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The once in a lifetime chance to build a new sport the right way

The once in a lifetime chance to build a new sport the right way

Esport is attracting more spectators than sports that have been around for decades.

The challenge to create a truly equal playing field across sport has been well documented. Whether it’s unequal athlete salaries, drastically different broadcast fees, or the gulf in spectator attendance, there is a growing divide between elite male sport and elite female sport.

The advent of a new sport changes that completely.

In an era of sport where the Olympics and Paralympics represent the two pinnacles of sport with very different parameters there has never been a sport, or an event which has created a truly equal environment for all competitors. Men and women since the beginning of sport have competed separately. Only on a few occasions have we seen men and women compete against each other. Mixed sports doesn’t adequately address the unlevel playing field and the reality is the disparity has been growing.

While a level playing field in many sports has been foiled by biology since the dawn of sport, a new sport, esport, is about to redefine what’s possible and what sport should be about.

The advent of competitive gaming has been viewed as a recent event, however, the reality has been that in parts of the world competitive gaming is decades old. Competitive gaming is the idea that two (or more) individuals compete against each other on the same platform in the same game. In Asia this has been televised for nearly 20 years across multiple terrestrial channels and as the rest of the Western World is getting up to speed we are only touching the tip of the iceberg.

What esports means for sport though, cannot be understated. We are looking at the rise of the first sport that has the ability to create a 100% level playing field where women can compete equally against men, and those of mixed ability can compete as equals. We are looking at the first sport with an undeniable female world champion after she has bested her male counterpart. We are looking at playing arenas that obliterate obstacles to inclusion and this is a once in a lifetime opportunity to take advantage of.

While esport is already being attached to multi billion dollar valuations, billionaire sports franchise owners are purchasing teams and publishers are racing to build competitive infrastructure there is the opportunity to “get it right” from the beginning. “Getting it right” means getting it right from grassroot development of esport and scouting female talent, through to creating a professional female scene that is not segregated but that competes button-for-button against any opponent.

There is a lot that is debated when it comes to esport and that is best saved for another day. However, one thing that cannot be debated is that esport is here to stay. This sport, it’s brands, and its athletes are only going to grow in stature, influence and power. What was that thing they say about power? Oh yeah! With great power, comes great responsibility.

Esport is the chance to get sport right from the beginning and to inspire future generations toward the ideals of true, unequivocal sportsmanship.

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Published

Thursday, January 24, 2019 - 10:28

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