Video gamers may be Olympic participants
LONDON» Video gamers could be competing for Olympic medals by 2024.
Tony Estanguet, co-president of the Paris Olympic bid committee, said he will hold talks with esports representatives and the IOC about the possibility of gaming joining the 2024 program.
The explosion in popularity of esports events, drawing large crowds of youngsters to arenas for tournaments, has already seen gaming embraced by the Asian Games. It will become a full sport by the 2022 edition, although details of which games will be contested are yet to be provided.
Paris will be confirmed as 2024 hosts at an International Olympic Committee gathering in Lima, Peru next month after its only competitor, Los Angeles, agreed to take the 2028 Games.
Estanguet believes that a contest of digital prowess should be considered a legitimate sport if the Olympics is to maintain its relevance for new generations of fans.
“We have to look at it because we can’t say, ‘It’s not us. It’s not about Olympics,’” Estanguet said in an interview with the AP in London. “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.
“I don’t want to say ‘no’ from the beginning. I think it’s interesting to interact with the IOC, with them, the esports family, to better understand what the process is and why it is such a success.”
The 2024 program will start to be shaped in 2019.