The International Olympic Committee (IOC), in collaboration with The Global Association of International Sports Federations, announced this week it will host an Esports Forum on July 21.
The main goal of the initiative is to create stronger ties between the esports industry and the Olympic Movement.
Exploring synergy for future collaboration
According to the news release, the forum will attempt to build understanding and set the stage for future collaboration between the esports industry and the Olympic Movement. The event attendees will come from various fields within the competitive gaming scene. These include professional organization representatives, sponsors, and event management companies.
From the Olympic side, members of National Olympic Committees, International Sports Federations, and athletes are expected. The Olympic Museum in Lausanne, Switzerland, will host the event.
“We understand that sport never stands still, and the phenomenal growth of esports and gaming is part of its continuing evolution,” said GAISF President Patrick Baumann. “The Esports Forum provides an important and extremely valuable opportunity for us to gain a deeper understanding of esports, their impact and likely future development, so that we can jointly consider the ways in which we may collaborate to the mutual benefit of all of sport in the years ahead.”
Riot Games, Blizzard Entertainment, Twitch, and Intel will reportedly all have their representatives join the discussion.
According to an article by SportsBusiness Journal, Intel will be represented by VP/GM Esports & Gaming John Bonini, Riot CEO Nicolo Laurent and Co-Head of Esports Jarred Kennedy, Blizzard by President and co-founder Mike Morhaime, and Twitch by Head of Esports Justin Dellario.
Esports and the Olympics
There’s been ongoing talk about the inclusion of esports in the Olympics, an idea that would further solidify the industry’s global presence. Back in 2016, the International Esports Federation launched an initiative to bring esports closer to the Olympic Games.
Moreover, Intel announced a new version of its popular Intel Extreme Masters tournament ahead of last year’s Winter Olympic Games in South Korea. While the event received mixed responses, it was still an important step forward.
There’s no doubt the upcoming Esports Forum is a very positive development.
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