Olympics Esports Opening Ceremony Attracts Over 1k Concurrent Viewers on YouTube

The Olympic Esports opening ceremony kicked off today, barely scraping past a 1,000 concurrent YouTube viewer peak over the course of the bombastic event. Now a video on demand, it sits at 10,000 total views several hours later.

It featured several live music and dance performances, as well as talks from members of the Olympic Council, Internation Olympic Comittee, and the president of the Republic of Signapore! The in-person crowd was packed full of suits and ties likely attending the Olympic Esports Forum – an invite-only event packed with industry talks and idea sharing. That’s what the Olympics is all about, baby!

The opening Ceremony, streamed live on YouTube and on the official Olympics website, kicks of a series of competitive events. On one hand you’ve got Chess, Street Fighter 6, Gran Turismo and Fortnite – all games with genuine esports communities across the globe. On the other hand you have Just Dance and Zwift. Not exactly bustling esports games, but popular nontheless. The remaining games can be found in the corner without much of a esports scene to speak of. Games like Tic Tac Bow and Virtual Taekwondo being developed by Refract Technologies, a company with leadership sitting on nation esports organisations (thanks Gamerbraves).

Ng Ser Miang, a board member of the Singapore National Olympic Council spoke on stage, stating: “Over the next few days, you will enjoy the thrilling finals of ten Olympic virtual sports. You will watch exciting live demonstrations of the world best atheletes and gamers competing with [eachother].”

Miang would continue: “The Olympic Esports week will showcase how technology and gamification will create new opportunity of sports. At the same time, highlighting the potential of sportifying esports and games.”

Internation Olympic committee president Thomas Bach would be next to speak, speaking to the crowd via a pre-recorded message. “The next days will be a time to make history. A celebration of the best of virtual sports and esports. A time for players to showcase their excellence and their passion for sports. To all the players I say, now is your moment to shine.”

The final speaker, Her Excellency Halimah Yacob, would pull a big digital lever starting the event in earnest. Before she did, Yacob would say: “We look forward to creating an unforgetable experience, where the world will witness the crowning the first ever Olympic Esports finals winners across ten sports, and catch exhilarating exhibiton matches across five others.”

Olympic Esports opening ceremony players

Believe it or not, there’s probably an Olympic champion in there.

So if it wasn’t clear before, the Olympics Esports week is half genuine competition to see who the best esports atheletes are across several games, it’s also a tech and business expo where interesting parties in tech, games, and sports can mingle and see the merits of such a collaboration in the future.

But with a seemingly low level of interest from esports fans online, how much legitimacy does this event actually have? The Olympics has plenty of prestige when it comes to traditional sports, and perhaps even virtual sports like Virtual Taekwondo, but will the best Fortnite pros in the world care about an Olympic Esports medal? It seems unlikely at this point in time.

But who knows, maybe this is a test case. A way of getting interest from non-gaming parties and building up momentum. Whatever the case, our eyes will be on the competition moving forward, even if not many others can say the same.

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