According to Logitech CEO, esports at the Olympics are ‘inevitable’
It’s a pretty bold statement, that’s for sure. Logitech CEO Bracken Darrell has very strong feelings on the topic of esports and their recognition as a ‘real’ sport. He used the word inevitable when talking about the future of esports and the Olympics.
Darrell’s company makes, of course, computers, computer parts, mobile phone accessories and more – recently, the team has begun to sponsor some top esports teams as well. This isn’t too unusual, as more and more companies with fer fewer ties to esports than Logitech has, are moving in on the esports investment market. Projected to turn into a billion dollar industry in the next few years, it’s not unusual to see big names that wouldn’t have looked twice at gaming six years ago muscle their way into sponsoring big name teams.
Logitech is a little more active than some other companies though – when the Olympic committee held a meeting in Lausanne, Switzerland where Logitech is based, Logitech actually attended it. This meeting was pretty big news – after all, one of the main topics of discussion was the inclusion of esports in the Olympics.
According to CEO Darrell, the meeting was less of a discussion of if esports will join the Summer Olympics, but rather a ‘how and when’ type discussion. “I think it’s inevitable. I think it will be part of the Olympics,” Darrell said on Tuesday.
“I’ll make another prediction which it’ll be hard to hold me to unless you have me on the show in 10 years or 20 years, but I think it’ll be the biggest sport in the world,” the CEO added. That’s a pretty bold statement, but given the rapid increase the esports sector has seen, a development that isn’t about to slow down, it’s not entirely outrageous either.
The Olympics have suffered from dwindling viewer numbers in recent years, which is what brought these discussions on in the first place – including esports in the summer games would be a good steps towards drawing in a younger audience.
The next Olympics will be in Tokyo in 2020 and esports won’t be ready in time for them, but Paris 2024 seems like a more and more sure trend. Darrell probably knows what he’s talking about too – Logitech has been taking a more active interest in gaming in the last few years and their first-quarter earnings for this year reported more than a 60% growth in the Gaming and Video sectors. These sectors include pieces like keyboards, mice, microphones and even webcams.
Darrell added that video gaming has reignited growth in his company’s webcam business, which is seeing double-digit gains as gamers and bloggers seek higher quality video equipment to film themselves playing games. From start to finish esports, streaming and gaming in general has been beneficial for Logitech in recent years, and the company was smart enough to move in on it.
“In 1965, 1968, 1969, I remember the NFL and the Super Bowl, how big it seemed then. Looking back on that, it was tiny,” Darrell remembered. “I think that’s exactly where we are now in gaming.” We can only hope he’s right!