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Could Video Games Go To The Olympics?

by Brittany Vincent 23 Jul 2021

Despite many pandemic-related challenges, the Olympics have arrived, and athletes all over the world are ready to make their respective countries proud. We all know how they go down: plenty of awe-inspiring gymnastics, swimming, and everything in between. But there's one competitive activity that's still sorely missing from the Olympics: video games.  

Historically, the Olympics have always been about more physical pursuits. Gaming requires skill, of course, but so far, our personal favorite pastime has yet to make it into the hallowed event. And when you get right down to it, should it? Could video games ever make sense at the Olympics? Will they ever have a chance at breaking through the esports barrier and making it big? Let's take a look at what we know so far.

Could We Ever See Gaming at the Olympics?

Gaming is obviously an important thing for those of us here on the KontrolFreek blog. Games are life-changing for many, more than just hobbies, and some of the most exciting forms of entertainment out there in the world. They also offer some crazy challenge -- speedrunning, no-death runs, and everything in between. Pulling off feats in some of the more punishing titles is akin to, say, nailing a triple salchow in ice skating or sticking the landing in gymnastics. That's why so many esports players make the big bucks, after all -- their professional commitment to the game is unmatched.

When you think of gaming as a sport that requires skill, it's easy to imagine it being added to the slate of Olympic sports. Sure, it may not be as physically demanding as staying in perfect shape for a sprint or for soaring through the air and somersaulting, but it does demand perfection: twitch accuracy, crazy fast reflexes, and the mental fortitude to keep going even when you think you can't do it anymore.

In this way, gaming is a lot like any other sport. You need to train to get better, often work alongside teams of other excellent athletes, take care of your body and your mind, and practice teamwork. No esports athletes got where they are by living in a vacuum, and their skills are just as valid as anyone who's worked their whole life to get to the Olympics. It's just a different playing field. And gaming on a TV or monitor isn't any different, after all, than staring at a game board. To say video games are any less of a challenge just because of their perceived nature would be to ignore those who have pulled off the impossible.

We all know the regal game of chess, right? It's an intellectual's game that isn't at all physically demanding, just mentally taxing. While it won't appear at this year's Tokyo 2020 Olympics, it has been put forth to become an addition to the legendary event and may in fact join the ranks of the sports we celebrate every time the games are held. So from there, it wouldn’t be a far cry to see gaming nominated for inclusion as well. After all, if the thinking man’s game chess, a non-physical contest, is added, why not video games? Consider it -- and a future of the Olympics with gaming doesn’t seem too far-fetched.

Great News: It Might Actually Happen

In April 2021, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) announced it was adding a series of five esports competitions called the Olympic Virtual Series. This sporting event series took place in early June, with participants taking part in virtual contests featuring real-world sports, including cycling, baseball, sailing, rowing, and motorsports.

For the motorsports competition, players jumped into Gran Turismo Sport. It's a video game, yes, so technically the Olympic Virtual Series included the pixelated pastime in a way that nearly legitimized gaming the way we've been speaking about.

And while the IOC's sport director Kit McConnell indicated in an interview with The Verge that the organization will remain "sport-based" and "sport-focused" from now on, there's still a chance for more interplay between Olympic events and video games. McConnell stated that the IOC doesn't think there's any "mutual exclusivity" between esports and traditional sports communities.

With that in mind, the future does indeed look bright for gaming entering the Olympic sphere. There's nothing definitive floating around just yet, but attitudes are certainly changing. That means if gaming is your thing, and you're thinking you might want to train hard enough to reach the big leagues one day, don't give up. We could potentially see our favorite titles getting their fair due in the future.

We'll have to wait until the 2024 Olympics to see if anything happens, but it's definitely something to look forward to.

Start Your Olympic Training Now

If we might see gaming joining the Olympics in the future -- and you're interested in competing -- it's never too early to train. In fact, there's a whole host of KontrolFreek products to get you pumped and primed for the game of your choice.

Games that have seen plenty of attention in the traditional esports space, such as Fortnite or Call of Duty, seem like they could be likely additions to the Olympics. Our FPS Freek Galaxy Performance Thumbsticks are an excellent choice to help meet the demands of competitive play. They offer enhanced grip to help you pull off the most headshots possible as well as increased accuracy. Their height also gives you an edge to keep your thumbs balanced and ready to move at a moment's notice.

There's a whole host of thumbsticks available for different types of players and genres, but our Performance Grips are also a great choice when it comes to honing your craft. No matter where you're playing, these grips help improve longevity and comfort. They're easy to apply, and you can reposition and remove them at your leisure without leaving any sticky, uncomfortable residue on your controller.

You'll play better with dry hands, and if you aren't suffering from fatigue, you'll be much more prone to better performance if you're feeling comfortable and cool. Plus, if you train for hours with a foam cushioning layer to enhance your grip and comfort, you'll be able to withstand regular controllers without such niceties should Olympic competition demand you leave off grips and the like.

Whether you need assistance with aiming or staying in control, KontrolFreek’s got you covered. It’s not too late to shoot for the moon, so better get in your training while you can, so you can get in on the ground floor.

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