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In a welcome news to the Esports enthusiasts across the world, Leopold Chung, the secretary general of the International e-Sports Federation (IeSF), has revealed that the federation is “deep in talks” with organisers of the 2024 Paris Olympics about the possibility of including the event as a demonstration sport at the Games.
Esports is the real-time, multiplayer competition involving a host of electronic games. It has quickly attracted about 250 million players worldwide. The number of players is much more than what several traditional Olympic sports federations have managed together so far. The worth of the Esports market is estimated to be about a billion dollars a year.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) recognised Esports as a competitive sports activity in November, paving the way for its inclusion in Olympics and other international sporting events.
Esports will feature as a demonstration sport in this year’s Jakarta Asian games and will become a proper medal event at the 2022 Asian Games Hangzhou, China.
Chung said in a telephonic interview: “It won’t be possible to be an official discipline but to be a demonstration title within the Paris Olympics. The local Olympic organizing committee and the city are supporting this movement, so this will be a stronger message towards the IOC that esports could be included as a demonstration title in 2024.”
Esports is a format fuelled by the game’s developers and publishers. The IeSF is the first attempt for developing a global organisational and regulational body that could promote Esports.
At present, it has 46 members and hosts an annual Esports World Championship involving three major gaming titles – Counter Strike, League of Legends and Tekken.
The Esports economy is expected to grow 38% this year when its global audience is expected to reach 380 million.
“Paris would one day like to become an esports hub for Europe,” said Chung.
“There are great engagement numbers, great fan numbers who live in France and especially in Paris, who would definitely want to come to an esports game.”
The IOC is fully aware of Esports’ rapid growth and its popularity among young people, making it an attractive proposition to refresh its own ageing audience and make the Games relevant to a new generation.
IOC President Thomas Bach acknowledged the popularity of Esports among young people this month but was wary of its often violent or discriminatory content.
Source: European Gaming Industry News