As esports continues to grow and expand, many have debated the possibility of it becoming an Olympic event. Recent news has shown that esports is growing to become a highly professional industry. Top gamers have gained classification as professional athletes. Likewise, health experts and trainers are eager to provide their services to teams. Shouldn’t these mean that esports is on track to be part of the Olympics?
The Esports Forum
Most recently, this matter was discussed during the Esports Forum with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and members of the Global Association of International Sports Federation (GAISF). Pro gamers, casters, and streamers rubbed shoulders with Olympic athletes and officials. Everyone kept an open mind. Delegates sought means to bring together different groups and organizations.
In the end, the inclusion of esports in the Olympics was still up in the air. According to the IOC:
The Forum explored areas of commonality and potential collaboration, including the question of whether esports could be recognised as a sport, and in which form they could be represented within the Olympic Movement, when an organisation does not currently exist that represents esports globally and could align with the Olympic values, rules and regulations. For this reason, the consideration of whether esports could be included on the Olympic programme was not an immediate goal of the Esports Forum.
Esports in the 2024 Paris Olympics?
For the most part, what the IOC and GAISF are trying to do is to find a means of potential collaboration. We don’t know yet what that would entail. Suffice to say, the best case scenario would be having esports as a demonstration event. This would be akin to its inclusion in the 2018 Asian Games where League of Legends, Clash Royale, and StarCraft II among others, will be front and center. Then again, we also know that giant conglomerates such as Alibaba played a key role in bringing about that result.
Will we see esports in the Olympics by 2024? Time will tell. Perhaps the IOC just needs a little nudge to get the ball rolling. Kind of like what Microsoft did when it formed a partnership with the Special Olympics and gave participants a chance to try out Forza Motorsport 7.
Image and video courtesy of Olympic.org