The International Olympic Committee (IOC), a non-governmental sports organisation based in Lausanne, has expressed interest in the increasingly popular sphere of competitive gaming.
However, the ICO has raised concerns over making e-sports a medal event due to the sometimes violent content of the games. During a 2017 summit, it was agreed e-sports could be considered a sporting activity with the caveat it must not infringe on Olympic values.
In addition, a lack of organisation guaranteeing compliance with the rules and regulations of e-sports was found be a hurdle towards it gaining IOC approval.
Intel, a partner of the Olympics, used the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Games as a platform to showcase 5G, VR, drones and artificial intelligence to demonstrate how tech can be used enhance the games.
Scott Gillingham, Intel UK’s gaming and e-sports lead, said: “We don’t have a view on whether it should be (included) or not but we’re totally open and have been talking to the Olympics to let them understand what e-sports is and what potential there could be for it. But, ultimately, it is down to Olympic Committee on whether they decide to bring it on.
“There are discussions between Intel and the Olympic Committee…but nothing at this point is confirmed but there are conversations. There are two-way discussions on what is e-sports, and again, from the Olympic Committee standpoint, they’re really asking us to help them understand what e-sports is.”
Reportedly the Paris 2024 Olympic organisers have held similar talks about including e-sports, hoping to make the French capital a European e-sports hub.
The e-sports market is rapidly expanding, with Goldman Sachs predicting its audiences will reach 194 million this year.