eSports could become an official Olympic medal sport as soon as 2024.
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The co-president of the bid committee for the Paris 2024 games, Tony Estanguet, has told the Associated Press that he intends to liaise with key players in the eSports world and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) about adding competitive gaming to the Olympic events programme.
He said: “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,” he added. “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.”
eSports has already been added to the event programme for the 2022 Asian Games in China. According to The Guardian, the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) made the decision in acknowledgement of “the rapid development and popularity of this new form of sports participation among the youth”.
eSports has grown hugely in popularity over the last decade. In 2015, it was estimated that competitive gaming was now attracting a global audience of 226 million.