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Business of Esports TV: Olympic Esports

(Livestream #129B)

In this segment, we discuss the esports that the IOC has determined will appear in the Olympics as well as cover our first YouGov Industry Insights: Will people be watching these new events?

The Business Of Esports brings you news, debates, and all the information you need to know about the gaming sector, the world’s fastest-growing market. With Paul “The Profit” Dawalibi leading the charge, and a variety of special guests, BoE TV is the only place to find insider information on the esports industry!

Check out the rest of the livestream here:

Paul Dawalibi 55:00
We do thanks to you. gov have some interesting data on this Olympics announcement. And, and whether we think people will tune in to this eSports Olympics. So before I get into that, here you go, I’m going to introduce this new segment.

All right, insights powered by you. gov here. Okay, here’s here’s direct from you. gov. The IOC will host eSports events. Will people tune in? Is the question. Okay. And you have pulled, pulled some data together here, lots of data together here. Okay. And there were some very interesting findings. First, interest. This one was interesting to me, compared to the US and Great Britain, Australians are most likely to watch video game competitions, organized by the Olympics. So Australia is a better market, from, you know, will they to tune in standpoint than the US or Great Britain. Now, it says three quarters of the people who responded to the survey in the US who are interested in eSports, say they will likely tune in to the Olympic hosted event. So 76% of the people in the US said, who are already interested in eSports will tune in to this event. Does that surprise anyone that it’s such it’s such a high number?

Lindsay Poss 56:25
No, because it’s not like any of us watch competitive swimming any other time of our lives either. Like there is something special about the Olympics that makes you watch things that you would never choose to watch normally. So I guess it makes sense, if you want to apply that type of view to the video games they selected, but there was a lot of options.

Jeff Cohen 56:43
In the survey. I wonder if they had said beforehand here, hey, here are the sports they’re gonna play? Or if it was, you know, do you watch eSports? Will you watch it in the Olympics?

Paul Dawalibi 56:53
No. Because again, let’s look at the second data point, right, which is they gave them all of the virtual sports that are going to be played, okay. Baseball, auto racing, cycling, rowing and sailing. And if you look at the United States, the majority are the Americans are likely to watch the Olympic virtual series. they’re most interested in baseball, compared to Great Britain where they’re most interested in cycling. Like there, there are definitely differences from country to country between eSports fans in terms of what they care about. Is anyone surprised that baseball’s tops here in the US?

Jeff Cohen 57:29
No, because it’s the most of those sports? It’s by far the most popular in the US.

Paul Dawalibi 57:36
Yeah, it’s but like, to me, this one was a bit surprising, because I don’t think baseball necessarily makes the best esport right. Yeah, well, I would have put otter I personally, I thought auto racing was gonna be higher. But that was interesting to me. This one was also interesting, compared to Americans and Australians, Brits are least likely to think winners of the Olympic virtual series should receive medals. So

Lindsay Poss 58:06
that’s just a good, that’s a good question to ask that so sassy.

Jeff Cohen 58:13
Here’s quite Why wouldn’t they receive medals? Like it’s like, why would they know? But like, Olympic event? Like, why wouldn’t they like, what if a person does like race walking gets a medal, but this one doesn’t like why is it any different? Like, I don’t know.

Paul Dawalibi 58:28
Well, maybe there’s some insight here that that great, like, Great British people view eSports less like legitimate, like stupid, like less like legitimate sports. Right? Whereas Americans, I think are more comfortable saying, this is a sport, you should get a medal.

Lindsay Poss 58:45
Maybe the Brits are just left with a participation trophy thing because this is technically a pre Olympic event. Like it’s not even being included in actual Olympic week.

Jeff Cohen 58:56
It’s happening during the Olympic No,

Paul Dawalibi 58:58
it’s before.

Jeff Cohen 59:02
Okay, now, I don’t think they should get a medal. I thought this was like Darzi. It’s

Lindsay Poss 59:07
not like part of the Olympics. It’s like a pre Olympic like, we’re gonna show off some video game. Yeah,

Jeff Cohen 59:13
I changed my mind. You get something you get like a ribbon, but no metal. real question is like, do you think that? Is this an opportunity for us? Like, some of these games I have to imagine have roughly no players. Like what an odds we can make this Olympic team.

Paul Dawalibi 59:33
Hi, I’ve never played virtual regatta simulator. So

Jeff Cohen 59:38
I guess my point is, nobody probably has. I assume this is not like virtual regatta where you’re like rowing, right? It’s like you’re clicking buttons.

Paul Dawalibi 59:46
I don’t know. I actually don’t know.

Jeff Cohen 59:49
totally different. You know what I mean? Like you can roll on a machine like does a virtual like that would actually be physically very challenging. So that that would almost be like the same thing as real rolling.

Lindsay Poss 1:00:00
Yeah, did they talk about like, who was actually participating in these things? Like is it the Olympic athletes doing it beforehand as a media thing? Or is it actual other participants that they’re flying in?

Paul Dawalibi 1:00:14
mentioned? No, not mentioned in the original story. I don’t know if even all they figured out all the details on this, right? Like, it seems

Unknown Speaker 1:00:21
they just chose the regatta and went home.

Paul Dawalibi 1:00:27
Guys, I just want to say also, like, this is the kind of cool like data we’re gonna get to include every single week, hopefully tied to a story we’re doing on the live stream. So if you enjoyed that, like, please go tell Ben parrot yougov or anyone that you have reached out to them, tell them you loved it. You know, they’re big supporters now of the live stream. And really, they’ve got the best as you saw, like the amount of data there, we barely even scratched the surface, the best data on gamers, games, teams, eSports fans all around the world. So please, go check them out. yougov comm slash gaming dash eSports they have like a ton more free research there that you can check out that’s just as interesting. Let me just read some of the comments here because there’s a lot that I missed here. KENNETH says seems cool, but also disconnected and isolated away from what eSports is for most people. Yeah. And it you know, to Lindsay’s point, this seems more targeted at like, Olympics fans than eSports fans, maybe. You know, is it the 55 year old Olympics fan, they were going after? The real nylon says this looks like people within eSports will watch and won’t bring in a new audience. Typical Olympics that I mean, that’s the challenge with all traditional sports right now, not just the Olympics. It’s getting younger. Demographics, right. I mean, but if the if they recognize that as the challenge, was this the right way to do it. Not clear, right. Christian says I’m surprised by the demographic that baseball was voted voted highest to watch agree. would have thought auto racing to be first. Yeah, it is. I baseball has some, you know, was part of the cultural Zeitgeist, I think of the US in some ways, and it’s hard to displace, even if the viewership is geriatric at this point. The boss laying down the hammer on those poor VR athletes.

Unknown Speaker 1:02:24
I got a lot of thoughts on that one.

Paul Dawalibi 1:02:28
You thought they should get a medal though? No, no, no, no, no. Oh, my God, they should get a medal. You guys are both mean, they should definitely get medals

Jeff Cohen 1:02:40
during the week of the Olympics, if it’s a metal if it’s not, you don’t get a metal. That’s the rules.

Unknown Speaker 1:02:49
Like a mini metal,

Paul Dawalibi 1:02:51
metal. Dead Man’s gaming journal says What do you guys think of the opinion that eSports doesn’t need the Olympics? Oh, excellent.

Jeff Cohen 1:02:58
I don’t like this argument. I’ve heard this argument made a lot. I don’t agree with it. I was very team Olympics, though having seen their execution of bringing eSports down breaks. I am now less team Olympics. I mean, I think it is is very silly argument to make that. And I’ve heard it made by a lot of people. So I’m not talking down to anyone that a eSports doesn’t need the Olympics. The Olympics needs the esports. I think that’s just a stupid age is ridiculous, like the Olympics? Because the Olympics is the it means something it’s been around for hundreds of years. Like they’re you worship every year, like the I’m not saying that eSports? Like, it’s not like eSports is going to die and disappear if it doesn’t enter the Olympics. But to be like the you know, they don’t? I don’t know. I think that the Olympics mean something. And if you have the chance to have your sport in the Olympics, you do it. Right. Like it’s just it’s an honor

Paul Dawalibi 1:03:50
to be more in this in this power dynamic between the two. If If, if there was a deal where Cisco League of Legends, everything was in the Olympics, who do you think benefits more from that outcome?

Jeff Cohen 1:04:08
I think that eSports benefits more than the Olympics. Interesting.

Paul Dawalibi 1:04:13
Okay. Lindsay, do you feel the same way?

Lindsay Poss 1:04:16
No, um, I understand where Jeff’s passion is coming from because the Olympics is storied, and fables and all this stuff. But to be honest, the way that the IOC operates is really just not conducive to any type of growth. I actually just read an extremely long exposition on a Russian billionaire who started his own competitive swimming league because he’s been so fed up with the Olympics and it’s absolutely thriving. So even some of the traditional sports that typically need the Olympics are looking for a way out or looking for something different and I think even with like you know, cycling, there’s all kinds of things the Olympics is still is still the absolute uppermost tier for most sports. However, you It’s not fun very well, it hasn’t changed in a bunch of years. There’s not a lot of incentive to bring in new especially younger viewers. It’s not like the Olympics has like a really good this stupid. So please, I’m sorry, but it’s not like the Olympics is a really good tic Tock account or anything like that, like there’s no, there’s, they’re not inserting the topics on the gram. There’s they’re not really doing a great job of inserting themselves in culture in any way other than being a fabled and story thing, which carries a lot of clout. Like there’s no denying that, but it’s at some point, they’re going to have to get a little bit better people on the olympic committee who have a more a more realistic version of the future here.

Paul Dawalibi 1:05:43
Lindsay, I’m with you. On this one? I am I’m with you. 100% on that one. The real nylon says virtual regatta got big through their mobile app. I wonder how it will play out mobile Olympics. Oh my god. If it’s a mobile game, no medals if it’s not a mobile game metal?

Unknown Speaker 1:06:05
That’s my only question.

Paul Dawalibi 1:06:08
Okay, says give them a free that’s it. That should be the metal. You just hang the Google stadia around your neck. Ramsey says NF t metals oh my god now. Okay. We’ve we’ve gone to Christian says I don’t think it’s a bad idea to do a pre Olympic eSports event as a test for popularity of particular eSports for future Olympics. Yeah, and I think that’s what they’re doing christian right. Like they’re clearly dipping their toe in the water very tentatively. Probably as tentatively as could possibly be. I mean, it’s ahead of the Olympics. It’s not real east, like it’s not popular. eSports it’s weird fringe eSports. Like the I think they This is about as tentative as an approach.

Jeff Cohen 1:06:59
When you ask the question of who benefits the most from, you know, who benefits more eSports the Olympics, I think the way they’re doing it now, nobody benefits because I think if you’re an Esports fan, this is a novelty, like, this isn’t going to drive, you know, the kids, if you will, into into eSports, or into the Olympics. And all it’s going to do is have the people who actually care about the Olympics be like, what is this garbage, like old man yells at Cloud like, this is like the worst possible scenario, I think for both sides, where, you know, these are fake eSports. And, you know, you’re just gonna piss off real Olympics fans. Whereas if they had actual eSports, that had, you know, people were passionate about and like, you could actually get behind, I think there was a way to do it that both sides could benefit, I still think eSports would benefit more, because there are more fans, I think that there are more mainstream people who are not eSports fans that casually watch the Olympics that could become eSports fans, then there are eSports fans that could become fans of the Olympics, I think, just bigger circle on that side.

Paul Dawalibi 1:08:01
In Christian, I think makes a good point here, the idea is good, it’s the execution that’s like, maybe is not not optimal. But like you can’t fault them also for just not being overly aggressive and risk taking. Because to both of your points, you’re talking about something that’s been around hundreds of years, right, you’re not gonna be the most nimble organization ever need the esports certification is the running meme. Now.

Lindsay Poss 1:08:28
They weren’t going to cancel the Olympics. It was like the International Olympic Committee was not going to move the 2020 Olympics because of the pandemic until around four or five of major countries pulled out. Like it’s just not a great organization for making adaptable changes.

Paul Dawalibi 1:08:47
It’s the nature of the organization. Right? When you’re that big and been around that long, I think that’s just kind of the nature of the beast kind of says, Do you think they may miss an opportunity because the Olympics is only every two years, but eSports is so dynamic in the changes being made daily? Excellent question. I don’t know what you guys think about that. Virtual regatta simulator probably won’t be at the next Olympics, right? Because that will be an old game by then, which is kind of this point, right?

Jeff Cohen 1:09:19
This certainly highlights the benefits, or the competitive advantages that maybe you could argue that eSports has over traditional sports and the Olympics. You know, having said that, I think people who are fans of the Olympics, which I’m not particularly a fan of the Olympics, but would would say that part of the charm is that like, it’s dudes running around a track like that is oh, you know, the fastest person running 100 meters is always the fastest person in the world. Like, that’s literally what it is. It’s just human beings running in a straight line. There’s something sort of, I don’t know classical and cool about that. Versus, you know, the new game the new hot thing, which is like, hey, this game was popular two years ago, six years later. is not popular. So like, there’s no history around it. And I know that doesn’t obviously relate to every esport. Clearly, I’m not trying to be negative on eSports here, but I think there’s merits to both sides of the equation here.

Paul Dawalibi 1:10:15
Christian says sports organizations are among the slowest to adapt COVID was a wake up call driving much needed innovation. True.

Lindsay Poss 1:10:21
Except the NBA. It’s perfect. We notice

Paul Dawalibi 1:10:26
we sure. The real nylon says say they allow eSports Do you specialize the games to Summer Olympics? Or Winter Olympics? That’s an awesome, really good question. What is it? Is it a summer sport? Or is it a winter? I

Jeff Cohen 1:10:40
think it’s both and you have different sports. for winter, you have soccer for you know, I think the question is, do

Paul Dawalibi 1:10:48
they want to wear this like Call of Duty call?

Jeff Cohen 1:10:51
You know, you have real athletes, the digital version of real athletes, that’s where it becomes tricky. You know what I mean? Do you use people’s name and likeness? Like how does how do you get around that?

Paul Dawalibi 1:11:01
What do you mean?

Jeff Cohen 1:11:03
Like if you’re using FIFA? Is it you know, little little Leonel Messi? Or is it like some digital character that’s made up? That’s not brand that not not named?

Unknown Speaker 1:11:13
Got it? But

Unknown Speaker 1:11:15

Paul Dawalibi 1:11:15
What how do you how do you treat this question? How do you respond to this question in a world where they allow league like League of Legends, and not just like auto racing basically better? Is it a Summer Olympic sport? Or is it a Winter Olympic sport?

Lindsay Poss 1:11:33
I would think that you would go based on popularity. So we because summer is more popular Summer Olympics are vastly more popular than the Winter Olympics. and bigger, right? Oh, yeah, way, way, way bigger, a lot more events, all that kind of stuff. So you put the big games there and the little games in the winter.

Paul Dawalibi 1:11:52
Chris says Yep, extra special olympics eSports edition. kind of agree to Olympics definitely has its own appeal. I think they struggle with distribution and appeal to younger audiences not in the actual appeal of the actual event. Yeah. I’m actually curious what you guys think, though, on the summer versus winter question, because it’s the first time I’ve heard that question also. Which I think is an interesting one. You are seeing young audiences gain appreciation for chess in 2021, which is probably bizarre for a lot of people trying to pin down the younger generation through marketing of Kenneth E is already you’re dredging up like already bad memories for Jeff here who doesn’t think chess is an esport?

Jeff Cohen 1:12:33
So would this be an argument wouldn’t this? Nevermind, I was gonna say,

Paul Dawalibi 1:12:40
I don’t think you I don’t think it works. Christian says I could see a pre match FIFA game between two FIFA pros from the corresponding countries. But like, the FIFA

Unknown Speaker 1:12:50

Paul Dawalibi 1:12:53
I don’t know if

Jeff Cohen 1:12:55
that’s the problem.

Paul Dawalibi 1:12:56
Yeah, exactly. Is it just like entertainment exhibition? Like, what like WWE? Or is it like, Hey, we want to be a legitimate sport and get medals? Because I don’t think you can have it both ways. Really. Chris says winter you should be playing outside in the summer. It’s it’s a good thought, right? If you’re in, you’re inside on your computer. But you know, kids these days, they would play video games while being outside real nylon. I play video games while being inside mobile. Not mobile on a proper proper gaming laptop with a proper mouse and keyboard replaces. Ken it says only winter maps for Call of Duty Winter Olympics. These are really good. These are really good questions and suggestions. I really I’m a big fan of that of that one specifically.

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