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We knew that eSports were becoming more mainstream, but it looks like the best gamers in the world could be competing for Olympic medals in the coming years. According to a recent report, the Paris 2024 Olympic bid committee is open to the idea.
We've heard the idea of eSports becoming an Olympic event in the past, but those rumblings never really gained any traction. Now, it looks like the possibility is being taken very seriously. According to a recent report from the Associated Press (via ESPN), the Olympic bid committee for the 2024 games has its eye on eSports for possible inclusion.
In a recent interview, Tony Estanguet, co-president of the Paris Olympic bid committee, told the AP that there is a possibility eSports will be included in the biggest sporting event in the world come 2024.
Apparently, Paris and Los Angeles were in competition for the 2024 games, with L.A. eventually agreeing to step back and claim the 2028 edition. It's still kind of wild to think about how early they have to plan and prepare for these things. Anyway, as part of their bid proposal, Estanguet said that the Paris crew is seriously considering eSports for inclusion in their competitions in about seven years. Obviously, no talks on what games might be considered are even part of these early discussions. Sure, we've got games like Overwatch, League of Legends and the like that seem like the obvious choices, but a lot can happen over that period of time. Players may have moved on to something else by then. Or maybe eSports fizzles in a couple of years. That scenario doesn't seem too likely right now, but we figure Paris is being smart in saying they'll "consider" eGaming while they wait to make sure it isn't just a flash in the pan.
It's also kind of cool how respectful Estanguet is when discussing eSports. As the original story points out, no matter what your opinion of video games is, you can't deny they're growing in popularity, especially in competitive play.
As Estanguet puts it, "the youth" are interested in eSports and competing, so the committee is open to meeting with various organizations, seeing what they have to offer, and considering if they can "find some bridges." He adds that it will be interesting to meet with various eSports entities, see what their processes are and figure out why they've become so successful in recent years.
Again, this is a slow burn of a process. The events programing for the 2024 Paris event won't start to take shape until 2019, with the final say on whether or not eSports will be included coming after the 2020 games in Tokyo. That means Paris has a couple of years to feel out eSports, see how it evolves and decide if it is a good idea to introduce those types of competitions into the Olympics. So if you're, like, 10 years old right now, you might want to consider doubling down on your game time. It might pay off in 2024 with an Olympic medal.