But that possibility got even more real with the organizers of the Paris Olympic committee saying esports could be a part of the program.
Esports + Olympics = ?
Paris has not yet officially won the bid for the 2024 Olympic Games. But after Los Angeles got the 2028 Games, nearly everyone expects Paris to get the 2024 edition.
Those games, a little less than a seven years from now, could include esports, according to a report from The Associated Press:
On Tuesday, the co-president of the committee, Tony Estanguet, told the Associated Press he is mulling the addition of video gaming to the agenda. …
“We have to look at [eSports] because we can’t say, ‘It’s not us. It’s not about Olympics,’ ” Estanguet told the AP. “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 story, however, made it sound far from a lock that any esport would be included.
LA would also be readymade for esports
If esports doesn’t get on the program for 2024, expect a push for 2028. Previously, the group behind the LA bid also eyed esports for inclusion.
Staples Center and LA Live will almost certainly be a major venue used for Olympic happenings. LA Live owner AEG recently increased its investment in the esports space. One of its venues would certainly make sense to host esports on an Olympic stage.
Of course, there would be conflicts with basketball to manage, should Staples Center be chosen to host the esports competition.
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What could be on the Olympic agenda?
It’s not clear which games would be targeted for an Olympic launch. But it’s fair to say the current pool of games that are popular internationally would be possibilities, such as:
Although Counter Strike: Global Offensive is popular, it probably doesn’t make sense in an Olympic program because of its content.
Of course, between now and then, new games could develop, and current ones could fade. The Olympics are often slow to react on new sports, so what tack the Games might take on esports is unknown.
Olympics should look to cash in on esports trend
Many of the sports in both the winter and summer versions of the Olympics are extremely niche in terms of popularity. Esports would allow the Olympics to:
- Reach younger viewers.
- Increase its online presence, as esports are already entrenched in live streaming.
- Tap into an audience that numbers in the hundreds of millions, and is growing annually.
Much of the world has accepted esports as the wave of the future. Will the Olympics?