Paris Olympic Committee To Consider eSports For 2024

from the estadiums-are-cheap-at-least dept

While eSports, or competitive video gaming, has now been a thing for some time, it's rather swift rise in stature is still sprinting past milestones. Once a hobby sport relegated primarily to a few countries in Asia, eSports has since seen its inclusion in college athletics, in coverage on ESPN, and into the business models for real-life major sports leagues. If you were tracking what would be the next natural progression on the eSports legitimacy map, you wouldn't be surprised that the latest milestone reached is the consideration for making eSports a medal event in the Paris Olympic games scheduled for 2024.

The Paris Olympic bid committee will consider esports for inclusion as a medal event in the 2024 Olympic Games, according to Tony Estanguet, the committee’s co-president. Estanguet told the Associated Press that talks have been scheduled with the International Olympic Committee and with esports representatives “to better understand what the process is and why it is such a success.”

Estanguet also had some thoughts for esports skeptics out there: “We have to look at it because we can’t say, ‘It’s not us. It’s not about Olympics.’ The youth, yes they are interested in esport and this kind of thing. Let’s look at it. Let’s meet them. Let’s try if we can find some bridges.”

If you might be thinking that this consideration will meet the same swift death past niche competitions have met at Mount Olympics -- competitive poker for instance -- it's worth noting that the distinction here is the medal event, not the inclusion in Olympic games generally. The Rio games already showcased eSports competitions as exhibition matches and Asia's Olympic Council has already included medal events for eSports in the 2022 Asian Games. It seems whatever fortifications have been built against eSports gaining entry to the Olympic castle have already been splintered, making eSports' inclusion in 2024 all the more possible.

Still, we'll have to wait to find out the verdict on this one.

The Paris Olympics 2024 program will be finalized after the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, so the committee will have years to consider the question and take note of the reception to these showcase competitions.

“There is some time to look at it, to interact, to engage,” said Estanguet. “The IOC will have the last say, if they want esports on the program.”

I for one am greatly looking forward to the great fustercluck that will be the IOC's enforcement of its claimed intellectual property rights over the broadcasting of competitions using copyrighted and trademarked gaming content specifically to a fanbase that, by its nature, knows how to use technology to subvert both. Should be fun.

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Filed Under: 2024, esports, olympics


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  1. icon
    PaulT (profile), 14 Aug 2017 @ 7:01am

    Re: What is really holding back Esports

    "Even if they wanted to pick a game for the Olympics...which one would they pick? Would they "balance patch" it before? Do they use that same game 4 years later even if nobody is playing it by then?"

    Well, that would be something they would need to sort out, but my guess would be that they take input from the various leagues that are already running. Generally speaking, each game works within a general genre, so you'd just take from whatever's more prevalent at the time. So, for example, you have an event in FPS, a MOBA event, an RTS event and so on. The title generally doesn't matter, and you review the entries every 4 years to ensure that the whole field is well represented, that you're not keeping open flawed titles with known exploits, etc.

    "How can an average person whom doesn't have intricate knowledge keep up and be interested in eSports"

    A lot of people watch sports they have no exposure to when the Olympics are on that they never watch the rest of the year. I know a *lot* of people (myself included) who never look at a track, swimming, diving or equestrian event unless they're on the Olympics, let alone winter stuff like luge or curling. They know roughly how the game is played, but they don't know that much outside of "Mo Farrah might break another world record" or some hype before the Olympics start.

    Why would people need "intricate" knowledge to watch eSports when most barely know the rules of all the other events?

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