clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Will eSports be in the Olympics one day? Bet on it.

Owen S. Good is a longtime veteran of video games writing, well known for his coverage of sports and racing games.

Stashed in a Eurogamer feature today on a British bookmaker setting odds on eSports tournaments is this nugget: The house also is offering proposition bets on whether certain games will ever become Olympic sports.

Yes, really. Online bookie Betway lays 49-to-1 odds that Counter-Strike: Global Offensive is included in the 2030 Winter Olympics. Now, that hardly fits the theme of a winter sport, except for maybe the fact is played indoors on cold days. (It's also played year-round.) But given the shitshow the Winter Games have become, with their appeal sagging, numerous nations declining to bid, the absurd locations that do get them, and television broadcasters always needing new eyeballs, I think it actually is possible that could happen. The 25-year-old gamers of today will be the 40-year-old spectators of 2030.

Other odds: Dota 2 is 79-to-1 to make the Olympics, Hearthstone is 99-to-1, and even World of Tanks is on the board, at 499-to-1. Hell, in 2013 the U.S. government started giving visas to eSports competitors under the same terms it grants them to other athletes. So why not this, too?

Eurogamer notes that the Olympic charter requires any candidate sport to be "widely practiced in no fewer than 40 countries and on three continents." Every game mentioned here qualifies on those merits, so why not?

Betway does have a mainstream eSports betting business, taking action on the latest tournaments and championship series. See the link for more from Eurogamer about that.