The IOC seems to increasingly embrace the booming eSports business. With a goal to add it in the Olympic program?
On 21 July, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the Global Association of International Sports Federations (GAISF) will organize an eSports Forum at the Olympic Museum in Lausanne. Representatives from the gaming industry (players, game developers, teams, sponsors, organizers) and from the Olympic movement (national Olympic committees, international sports federations, athletes and the IOC) will be present.
What is their goal?
By creating panel discussions, speeches and interviews 'creating a common platform that will benefit all parties in the future', according to GAISF President Patrick Baumann and IOC Sports Director Kit McConnell.
They did not coincidentally emphasize the phenomenal growth and continuous evolution of eSports. The number of fans, players and competitions has increased exponentially in recent years, just like the money that goes into it. The NBA, some European football leagues and other already have their own eSports competition.
In 2022, eSports will be picked up as an official sport at the Asian Games. There is still a big gap between this and really add it to the Olympic Games but it can go fast. eSports must first be recognized as an official Olympic sport, the same applies to the International eSports Federation as an official federation.
Fact is that the IOC now organizes a forum itself, indicates that the Olympic organisations are seeing more and more potential from the commercially interesting young eSports public. And then it seems only a matter of time before gamers at the Games will compete for medals. Paris 2024? Los Angeles 2028?
One thing we all understand: For the money, the Olympic bear also dances. To disbelief of those who love 'real' sport. Many sports desperately hoping to be accepted as an Olympic Sport but don’t succeed. I can understand it gives a double feeling to some people. Soccer also would be nice ...
Please share opinion. Would you love to see it as an Olympic Sport?