IOC to host eSports forum to discuss potential collaboration
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the Global Association of International Sports Federations (GAISF) will be jointly holding an eSports forum on July 21 at the Olympic Museum in Lausanne, Switzerland. According to the IOC, the eSports forum aims to "explore synergies, build joint understanding and set a platform for future engagement between the esports and gaming industries and the Olympic Movement." Publishers, eSports players, media, sponsors, event organizers, and Olympic Movement representatives will be attending the forum.
The eSports forum will feature interviews and keynotes from the whos who of the eSports and Olympic Movement fraternity. It will also discuss about the players and gender equality in eSports. The forum covers the similarities and differences between traditional sporting federations and eSports organizations and will also explore opportunities in media broadcasting to broaden fan bases. Meeting with the players and their teams will help the IOC to understand what defines an eSports 'athlete' and associated factors such as health, wellness, post-retirement opportunities, and player-fan engagements. Lastly, the forum will also explore investment potential in eSports and how both eSports and traditional sports can work in unison.
Patrick Baumann, President, GAISF, said, "Along with the IOC, the GAISF looks forward to welcoming the esports and gaming community to Lausanne. We understand that sport never stands still and the phenomenal growth of esports and gaming is part of its continuing evolution. 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."
While eSports does have stark dissimilarities to traditional sport, it does share many baseline qualities such as sportsmanship, team spirit, passion, and competitiveness, which are the hallmarks of the Olympic Movement. Having eSports included in a future Olympic tournament could give this new age sport a much needed impetus and help in the mushrooming of new talent all over the world. The popularity that eSports stands to gain via the Olympics will also help in boosting revenues of OEMs and in turn drive up innovation and affordability.