10 August 2016 - 18:41

Six games I'd rather see at the Rio eGames

The International eGames Committee announced the two games and countries competing in the Rio de Janeiro eGames Showcase and here are my thoughts.
Dot Esports

Right now, the Rio de Janeiro Olympics are underway and there is an exciting new venture being discussed: the addition of esports.

Up until recently, a lot of information about the eGames wasn’t out there for us to really know what was going to go down. Today, the The International eGames Committee announced that the Rio de Janeiro eGames Showcase 2016 would host SMITE on Aug. 15 and Super Smash Bros. on Aug. 16. Viewers will be able to watch both days courtesy of ESL. Players will not be competing for money, but for nationalism and eGames medals.

Honestly, the announcement gets a judge’s score of five from me. I don’t even know if this event will be bronze tier in comparison to weekly events. The concept of the eGames is great, but it is all about the execution.

Lacking viewership and interest

For SMITE, it is a showmatch of Brazilian players. There will be no other countries playing in this game.

Now, this is an odd pick to me, because there aren’t many PC-based teams compared to other games and furthermore there are six Brazilian teams according to Esports Wikis. Sure, this should make the SMITE portion of the event fit within a day, but that isn’t the only problem.

Even as someone who is working within the esports scene, I rarely see anything going on with SMITE. It just doesn’t have a huge esports draw at the moment when the scene is focused on games like DOTA 2, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, League of Legends, Overwatch and more.

This game could have been picked due to it being easy to understand and the use of a variety of Gods from eight pantheons. However, I personally don’t see many from outside of those in the esports scene watching the eGames, so I feel like that point could be irrelevant.

Super Smash Bros. is a well-known game, so I can understand why it has been picked, but there are still some problems. While the Smash community is huge, especially with tournaments like CEO and EVO, it just doesn’t have as much of a draw as other big games, similar to SMITE.

Fighting games are simple and easy, but the mechanics still require skill. That is a bonus, but most of the time, that doesn’t help viewer counts.

Four countries will have representatives competing in this event. The players and countries known to be competiting are:

  • Elliot "Ally" Carroza-Oyarce (Canada)
  • Leonardo “MKLeo” Perez (Mexico)
  • Larry Larry Lurr” Holland (USA)
  • James "J.Miller" Miller-Igietseme (Great Britain)

Another player, Darien “Wabz” Jardine is listed on eGames’ website and will be shotcalling alongside casters Richard “Keitaro” King Jr. and Maximillian “JuiceDoom” Krchmar.

I have to admit, I believe that Smash will have a higher interest for fans compared to SMITE. The players selected are heavy hitters, as Ally is the reigning EVO champion and Leo is a Smash Factor 5 winner. But compared to other esports, it has trouble obtaining and staying in the limelight, even though many enjoy it.

Where is the representation?

There isn’t enough representation for different countries in the eGames. There are five teams in the eGames; five nations out of 207 in the Olympics. There are so many countries in Europe alone that have esports teams.

It is a worldwide phenomena, too. The committee is leaving out some big countries, such as those in Asia-Pacific, just because this is the first year of the eGames.

Yes, the eGames are only two days long. However, since these events aren’t televised and are streamed on Twitch, the tournaments could be longer. There is actually a slight lull right now with major tournaments for premier esports.

Something I wanted to draw attention to was the amount of countries, 50, that have eGames-associated Twitter accounts. I think this was one of the things that led some to believe there would be more countries involved. I think those of the esports industry can see the diversity other games have in respect to talent from various nations in the Americas, Europe and Asia.

There are so many more options for games that allow for other countries to compete. Many professional players are even sporting their country’s flag as their player icons to show support. It’s not like these guys don’t care about the Olympics.

Six games I’d rather see at the eGames

And so this brings me to the six games I would rather see in the eGames. Hopefully, the Olympics will give esports another go at the Tokyo Olympics in 2020 and offer a different selection of games that are guaranteed to get huge audiences.

Before I give my list, I will say that some of these games would perhaps not evoke a public interest outside of gamers. However, these games are still better for the Olympics in my eyes, but I will also add in why that game may not be in the interest of the spirit of the games. 

  • Dota 2
  • This MOBA has been a staple of the scene for years, though I can see how it could be difficult to get the players from Seattle, Washington from The Invitational 6 to Brazil so quickly.
  • League of Legends
  • Another important MOBA in the esports lineup and a game players flock to from all over the world. Heck, Riot Games could have potentially done olympiad skins for summoners.
  • Counter-Strike: Global Offensive
  • Even though CS:GO is plagued with corruption at the moment, it still is a game that people get hyped about. People love to support teams, as many players have become hometown heroes. However, a problem with this title is the assumed (and unfounded) violence violent video games promote and global sensitivity to “terrorists.”
  • Overwatch
  • This game is picking up steam like nothing I have ever seen. This fast-paced arena shooter is exciting and in-your-face at times. The problem with this one is that it might go by too quickly for some audiences.
  • Heroes of the Storm
  • MOBAs are just popular and many gamers and outsiders know about at least World of Warcraft, especially with the release of the Warcraft movie. This one pulls characters from many Blizzard games and gives them new life in a quicker-style MOBA.
  • StarCraft II
  • Another classic in terms of esports and has positive renown from esports enthusiasts. This game also has tournaments that attract people from all over the world to play. The problem with this game is that some might not enjoy real-time strategy games.

I feel as if these games would amp up the interest in the eGames, but let’s remember that the selection of these titles are just my opinion. Not to mention, there are so many countries that participate in these games. With a better choice of games and the inclusion of more nations, which is what the Olympics are all about, it could bring prosperity to the eGames.

Hopefully, the eGames gets another go at the Tokyo Olympics, but I fear for the event if these games do not draw enough attention.

What are your thoughts on the game selection for the eGames? Let me know if you are excited to see these games or what you would have picked to see for the gaming olympics. Make sure to give @GAMURScom a follow on Twitter to keep up with esports news and coverage.

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