LA 2024 Pledges to Bring eSports to Olympics
As whispered rumors and hopeful wishing turn into all-out debates on whether or not professional gaming belong in the Olympics, LA 2024 has penned a press release posted to Around the Ring claiming that they plan to bring eSports to the 2024 Summer Olympics.
The announcement comes just days after the conclusion of the League of Legends World Championship, which completely sold out the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California, the same venue that has been under consideration for hosting the Olympics.
With its recent explosion in popularity and recognition throughout the world, eSports has had a steady volume of critics that question its use of the term “Sports.” ESPN, what is arguably the largest flagship of sports coverage in the United States, opened an eSports division earlier this year. What should have further solidified pro gaming’s legitimacy only caused more controversy around the concept from both gaming fans and traditional sports fans alike.
However, LA 2024’s press release says nothing about whether or not the committee considered professional gaming to be a legitimate sport. Rather, the statements provided only mention a desire to turn the attention of millennials back to the Olympics.
“We view eSports’ immense global popularity and continued advances in digital technologies as tremendous tools for reconnecting Millennials with the Olympic Movement,” says LA 2024 Chairman Casey Wasserman, “The 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Los Angeles – a city always imagining what’s next, where sport, entertainment and technology mix like nowhere else – would enable the IOC to stay at the cutting-edge of digital youth engagement.”
During Rio 2016, viewership rating dropped a staggering 30% during the opening ceremony. Viewership rose during the games themselves, but ratings were still approximately 10% lower than what the 2012 Summer Olympics held; this was particularly astonishing for NBCU, who had been expecting ratings to be 10-15% higher. LA 2024 plans to capitalize on the younger generation’s obsession with video games and technology by including eSports to bring in a higher viewer rating.
“There are 100 million young people in the United States alone, and we regard hosting the summer Games for the first time in a generation as a unique opportunity to increase their enthusiasm for and participation in sport,” Wasserman continued, “Harnessing the power of new technologies like virtual and augmented reality to promote healthy lifestyles will be a key objective as we seek to create a new Games for a new era in 2024″.
The press release does not explain how they plan to include eSports or what kind of titles they wish to bring to the historic event.
A certified weeb that passionately live-Tweets his reactions from esports events, Sian is one of those people that hasn’t seen the sun in weeks. You can find him on Twitter @FriendlySenpai