Discussions have been floating for years about the inclusion of esports into future Olympic events and now the International Olympic Committee has agreed to meet with prominent esports influencers at a summit this month in Lausanne, Switzerland to seriously discuss the possibility.
The summit will be held July 21st and will be moderated by Rick Fox. The former professional basketball player for the Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers has heavily invested in esports in the past couple of years, establishing his own esports franchise – Echo Fox. Echo Fox currently yields teams in League of Legends NALCS, CS:GO, Call of Duty, Gears of War 4, Vainglory, and Fighting Games.
Other members in attendance will include representatives of Riot Games, Epic Games, ESL, and Blizzard to name a few. Overwatch players Jake of the Houston Outlaws and Geguri of the Shanghai Dragons will be among the esports athletes invited as well.
Kit McConnell, IOC Sports Director stated there are many issues that need to be addressed before esports is seriously considered for the Olympics: “We would have to deal with a single, recognized federation or body that represented the whole of the esports community, the same way we deal with FIFA for football, the IAAF for athletics, and so on.”
To be proactive about this concern, representatives of the International e-Sport Federation and the Asian eSports Federation will also be in attendance as governing esports bodies.
Another issue is the amount of violence in some games such as Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. The IOC has strongly stated in the past games with “a strong reflection of violence” will not be part of the Olympic movement. This will obviously narrow down the games that would be chosen to participate which will also be addressed at the forum.
As an initial push and showcase for esports in the Olympics, six titles will be featured as an Official Demonstration Sports at the 2018 Asian Games with esports as a medal event in 2022. The upcoming forum and these demonstrations could lead to the potential of esports in the 2024 Olympics in Paris.
Esports Insider says: Going through measures like holding this forum will lead to open and honest discussions about esports in the Olympics and will hopefully only lead to good things. We hope the result of these talks and the showing at the Asian Games will lead to esports in some fashion at the 2024 Olympics in Paris.