By Thabo Peyi

July 11th 2024

7 min read

Will Esports become as popular as the Olympic Games?

This year, the world descends on Paris, France, for the 2024 Summer Olympic Games. The world’s best athletes will come together to compete against each other, aiming to claim one of the most prized achievements in all sports: an Olympic gold medal. From breakdancing to sprinting, there’s certainly something for everyone 

Esports tournament with players competing on stage

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Team South Africa are one of the many nations with their eyes fully set on winning as many medals as possible. Coming off a slightly disappointing showing at the previous Olympics in Tokyo in 2021, where they only managed to win three medals, they look set to bounce back and show the world what they are truly made of. 

There are many names to look out for representing South Africa at this year’s Olympics, such as Tatjana Smith (formerly Tatjana Schoenmaker). Smith captured the nation’s heart in 2021, winning two Olympic medals and breaking a world record. Fast forward to 2024, and she’s swum her second fastest time since the previous Olympics, putting her in pole position to recapture her glory. 

Another name to watch is Prudence Sekgodiso, the 22-year-old 800-metre specialist. A relative newcomer on the international scene, she’s announced herself as a serious contender for a podium finish in Paris with two wins on the Diamond League stage this year. 

Akani Simbine, the 100-metre and 200-metre specialist, is a veteran of the sprint team and also looks set for a big Olympics. He narrowly missed out on a podium finish in Tokyo and is having an impressive 2024 season so far with a few Diamond League victories. He looks to be in impressive form, with ambitions of a podium finish. 

The popularity of Esports

With constant innovation in technology, particularly in gaming, one wonders: is there a world where esports become as popular as the Olympic Games? Esports, short for electronic sports, is competitive video gaming. That has taken the world by storm.  

Over the last decade, the esports community has grown dramatically, with views for competition reaching well into the millions. For example, the 2023 League of Legends world championship reached peak viewership of 6.4 million concurrently, making it the highest-viewed esports event ever. The esports industry is projected to be worth £4.3 billion by the end of 2024. Compare this figure to rugby, which is worth £8.4 billion, and the gap isn’t as wide as you might think. 

The popularity of esports isn’t just down to a single game, but rather down to multiple, from League of Legends and PUBG to Fortnite and even EA Sports FC. 

 There are various competitive gaming leagues and tournaments for these titles. The English Premier League, known as the most popular football league in the world, even has its own esports tournament. In this tournament, gamers compete under the banner of a league team. The event started in 2019 and has grown significantly over the years. This further popularises and legitimises the idea of esports, demonstrating how far the industry has grown. 

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has been open to the idea of Esports, with multiple events targeted at the Esports community. In 2021, Singapore hosted the Olympic Virtual Series (OVS), a singular event held during the COVID-19 pandemic. The OVS aimed to bridge the gap between real-life and virtual sports. This event marked the start of the IOC’s rollout of integrating Esports. 

In 2023, the IOC launched the ongoing Olympic Esports Series (OES), aimed ‘at maximising online participation and prioritising inclusivity to mobilise gamers, esports, and virtual sport enthusiasts around the world’. The OES is planned to take place annually to further grow the sport. 

The pinnacle event, the Olympic esports Games (OEG), is set to take place in 2025. This will be the equivalent of the actual Olympics for esports. The OEG will be officially included in the Olympic schedule, signifying the official integration of esports into the Olympics and a shift in how we participate in sports. 

This July, the Olympic Games are sure to keep you entertained all the way through. There’s nothing better than a country coming together to root for our nation! With that in mind, there’s also a lot to look forward to in the esports world. It will be interesting to see how the International Olympic Committee integrates esports in the long term. RSAWEB, being South Africa’s best-rated ISP, means there’s no better place to start your esports journey than with us. And if sports aren’t your thing, there’s no shame in turning to Netflix and enjoying a binge-watch!

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Will Esports become as popular as the Olympic Games?

by Thabo Peyi

July 11th 2024

7 min read

This year, the world descends on Paris, France, for the 2024 Summer Olympic Games. The world’s best athletes will come together to compete against each other, aiming to claim one of the most prized achievements in all sports: an Olympic gold medal. From breakdancing to sprinting, there’s certainly something for everyone 

Esports tournament with players competing on stage

Team South Africa are one of the many nations with their eyes fully set on winning as many medals as possible. Coming off a slightly disappointing showing at the previous Olympics in Tokyo in 2021, where they only managed to win three medals, they look set to bounce back and show the world what they are truly made of. 

There are many names to look out for representing South Africa at this year’s Olympics, such as Tatjana Smith (formerly Tatjana Schoenmaker). Smith captured the nation’s heart in 2021, winning two Olympic medals and breaking a world record. Fast forward to 2024, and she’s swum her second fastest time since the previous Olympics, putting her in pole position to recapture her glory. 

Another name to watch is Prudence Sekgodiso, the 22-year-old 800-metre specialist. A relative newcomer on the international scene, she’s announced herself as a serious contender for a podium finish in Paris with two wins on the Diamond League stage this year. 

Akani Simbine, the 100-metre and 200-metre specialist, is a veteran of the sprint team and also looks set for a big Olympics. He narrowly missed out on a podium finish in Tokyo and is having an impressive 2024 season so far with a few Diamond League victories. He looks to be in impressive form, with ambitions of a podium finish. 

The popularity of Esports

With constant innovation in technology, particularly in gaming, one wonders: is there a world where esports become as popular as the Olympic Games? Esports, short for electronic sports, is competitive video gaming. That has taken the world by storm.  

Over the last decade, the esports community has grown dramatically, with views for competition reaching well into the millions. For example, the 2023 League of Legends world championship reached peak viewership of 6.4 million concurrently, making it the highest-viewed esports event ever. The esports industry is projected to be worth £4.3 billion by the end of 2024. Compare this figure to rugby, which is worth £8.4 billion, and the gap isn’t as wide as you might think. 

The popularity of esports isn’t just down to a single game, but rather down to multiple, from League of Legends and PUBG to Fortnite and even EA Sports FC. 

 There are various competitive gaming leagues and tournaments for these titles. The English Premier League, known as the most popular football league in the world, even has its own esports tournament. In this tournament, gamers compete under the banner of a league team. The event started in 2019 and has grown significantly over the years. This further popularises and legitimises the idea of esports, demonstrating how far the industry has grown. 

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has been open to the idea of Esports, with multiple events targeted at the Esports community. In 2021, Singapore hosted the Olympic Virtual Series (OVS), a singular event held during the COVID-19 pandemic. The OVS aimed to bridge the gap between real-life and virtual sports. This event marked the start of the IOC’s rollout of integrating Esports. 

In 2023, the IOC launched the ongoing Olympic Esports Series (OES), aimed ‘at maximising online participation and prioritising inclusivity to mobilise gamers, esports, and virtual sport enthusiasts around the world’. The OES is planned to take place annually to further grow the sport. 

The pinnacle event, the Olympic esports Games (OEG), is set to take place in 2025. This will be the equivalent of the actual Olympics for esports. The OEG will be officially included in the Olympic schedule, signifying the official integration of esports into the Olympics and a shift in how we participate in sports. 

This July, the Olympic Games are sure to keep you entertained all the way through. There’s nothing better than a country coming together to root for our nation! With that in mind, there’s also a lot to look forward to in the esports world. It will be interesting to see how the International Olympic Committee integrates esports in the long term. RSAWEB, being South Africa’s best-rated ISP, means there’s no better place to start your esports journey than with us. And if sports aren’t your thing, there’s no shame in turning to Netflix and enjoying a binge-watch! 

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