The myths about cybersportsmen

One of the biggest misconceptions about eSports is that many portray them as weak, sick young people who sit at their computers all day long and do not communicate with the outside world.

In fact, a professional cybersportsman must also have adequate physical fitness: with a team, cybersportsmen go to the gym along with training in computer games. In addition, many athletes who have a passion for computer games often play football or other traditional sports in parallel.

It is also worth distinguishing between gamers and e-Athletes – while gamers play games for fun and spend real money on their hobby, for e-Athletes games are more likely to be a source of income. Professionals are constantly training, gaining teamwork skills and often see the gameplay as something routine.

Cybersports should be considered a full-fledged sport,t: it is necessary for the Olympic Games to remain relevant for new generations. Young people are interested in cybersports and such things. In 2024, the Games will be held in France, and their programme will begin to take shape in 2019.

Cybersports is an open competition for users of such well-known computer games as Counter-Strike, StarCraft, Dota 2, League of Legends, Heroes of the Storm, World of Tanks, etc. The Games will be held in France. The phenomenon is relatively new: although the first StarCraft competitions were held in the late 1990s, such tournaments have only started to gather a large audience in recent years.

The organizers of sports competitions and players earn money on sponsorship contracts, advertising, sale of broadcast rights, etc. According to Newzoo’s forecast, in 2017, global cybersports revenues will grow by 41% to $696 million, of which $517 million will come from advertising and rights sales and the rest from ticket sales and branded products.

Superdata estimates the market even more – about $1 billion). In Russia, eSports is recognized as the official sports discipline this spring, i.e. athletes will be able to receive sports titles and categories. This will make it possible to hold national competitions and championships in the future.

It is in Russia that two cybersports deals were held, which are among the largest in the world: in 2015. Cybersports are also gaining popularity with traditional media: the competitions in this sport are broadcast by cable channels – American, Russian and others. Last year the computer games competitions were shown on the 2×2 TV channel, last week Match TV announced the Dota 2 championship.

Ticket for the Games

According to the Olympic Charter, the IOC approves a programme for each specific Games. Only those sports that adopt and implement the World Anti-Doping Code are eligible for the programme. The IOC shall select the sports and determine the criteria and conditions for inclusion in the programme no later than the selection of the city that organizes the Games.

The decision to include a discipline or an event in the program shall be made by the Committee no later than three years prior to the Olympic Games. The Executive Committee consists of 16 people and is headed by its President. It has no delegates from Russia. We expect more and more young people to watch the Match TV, so we continue to increase the volume of broadcasting of world-class cyber tournaments.

By 2019, the world audience of cyber sports competitions will reach 303 million people, analysts predict. Most spectators of such competitions are men (85% of the audience), more than half of them are 18-25 years old. World sports organisations are increasingly saying that cybersports should be equated with traditional sports.

In 2018, cybersports will be included in the program of sports competitions of the Asian Olympic Games (held only in Asian countries by kinds of sports, as well as the main Olympic Games, supervises the competitions of the IOC). At them companies will test cybersports as a kind of sport, and from 2022 it will be included in the main program.

This means that Olympic medals will be awarded for winning cybersports. The organizers of the Asian Games explained their decision by the rapid growth and development of cybersports disciplines. It will not be easy to add eSports to the Olympic Games programme because of the great number of technical nuances and diverse development of eSports.

As a rule, the championships are held under the auspices of one of the developers of computer games or major cybersports organizations.

Some games can be difficult for an unprepared spectator, perhaps the only exception is Counter-Strike, whose rules will be clear to many. There are also difficulties with selecting teams from different countries. The Counter-Strike team consists entirely of Polish athletes, while the Dota 2 team consists of Russian and Ukrainian players.

But there is also a good Russian Counter-Strike team – Gambit, which this year won the world championship. It’s also not clear what kind of demands the IOC will make on eSports. Team managers themselves are now making sure that e-Sports athletes lead healthy lifestyles and keep in shape, this is necessary to create an image of e-Sports and break the stereotype that computer games are interesting only to people who don’t watch themselves.

But giving up doping, which implies giving up the usual food and drink, can discourage cybersports athletes from participating in the Olympics. On the other hand, there is already experience when sports organisations hold cybersports tournaments.

In the next 20 years, it will be almost impossible to add cybersports to Olympic sports. The Olympic Committee is quite conservative and will need to be convinced that this sport will be relevant for many years and will be able to generate stable income from advertising.

The cybersports industry is very young and dynamic, but it may not be enough for the IOC. They will carefully study how many athletes are involved in the sport, how many countries are involved, etc.