The Paris Olympic Games May host the first eSports Tournament

Ruben Hill
August 13, 2017

Co-president of the Paris Olympic bid committee, Tony Estanguet, said that he is open to the idea. "It's not about Olympics, '" Estanguet told Associated Press.

"Look, there's 11 years before the Games, so it wouldn't hurt if they took a year or even six months instead of rushing", said Jed Parriott, an organizer of the NOlympics LA group. Estanguet, however, has said that he hopes to get all sides to interact with each other and "try if we can find some bridges" between the two sides.

Growing up, playing video games was all about bragging rights. The 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio featured an "eGames" showcase with exhibition matches rather than medal events; eight worldwide teams competed in Smite and Super Smash Brothers Wii U.

The eSports has already made its debut at the Asian Games and should be fully integrated into the programme of competitions as early as 2022. He discussed with them the probability of competitive gaming joining the 2024 Paris Summer Olympics program.

Estanguet, a three-time Olympic gold medal victor in canoe slalom, said the committee simply can't look the other way when it comes to eSports. "I think it's interesting to interact with the International Olympic Committee, with them, the esports family, to better understand what the process is and why it is such a success".

The interview also claims that Estanguet is of the belief that "a contest of digital prowess should be considered a legitimate sport", but also understands that the road to legitimacy, both in terms of broader public perception and in an official capacity at the Olympics, will not be a simple yes or no scenario.

ESports continues to grow, however, and inclusion in the 2024 Olympics would deliver a great deal of authentication to it being an actual sport.

The esports industry is expected to surpass $1 billion in revenue by 2019 and has reached the same level as professional baseball and hockey in terms of viewership, according to Sports Illustrated. Some of the most popular eSports games are Dota 2, League of Legends, Counter-Strike, Call of Duty, Overwatch and StarCraft II.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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