Professional video game playing, otherwise known as eSports, is a booming business. But the idea of adding it to the Olympics as a “sporting event” is equal parts hilarious and embarrassing.
Let’s get this out of the way right off the bat before a swarm of dedicated gamers mount an attack like the Wu-Tang killa’ bees: eSports is a rapidly growing, billion dollar business that continues to explode with absolutely no signs of slowing down.
Just today, Gamer Sensei — a company that offers coaching sessions from pro gamers — announced that they have raised another large chunk of change in its latest round of funding.
Here’s more from Gamer Sensei:
Gamer Sensei, the esports coaching startup, has just raised a new $4 million funding round. Gamer Sensei connects gamers with professional coaches for one-on-one virtual lessons to help players improve in their favorite competitive games, including Overwatch, League of Legends, Hearthstone, GWENT, and more.
This financing follows a seed round last year ($2.5 million) led by Accomplice and Boston Seed Capital.
Gamer Sensei is an integral part of the multi-billion dollar esports industry, which is projected to see revenues double by 2020 according to NewZoo.
See that last sentence? Revenues are projected to double by 2020.
So yeah, I get it. Everyone likes money. But there has to be a line somewhere and the idea of eSports in the Olympics is certainly where one of those lines has to be starkly drawn.
Unless, of course, we’re talking about eye-popping dollar signs. Because that sure as hell seems to be the only reason this has become an actual discussion. Well that, and attracting younger eyeballs.
But the Olympics happens to be a storied, sacred event that allows the very best athletes in the world who train for years — physically, I might add — to showcase their craft, whether it be track and field, swimming, skiing, snowboarding, basketball or the best damn bobsled foursome a country can offer.
How video games could ever enter the conversation, even for a moment, is beyond me.
Being amazingly good at using Carmelo Anthony in NBA 2k18 is hardly in the same galaxy as Carmelo Anthony being amazingly good at being Carmelo Anthony.
Quite shockingly, as far as I can tell, International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach’s lone objection to the idea is that — should this ever come to fruition — the video games on the Olympic roster (I can’t believe I just wrote that) must not include violence.
That’s it. That’s seemingly the only issue at hand. Forget all this “sports” stuff.
I never thought the response to such a preposterous idea would be more absurd than said idea, but here we are.
However, the pushback has already begun.
Check out the replies:
A bunch of “No” responses to go along with the suggestion that pro wrestling also be added to the Olympics? Perfect.
Hope lives… on Twitter of all places.