ESPORTS BECOMES A MEDAL EVENT IN THE 2022 ASIAN GAMES
TNL Take: Just about a year ago to the day in The Next Level 006, I said that we were not ready for eSports to be in the Olympics after M&C Saatchi announced their new eSports division and partnership with the 2016 Rio Olympics. Here's what I said:
As you can see, I was 1 of the whopping 25 viewers watching the event:
However, looks like my prediction of an eSports event within 10 years though may come true.
In The Next Level 036, while I felt the drop in eSports Investments was good, China is dumping money into the space - article on China and eSports Investment Coming Soon™.
Yesterday, the Olympic Council of Asia announced that eSports would be a medal event at the 2022 Asian games, the largest sports event outside of the Olympics.
The 2022 Asian Games will be held in Hangzhou, China - for perspective, Hangzhou's population 9M+ beats NYC 8M+, which would make it the largest city in the US.
OCA's plan is to introduce eSports as demo sport at the Asian Games in Indonesia next year.
Not surprising, Alisports - the Sports division of China's Amazon Alibaba - will work on partnerships and marketing.
So the question everyone is asking - when will eSports be in the Olympics?
I spoke to the USA Today on my thoughts on that and while that quote wasn't included, I absolutely believe that the 2024 Olympics in either Los Angeles or Paris will feature eSports.
These are the questions that will need to solved for eSports to be included in the 2024 Olympics?
/01 WHAT GAMES
One of the questions I get asked most often is "What will be the biggest eSport title 10 years from now?" My reply: "Can you tell me who will be the President of South Sudan in 10 years?"
It's almost impossible to predict.
Activision-Blizzard is attempting to launch the "NFL for eSports" - for a game that didn't even exist a year ago.
The game also has to be easy enough for a casual viewer to understand and work on TV as well.
If I had to guess, it will almost certainly include FIFA. In another twist, will it include League of Legends - which is owned by Alibaba rival Tencent?
/02 ENOUGH SUPPLY
You can argue that about 10 countries between Asia, Europe, US, Brazil dominate eSports today, will there be enough eSports Athletes from smaller countries like Guatemala or Cameroon 7 years from now? We will have to wait and see.
It's great to see the continued global explosion of eSports.
To end with one of my favorite quotes: "eSports in 2016 was on caffeine. In 2017, it's on crystal meth"