With the Olympics front and center across the globe recently, we here at Shacknews got to wondering which video games would make a good event. There were a few obvious choices from our staff, and there were a few not-so-obvious picks. Take a look at them below and be sure to weigh in via the Chatty thread at the end of the article to let us know your choice for a game you could see as an Olympic event.
Question: What game would you like to see as an Olympic event?
Tetris - Ozzie Mejia, Senior Bronze Medalist
Tetris is a universal game, one that tests the mind far more than it tests the body. If chess is an Olympic sport (and it isn't), why shouldn't Tetris be one?
We've seen the concentration, dexterity, and focus required to be a Tetris champion. We've eagerly covered the annual Tetris World Championships and we've seen what it takes to stand among the best. Now imagine the top countries in the world going at it for national pride. There'd be no better game to represent the medium than Tetris.
Fortnite - Donovan Erskine, World Cup attendee
One of the best parts of the Olympics is marveling at the sheer talent and skill on display, appreciating people that are capable of feats you could probably only dream of. That’s exactly how I feel watching highly-skilled Fortnite players go at it. Out of any esport, Fortnite is one of the most entertaining to watch. It’s simply electric. I was in the arena in New York for the first ever Fortnite World Cup and the moment that Bugha won the grand prize, it felt like I was watching the Super Bowl. Fortnite as an Olympic sport would not only be highly competitive, it would be one of the most entertaining games at the event.
Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Games - Blake Morse, Co-EIC
Okay, maybe it’s a bit of a cop-out, but think about it. You could have Olympic-level athletes take on two of the video game world’s most iconic characters in a digital version of a sport that they’ve more than likely spent their entire lives training for. I mean, it’s not that uncommon to see NFL pros playing Madden or folks from the NBA taking a crack at NBA2K. And would it not be awesome to see a track and field runner try to beat Sonic in a 100-meter dash? It might be a super-meta concept, but I think it would be a fun one to watch play out.
Fortnite - Sam Chandler, Let’s not kid ourselves
I originally started writing about a game I’d like to watch, but who am I kidding? The game most likely to be featured at the Olympics at this point is Fortnite. It’s full of fast-paced combat, intense moments, and a whole lot of spectacle. In fact, take the Olympic opening or closing ceremony, put them inside Fortnite and I’d wager you’d have more people tuning in to the event. I mean, you’d certainly draw in a whole new generation of viewers. As much as I’d like to see Halo Infinite under the Olympic banner, I think in terms of bringing in new viewers, and offering sponsors a larger audience, Fortnite is the best choice for the Olympics.
QWOP - Chris Jarrard, Better Opinions Than Other Staff
Only the most intense game of all time would be suitable for Olympic competition. I would love to watch folks from all over the globe struggle to make a computer man run. I also suspect the the competitive fire inside these world-class athletes will lead to new ways of forcing the computer man to run at world-record pace. Never stop pumping the thighs and calves.
Rocket League - Bill Lavoy, Patron of Club Hölle
I’m going with Rocket League. If we’re going to bring video games to the Olympics, I think we start with something that resembles a traditional Olympic event, such as soccer. Dip your toe in the water and show folks how awesome video games are, and since Rocket League is a fantastic game that anyone can enjoy, I think it makes sense. If you want to go deeper, it’s an easy game to play but a tough game to master. It’s also got crossplay and is on loads of platforms, so anyone watching Rocket League in the Olympics has an easy path to try it themselves. I think these are key factors, and Rocket League is a no-brainer for me.
Rocket League - TJ Denzer, knows how to rockets ‘n such
I think in all of the games I have seen played competitively, Rocket League may be the easiest to understand, one of the toughest master, and the most impressive to see played at a high level. Anyone can boost and bop the ball towards the goal. I have watched people hover on their rockets, booping the ball off the nose of their car, and juggle it into the goal like a trained circus seal. I can certainly play it, but I’m nowhere near that good.
It truly does feel like the difference between playing basketball with your buds and then watching someone like Michael Jordan or Kahwi Leonard play - folks that are just on another level. It goes beyond your own skill to the understanding of both the physics of the ball and playing field and how your skills might best make use of that. And I think those folks who do it best deserve to be recognized because of the talent and dedication it takes to play at that level. Also, I would absolutely love to see more reason for Rocket League squads from around the world to meet up, play, present their unique strategies, and generally hash it out to see who is best.
Marvel vs Capcom 2 - Greg Burke, Head of Video
I really miss this fighting game, and since our new Social Media Manager, Denny, has come on board I feel it pops up a lot more in casual conversation. Would be cool to see a resurgence with it, and maybe even get a new MvC game out of it.
Mario Kart - Steve Tyminski, Stevetendo show host, power-walking gold medalist
The Olympics are going on as we speak and it got us thinking about what video games would make good Olympic events. I feel like Mario Kart would make a good event, as there are plenty of racing events held every Olympic cycle so why not have some more? Mario Kart has a large luck factor and the Olympics are the same way. There are plenty of sporting events where the best team doesn’t win because one team got hot at the right time. Another option could be time trials if the Olympic committee doesn’t want to rely on luck, but luck creates parity in sports.
Super Smash Bros. Melee - Bryan Lefler, Co-Host of Wide World of Electronic Sports
While I hope esports becomes a normal part of the Olympic Games, there’s only one that I think has the same pick-up-and-play design that is married with a limitless skill-ceiling that is also reminiscent of real-life sports, and that’s Super Smash Bros. Melee. (What, you thought I was going to say Rocket League?)
Melee is one of the oldest esports that still enjoys high-profile and large prize pool tournaments today. It has true world-wide appeal with professional and upcoming players from all over the globe. At the highest level of play, Melee transforms from a party game into a furious and fluid ballet between two competitors. Few fighting games are as pure and enjoyable to spectate.
The Smash Bros. scene also has notable players and casters from almost two decades of competition to draw on for commentary and broadcasting. To me, Melee just makes the most sense. I would be happy if any one-on-one fighter became an official Olympic sport, but Super Smash Bros. Melee deserves it the most.
Street Fighter V - Dennis White, Community Manager
What better game to be part of the Olympics than Street Fighter V? Street Fighter has been known for being a global game for decades with a healthy competitive scene and one of the largest world tournament series on the planet in Capcom Cup. Players and characters are the World Warriors in this situation and we could see some amazing set play with multiple formats including 1v1 match-ups round robin style and also team based competitions like 5v5 or 3v3 matchups based on qualifiers. The heart of the champion is created on a world stage and I think we would see some serious pride and diversity with how well represented every region is in current competition. Also the talent pool for commentary would really bring something unique to the games. Just thinking about a game winning Raging Demon getting landed in front of an Olympic crowd gives me chills.
There you have it, Shacknews' staff picks for games that they could see as an Olympic event. Let us know what you think of our picks, what we might have overlooked, and what your personal choices would be. Join us each Friday for our weekly Shack Chat discussion.
Shack Staff posted a new article, Shack Chat: What game would you like to see as an Olympic event?
Double Fine Happy Action Theater
Did you see Ozzie's pick?
Street fighter or mortal kombat
Only something physical where you have to use your whole body like Dance Dance Revolution, Beat Saber.
A special Olympic level Wii Sports would be pretty great to watch.
Rocket Jumping but in real life with real rockets
Rocket League, for sure.