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Pokemon

We’ve been playing games since we were in our diapers. The games we grew up with has played a huge part in our lives and shaped most of our reality.

There are two game events happening in the month of August – one in sports and one in eSports. I would say sporting event, but the debate goes on as to what should be considered a sport. Some say it is only a sport as long as it involves some form of physicality. While others say that as long as it involves reflex and strategy, it should be considered a sport.

But hey, there’s a new player in town and he’s here to show us a different route forward. But before that let’s see how the other two have established themselves throughout the years.

The Olympics

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From an initial of 14 nations competing in 9 events in 1896, to 206 nations competing in 28 games in 2016. Throughout the years, games were slowly being introduced and taken out. And nations slowly trained their people to participate in the Olympics.

The Olympics faced a lot of obstacles as well, especially with wars and disagreements between nations disrupting the peace that the Olympics brings. Though countries supported boycotts, the show still went on.

The 21st century brought a new form of unity. Only two boycotts were called upon, and both were not supported. This goes to show the magnitude the Olympic Games has come to hold.

In 2016, not only are people acknowledging their support for athletes, but also the beauty of seeing differing nations cultures together.

A picture of South Korean and North Korean gymnasts taking a selfie together:

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A picture of two different cultures (Egypt and Germany):

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The Olympics has become a symbol of unity; a symbol that there is still hope for a better, united world, where everyone has a chance to participate in.

And since the Olympics has become more than just a sporting event, debates has been raised on what should and should not be included. Yes, we’re talking about you eSports.

eSports

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The World Cyber Games (WCG) that started in 2001 was the closest thing to an Olympic-size eSports event. 17 countries had gathered in Yongin, South Korea, to compete in 5 different games. It went on all the way to 2013, with the highest prize pool only at 500,000 dollars in 2009. The stage was set, but due to differences, it failed to continue on.

But it wasn’t until 2014, that eSports got the attention it truly needed.

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Also known as the Super Bowl of eSports, Dota International made the world turn their eyes towards the eSports arena. How did they do it? Imagine a competition’s prize pool rising from just over 2.8million dollars to more than 10 million dollars. 10 MILLION DOLLARS!

Gamers rejoiced, because they knew very well that a revolution is about to happen, while everyone outside the gaming world were batting their eyelashes and having their jaws drop.

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And the fact that a few football clubs and famous sports retirees have placed an interest into eSports. Some have already owned their own eSports teams or players, while others are still in the bidding process. Most notably would be Manchester United’s bid for an Overwatch team before any eSports team even approached them. And because of which, the gap between sports and eSports is slowly shrinking.

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The United Kingdom is here to support them. The UK government has noticed this great shift in audience. And because of that they are doing an eSports demonstration in Rio 2016, which will feature 4 nations (United Kingdom, United States, Canada, and Brazil). They call it the eGames.

However, this fact has fallen under the radar of social media hype. Probably because the trend of eSports has died down. Or probably because people are too busy chasing Pokemons.

Augmented Reality

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The world has changed once again. And Pokemon Go is the new player in the gaming world. They got millions of people from around the world going out of their households to be the very best and catch ‘em Pokemons through the means of Augmented Reality (AR).

Augmented Reality has opened the portal to a new set of gamers, one that includes the aspects of both sports and eSports – serving as the balance.

Pokemon Go has even escalated past the Olympics and Dota International, in terms of social media hype, which further enforces the potential of AR.

Especially when they have videos like these around teasing for a new AR Game:

The physical movement it encourages has brought games to another level. If there’s one thing that can bridge the gap between eSports and sports, its augmented reality.

But don’t get me wrong, it’s not about merging everything into one form. God forbid that we’d have to kick a ball through our telephone screens. It’s about giving video gamers the feel of physical movement and sportspeople the chance to experience the virtual arena without having to sit down all day.

All in all, why shouldn’t eSports be included? Olympics is after all known as “The Games”. Still falling under the category of eSports, while sports maintain as sports. It can serve as a place for all to gather. Imagine the reach, the unification it brings – the amount of people tuning in to the biggest GAME event of the world.

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