Good news for video gamers everywhere: esports may be joining the Olympic Games as an official medal sport!
Esports, or electronic sports as it’s formally known, is a type of professional competition featuring video games as the mode of play, and is one of the fastest growing spectator sports on the planet.
Its popularity is so prevalent that it appears the International Olympic Committee is considering adding esports to the official Olympic program.
A recent interview between Tony Estanguet, co-president of the Paris bid committee, and the Associated Press revealed esports could be added to the programme for the 2024 Summer Olympics taking place in the French capital.
Estanguet confirmed his intention to speak with the International Olympic Committee and various esports representatives about the possibility of adding competitive video gaming to the Olympics, saying:
“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. 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.”
Estanguet isn’t alone in his vision for an esports inclusive Olympic Games; the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) announced in April that esports will be included in the 2022 Asian Games in China as a medal sport, referring to the decision to include electronic games as one that reflects ‘the rapid development and popularity of this new form of sports participation among the youth.’
It’s a wise move from both Estanguet and the OCA and one which will undoubtedly bring a whole new generation of spectators to the Olympic Games.
A recent forecast from newzoo predicts around 215 million people will be dedicated esports fans by 2019.