In 2020, baseball and softball will be making a return to the summer Olympics in Tokyo. In 2024, Olympic athletes could potentially be competing in Super Smash Bros. and League of Legends.
With the rise of esports, even the International Olympic Committee is seeing an opportunity to introduce a new sport to the lineup of Olympic events when the games head to Paris in 2024. According to a report from The Guardian, the IOC and executives from the emerging esports industry are expected to get together to discuss the possibility of adding esports events as official Olympic sports.
“We have to look at it because we can’t say, ‘It’s not us. It’s not about Olympics,’” Tony Estanguet, co-president of the Paris Olympic bid committee, said 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.
At this time, this is simply in an explorative state to see if esports can find a place in the Olympic lineup. The addition of esports events would be similar in nature and objective to when the Olympics added events more commonly seen in the X-games, like snowboarding half-pipe and racing events. the addition of those types of events were included because of the rise in popularity as well as the mission of attracting new viewers to the Olympics. The Tokyo games will also be adding BMX freestyle and three-on-three basketball. Adding esports events would be no different in overall nature.
Making this even more of a possibility for the 2024 Olympics is the recognition of esports as an official classification in the 2022 Asian Games, which are managed by the IOC.