Growing up, playing video games was all about bragging rights. Come 2024, it’s realistic that video games and esports could be played with something much larger at stake: Olympic medals. That’s because Paris, host of the 2024 Olympics, is considering adding esports as an event.
“We have to look at it because we can’t say, ‘It’s not us. It’s not about Olympics,’” explained Paris Olympic bid committee co-president Tony Estanguet in an interview with The Associated Press. “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 or not.”
Final decisions on additions to the Paris games won’t be made until 2020 leaving plenty of time for argument. A key cog in the decision of whether or not to add esports will be International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach.
A few months ago, Bach expressed concern to InsideTheGames.com over the possibility of adding esports to the Olympics. “We are not yet 100 per cent clear whether esports is really sport, with regard to physical activity and what it needs to be considered sport,” he said.
Bach isn’t the only one expressing that concern:
Just when I thought I couldn't love Paris any more, their Olympic committee is considering adding E-Sports as a medal event! Team #nerds! pic.twitter.com/TMF92d41m8
— Kristine Leahy (@KristineLeahy) August 9, 2017
It’s no longer correct to say esports interests only youth — it has exploded into something larger. For example, earlier this year it was announced that it will be a medal sport at the 2022 Asian Games.
The Los Angeles bid committee (which will host the 2028 Olympic Games) also previously pledged to use esports as a way to connect the younger generation the Olympics.
“I don’t want to say ‘no’ from the beginning,” said Estanguet on the possibility of esports. “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.”