eSports Garners Significant Debate in International Olympics Committee Forum on Gaming
The Olympic Games' governing body gathered with more than 150 representatives to discuss gaming and eSports for future Olympic competitions.
The governing body for the Olympic Games, the International Olympics Committee (IOC), hosted a forum over the weekend to discuss the possibilities of making eSports a part of 2024’s global competition in Paris.
The forum, held in Lausanne, Switzerland, saw the IOC and the Global Association of International Sports Federation (GAISF) opening a dialogue concerning the competitive side of video gaming before a crowd of more than 150 representatives from all corners of the gaming industry. These included event organizers, professional players, publishers, and sponsors. Representing the Olympic Games were athletes, broadcasters, National Olympics Committees, and partners, as well as the IOC and GIASF.
Although the forum was created to discuss gaming’s place at the Olympics, it was not aiming to make this happen immediately. Instead, it focused how it could be implemented into the competition; speaking in depth about whether or not gaming could be viewed as a sport, and what form it could take if represented. The topic of eSports is scheduled to come up again a number of times in the coming months and will be raised before 206 National Olympic Committees at XXIII ANOC General Assembly in November.
Among those in attendance was Houston Outlaws’ Overwatch professional Jacob “Jake” Lyon. Speaking about the event, Lyon said:
“It was great to be able to participate in today’s Forum with the Olympic Movement. I think both communities were interested to learn from each other and I think it demonstrates the growing importance and following of eSports around the world. There is much opportunity for each movement to learn and grow from the other’s experiences.”
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