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Is it Too Late for Esports? The Olympics Might Just Be Its Final Hail Mary





Introduction to Olympic Esports


The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has just announced the Olympic Esports Series 2023, a global virtual sports competition created in collaboration with International Federations and game publishers. The competition will feature nine sports, each with its own unique challenges and thrills, including

  • Archery (World Archery Federation, Tic Tac Bow),

  • Baseball (World Baseball Softball Confederation, WBSC eBASEBALL™: POWER PROS),

  • Chess (International Chess Federation, Chess.com),

  • Cycling (UCI, Zwift),

  • Dance (World DanceSport Federation, JustDance)

  • Motor sport (Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile, Gran Turismo).

  • Sailing (World Sailing, Virtual Regatta),

  • Taekwondo (World Taekwondo, Virtual Taekwondo)

  • Tennis (International Tennis Federation, Tennis Clash),

Both professional and amateur players can participate in qualification rounds for the chance to advance to the live, in-person finals at Singapore's Suntec Centre from June 22 to 25, 2023. The finals will be part of the Olympic Esports Week 2023, a four-day festival showcasing the very best of virtual sports. The IOC is committed to supporting the development of virtual sports within the Olympic Movement, and this groundbreaking competition is sure to inspire a new generation of esports enthusiasts to strive for greatness.


State of the Esports


As we enter 2023, the esports industry finds itself in a state of declining. Despite its massive growth over the years, the industry is now facing numerous challenges that threaten its survival. These challenges range from the unpredictability of game popularity to the fragile finances of esports organizations. One of the major setbacks in the industry is the recent bankruptcy of FTX, a popular crypto exchange that invested heavily in esports. The fall in investment resulting from the FTX bankruptcy has had a ripple effect on esports organizations that relied on the exchange for funding. This has led to many organizations laying off staff and players, including big names like FaZe Clan, eUnited, Torrent, 100 Thieves, Team Liquid, OpTic Gaming, Immortals, and The Guard.

The dependence of esports organizations on team performance and lack of fixed products makes it difficult for them to make money consistently. Additionally, the release of too many games each year has made it hard for esports franchises to compete with one another. This unpredictability in the popularity of games can quickly render them outdated or unpopular, leaving esports organizations struggling to maintain their foothold in the industry. Despite these challenges, there is still potential for the esports industry, and its future remains uncertain. The popularity of esports is what keeps the industry going, and if it diminishes, the industry may cease to exist at the scale it currently does. The industry has been relying on hype and people's hopes for its future to function, and even if it plateaus in popularity, it could be devastating. Riot Games, the developers of the popular game League of Legends, has dismissed the notion that the League of Legends Championship Series (LCS) is dying despite recent scheduling changes and controversies. Riot executives have reassured the community that the LCS is healthy going into 2023, with the league being the "No.2 league in terms of revenue," even after dropping FTX as a sponsor. However, recent backlash from fans over scheduling changes has forced Riot to acknowledge its shortcomings in explaining the decision-making process behind the changes.

Another esports giant, FaZe Clan, is also facing financial troubles and scandals that may lead to the end of the brand. The organization's focus on building its brand through expensive business deals, such as signing celebrities and hosting buzzy parties, has put a strain on their finances. The organization has also been accused of extorting money from their creators, leading to a considerable drop in their stock value. The future of FaZe Clan remains uncertain, and the situation is not looking good for the organization.

Blizzard's trading card game, Hearthstone, recently announced a reduced esports program for 2023 with fewer events and a slashed prize pool, leading some players to worry about the future of the game. The erosion of the esports scene in Hearthstone has raised concerns about the health of the game itself. While Blizzard has confirmed that the game still has long-term plans, including the recent Hearthstone Creator Program, the lack of a professional competitive scene could potentially drain interest and revenue from the game. It is not hard to say the esports industry is facing challenges While there is still potential for growth, the industry needs to address its challenges and find ways to stabilize and sustain itself. It remains to be seen how the industry will navigate these challenges and what the future holds for esports as a whole.


How Logistics Would Look Like?


As the highly-anticipated Olympic Esports Series approaches, the world of esports is buzzing with excitement. However, it takes a team of experienced logistics experts working behind the scenes to ensure that the competition is executed seamlessly. From overseeing the venue to handling equipment transport and coordinating qualification rounds, the logistics team has a myriad of tasks to tackle to ensure the event's success. Venue management is of paramount importance, with the live finals set to take place at Singapore's Suntec Centre. The logistics team must ensure that all aspects of the venue are in order, from configuring the equipment to managing player and fan traffic. The team's top priority is to maintain a safe and pleasant experience for all attendees while ensuring strict security protocols are adhered to. Transporting the players' equipment presents another significant challenge. The logistics team must ensure that all equipment is transported securely and efficiently, then promptly set up and checked for any technical glitches upon arrival at the venue. Any issues with the equipment could potentially disrupt the competition, highlighting the criticality of this aspect of logistics. Managing the qualification rounds is also a critical task. Players from across the globe are competing for a chance to participate in the live finals, and the logistics team must ensure that the competition setup is flawless and that players have all necessary equipment. The team will be collaborating closely with various organizations to ensure everything runs smoothly. Finally, the Olympic Esports Series will be streamed globally, presenting further complexity for logistics. The logistics team must ensure that the streaming setup is accurate and that there are no technical issues that could impact the viewing experience for fans worldwide.


My Opinion


I can understand that the announcement of the Olympic Esports Series 2023 is exciting news for the esports industry, but there are some concerns about the state of the industry. While the selection of games is diverse, some of the chosen sports, like archery, baseball, cycling, motor sport, sailing, taekwondo, and tennis, seem out of place in an esports competition. These are traditional sports that have little to do with the world of esports, which primarily consists of video games. In contrast, games like dance and chess make more sense as they are primarily digital experiences that have a clear competitive aspect to them. While it's understandable that the IOC wanted to select a diverse range of sports, the inclusion of traditional sports that don't have a strong esports presence may dilute the integrity of the event. It remains to be seen how these games will fare in the competition and whether they can hold their own against more established esports titles


When I finishing my words, I have faith in the logistics team's ability to successfully execute the Olympic Esports Series. With their expertise and dedication, coupled with the excitement and enthusiasm of players and fans around the world, there's no doubt that the event is sure to be a successful.


References

  1. "A Look at LCS Viewership Decline Year-By-Year vs. Valorant." Esportsheaven, www.esportsheaven.com/features/a-look-at-lcs-viewership-decline-year-by-year-vs-valorant/. Accessed 3 Mar. 2023.

  2. "FaZe Clan Is Dying & Here Is Why." EarlyGame, earlygame.com/entertainment/this-might-just-be-the-end-of-faze-clan. Accessed 3 Mar. 2023.

  3. "IOC Announces Olympic Esports Series 2023 with Winners to Be Crowned at Live Finals in Singapore from 22 to 25 June." International Olympic Committee, Mar. 2023, olympics.com/ioc/news/ioc-announces-olympic-esports-series-2023. Accessed 3 Mar. 2023.

  4. John. "The Current Esports Enviornment: Are Esports Slowly Dying?" Culture of Gaming, 26 Aug. 2022, cultureofgaming.com/the-current-esports-enviornment-are-esports-slowly-dying/. Accessed 3 Mar. 2023.

  5. Law, Eric. "Why the Recent Hearthstone Esports News Has Fans Nervous." Game Rant, 1 Feb. 2023, gamerant.com/hearthstone-esports-scaling-back-2023-tcg-popularity-shut-down/. Accessed 3 Mar. 2023.

  6. "Riot Dismisses Notion LCS Is Dying: “No.2 League in Terms of Revenue.”" Dexerto, www.dexerto.com/league-of-legends/riot-dismisses-rumors-lcs-is-dying-no-2-league-in-terms-of-revenue-2035588/. Accessed 3 Mar. 2023.

  7. Jha, Ashish. "Is the Esports Industry Slowly Dying? CHECK DETAILS." EsportsGen, 24 Feb. 2023, esportsgen.com/is-the-esports-industry-slowly-dying-check-details/. Accessed 3 Mar. 2023.

  8. "The List of Official Olympics Esports Games Is Extremely Weird." Vice, www.vice.com/en/article/4axkzb/the-list-of-official-olympics-esports-games-is-extremely-weird. Accessed 3 Mar. 2023.

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