’s long hold on the public’s time and money.

Like most other “sports,” gaming is played at elite levels, with the top players competing in salaried leagues and annual tournaments for huge prize pools. Millions of people around the world spectate their virtual battles, and tens of thousands are willing to fill arenas and stadiums to watch them compete live.  However, competition also occurs at more local levels, including college, and to a lesser extent high school, and Cleveland has become one of the early adopters.

 

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The Student News Site of Cleveland Charter High School
E-Sports Included in Olympics