eSports Competitive Fiasco
The Australian Esports Association and Australian Olympic Committee have recently announced they will not be participating in the Asian Indoor & Martial Arts Games (AIMAG) of this year hosted by the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA).
The AIMAG is to stand as a catalyst for future sporting events to include eSports into their programs with the event including four games into its proceedings which include:
- DOTA 2 – MOBA (Team Event)
- StarCraft II: Legacy of the Void – RTS (Individuals Event)
- Hearthstone – CCG (Individuals Event)
- King of Fighters XIV – FGC (Individuals Event)
Now for the reasons as to why the Australian Esports Association has chosen to withdraw eSports participation:
In an unusual precedent, the OCA announced that the registration process for esports for AIMAG 2017 will be held directly through an independent online portal, with the official national team selection not being conducted through the respective National Sporting Organisation (NSO) being the AESA or National Olympic Committee (NOC) being the AOC. This is inconsistent with generally accepted practices for national representation of sporting codes; and
Whilst the invitation for Australia to participate in OCA events represents a great opportunity for Australian athletes, the AOC has already committed to participating in only those sports that feature in the 2020 Olympic Program. Until Esports is an official medal event in the Olympic program for 2020, the AOC will not send an Australian team to compete in Esports events.
The Australians are not the first nation to opt out of this event as Korea, China, Iran, and other Asian nations have decided not to participate. The biggest criticism against this event is main due to the fact that AliSports a subsidiary of Alibaba has a commanding voice in the workings of the event without the participating member nations being able to contribute to the rules and regulations of the event to ensure fair play amongst competitors and also due to lacking internet infrastructure in many of the invited nations and eSports budgeting.
Darren Kwan, president of the Australian Esports Association, said:
“These major international sporting events will increase the exposure and credibility of esports, creating additional opportunities for our esports athletes. However we can not endorse Australian inclusion until governance concerns are addressed. Esports must be treated equally with the correct protections and integrity afforded to the athletes as expected in any other sport.”
I feel the invited nations have the right to pull out of an event like this despite its magnitude when it comes to the fact that the current regulations in place for participation and qualification do not favor a fair play environment for competitors and can be seen as a clear advertisement for AliSports rather then the nations participating.
I think for international events such as this the nations participating should be able to host regulated LAN events in order to find talent instead of having to rely on the unregulatable and unreliable method of internet based tournaments. Players can not be properly monitored in this environment for hacks or equipment modification and having to rely on competitor’s internet can be a major disturbance in gameplay for some people due to where they live which could be a disadvantage to showing their real talent.
Players can not be properly monitored in this environment for hacks or equipment modification and having to rely on competitor’s internet can be a major disturbance in participation and gameplay for some people due to where they live which could be a disadvantage to showing their real talent.
In order for this sport to become a real contender for being hosted at the Olympic’s, nations need to be able to create a method to properly regulate talent and allow its inhabitants to be able to compete without the restriction of networking or hacking which will cause problems to competitors, Additionally this sport will not be taken seriously by the masses as its seen as immature with it being unable to regulate and organise proper national events to endorse fair play.