Speaking with Dexerto, an esports outlet, Riot has confirmed that the company is now talking to those in charge of the Olympics to introduce League of Legends into the event, as it will debut at the Asian Games in 2022.
The other games featuring in the Games next year will be PUBG Mobile, Hearthstone, Dream Three Kingdom 2, DOTA 2 (League’s direct competitor), FIFA, Street Fighter V, Clash Royale, Arena of Valor (another MOBA), Pro Evolution Soccer and StarCraft 2.
This will be the first time esports has reached this kind of level and it is clear that Riot intend to take it further by getting League of Legends – one of the only esports with teams across the world – into the Olympics.
Joining the Olympics will take a long time, but in the last event, surfing, skateboarding and breakdancing will appear in Paris in 2024. It’s clear the Olympics themselves are trying to remain more and more relevant by bringing in a wider audience as interest wains.
The Tokyo Olympics saw a huge drop of 51-points in viewing figures from the last time. Forbes reports that its not expect to rise again in the US until 2028, when the tournament is hosted in Los Angeles.
It’s not the first time that esports or games would have featured to a prime-time audience who are more accustomed to ‘traditional’ sports on their channels, with prior to the explosion in esports being consistently ridiculed when it appeared on ESPN or sports channels – especially when Magic the Gathering or StarCraft was concerned.
However in South Korea, televised StarCraft events were a regular thing until the game began to lose popularity thanks to the introduction of more MOBA games.
Personally, I think it’d be great to see these games see introduction to larger sporting events, but will the teams begin to drop usernames and just use their regular names?
I think the lack of unwillingness from the community to drop usernames and stick with these – frankly – unprofessional ways of talking about each other, even in 2021, still makes some esports seem like a hobby with money, rather than an actual competition.