Olympic officials take first steps towards recognizing Esports

eSports is gaining wide popularity among players in the sports industry and it’s this popularity that has attracted the attention from the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the Global Association of International Sports Federations (GAISF). These two organizations over the weekend organized a stakeholder’s forum that was attended by sports administrators, professionals and over 150 members of the gaming community which included pro-players, publishers and the media to discuss ways of integrating eSports in the world’s sporting stage. Do not confuse sports games online with eSports though, the most common game genres associated with esports are real-time strategy, first-person shooter (FPS) and multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA).

Image result for Spider SolitaireThough no dates were set for introducing eSports during the upcoming Olympic event a group consisting of IOC, GAISF, and eSport representatives was selected to spearhead conversations on potential partnership collaboration. The liaison group will present its ideas during a series of events organized by the Olympic committee to access the possibility of integrating eSports during the 2024 event.

The IOC Sports director applauded this idea saying that any sports that promote and supports the Olympic values should be considered in future tournament plans and that the liaison committee should not only focus on the integration of eSports to the Olympic program but also in other global sporting events. Though 2024 may be far, the eSports industry is not only aiming at the inclusion during the Olympics it also sees this as a good opportunity to keep the games relevant and fresh for the pro players and the younger generation.

This move comes after ESPN and Disney earlier this year eSports announced a deal that would see them broadcast for the first time an NFL- inspired competition where players compete on computers rather than on turf. The deal will allow for the broadcast the games also air stories of players.

With these latest developments in the eSports industry, it will be interesting to see how these negotiations continue for the inclusion of eSports in major tournaments now And in the future.