Paris is pretty much a lock to host the 2024 Summer Olympics, ever since Los Angeles ceded to taking the 2028 games. And the organizers are already considering one way to boost the games’ ratings and attendance: esports.
In a recent interview, Paris Olympic bid committee co-president Tony Estanguet confirmed that he plans to discuss introducing esports with representatives from both the esports industry and the International Olympic Committee.
“We have to look at it because we can’t say, ‘It’s not us. It’s not about Olympics,'” Estanguet said. “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.”
The IOC will begin looking at proposals to add events to the 2024 Olympics in 2019. The final decision on whether or not esports will be added to the games will happen after the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, if the process even makes it that far.
Considering the ever-evolving nature of the esports industry, it’s hard to say which specific games would be added to the Olympic schedule. The most popular esports right now—League of Legends, Dota 2, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, and Rocket League, to name a few—might not be around in another seven years. Even the four years between the decision to include esports and the Olympics themselves might mean a lack of relevancy for games that would be included.
It’s also too early to know what Estanguet means by bringing esports to the Olympics. Clearly, the teams will have to be international, but will they include players and teams across multiple games all competing for the same medals? Or will Dota 2 and Rocket League be considered two different Olympics events? And if League of Legends is selected as an Olympic event, are they just going to preemptively give Korea the gold medal, or will they keep up the facade and let everyone else compete?
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