The rise of esports has technology companies chomping at the bit, while there are plenty of skeptics of the digital gaming phenomenon.
Potential advertisers and investors are warming up to esports, because of long-term growth potential. A future event in the Olympics? A rather tense discussion both for and against it, the IOC still hasn’t announced anything one way or the other.
However, it might be something that’s unavoidable.
Here is what Bracken Darrell, President and CEO of Logitech, told CNBC earlier this week:
I think it’s inevitable. I think it will be part of the Olympics. I’ll make another prediction which it’ll be hard to hold me to unless you have me on the show in 10 years or 20 years, but I think it’ll be the biggest sport in the world.”
It’s convenient timing for Darrell’s comments to CNBC, as I recently wrote a quick blog about esports earlier in August. The number of global esports viewers is increasing, and larger prize pools draw out the best players in the world to compete.
Of course, some wonder if esports actually even needs the Olympics, as the sport legitimizes itself. Rahul Sood, CEO of esports betting company Unikrn, had this to say in a well-written post on VentureBeat:
”I don’t believe esports should need to answer to anybody for legitimization: not television channels, not old sports fans, and not the Olympics. Esports, and gaming more broadly, are the fastest-growing entertainment industry in the world, and every day an MLB fan dies and three esports fans are born.
Esports legitimize esports. If we are to be included in the Olympics, it should be on our terms.
Attention from the Olympics might offer an initial boost, but I believe Sood’s forecast could prove true. International attention is expanding, and that market maturation has created an organic growth avenue.
[Image courtesy of Stocksnap / Igor Ovsyannykov]