Paris Considering eSports Addition To 2024 Olympics Competition
The official announcement that Paris will hold the 2024 Summer Olympic Games is expected to be made next month. The only two cities vying to host the 2024 Olympic games were Paris and Los Angeles, and when LA agreed to take the 2028 games, 2024 went to Paris by default. When it comes to the Summer Olympics, big sports like gymnastics, swimming and track and field remain popular and highly watched, but organizers are looking to reach out to a younger audience when it comes to viewership.
The younger generation of people out there are finding little that appeals to them during the Olympics, but that may be changing. Tony Estanguet, the co-president of the Paris Olympic Bid Committee, has recently said that he has agreed to hold talks with representatives from the International Olympic Committee and the eSports gaming world about the possibility of including competitive gaming in the 2024 Olympic games.
The inclusion of eSports in the Olympics would be huge for the community as a whole, and with huge numbers of young people attending professional eSports tournaments and watching events stream via Twitch and other services, the boost for the Olympics could be huge as well. Competitive gaming could make the Olympic games relevant for modern youths and gamers. Blizzard and Twitch have an exclusive deal in place for game streaming and competitive gaming continues to grow thanks to legions of fans and significant money up for winning tournaments.
"We have to look at it because we can't say, 'It's not us. It's not about Olympics,'" Estanguet said in an interview with the AP in London. "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.
"I don't want to say 'no' from the beginning. 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."
Exactly what the 2024 Olympics will look like will begin to be shaped in 2019, and reports indicate that the International Olympic Committee wouldn't make a decision on eSports in the 2024 games until after the 2020 games to be held in Tokyo.
"There is some time to look at it, to interact, to engage," Estanguet said. "We will spend some time after Lima to engage with new people and stakeholders. The IOC will have the last ... say, if they want eSports on the program. Let's discuss among ourselves."
Drawing in eSports crowds for the Olympics and boosting TV ratings could go a long way toward helping host cities offset the massive cost of hosting Olympic games. Tokyo is said to be spending $12.6 billion on its games; the original estimate was $6.6 billion when Tokyo won the right to host the 2020 games back in 2013.