LA 2024 Bid Committee Pledges to Add eSports to Olympic Program

Today, Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti is in Qatar presenting the city’s case for hosting the 2024 Olympics to the Association of National Olympic Committees. According to a press release from earlier this month, part of the city’s plan for their Olympic bid includes a focus on eSports (video games).

Last month, the city hosted the League of Legends World Championships in the Los Angeles’s Staples Center, home of the LA Lakers, Clippers, Kings, and Sparks. The event’s finals drew a crowd of 21,000. LA 2024 chairman Casey Wasserman highlighted the opportunity as an effort not to replace traditional athletic events, but to extend the Olympic movement to an even larger (and younger) crowd.

LA 2024 fully supports the IOC’s mission to get young people all over the world leading active, healthy lifestyles,” he said. “We view eSports’ immense global popularity and continued advances in digital technologies as tremendous tools for reconnecting Millennials with the Olympic Movement. 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.”

The IOC has already added (or brought back) baseball/softball, skateboarding, sports climbing, karate, and surfing to the Tokyo 2020 program.

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Bob
5 years ago

Seriously? Video games?

Jon
Reply to  Bob
5 years ago

I know to many older folks it may seen rediculous, however, the skill and knowledge that these players have is immense. Now the sport is very young and the makers of the game are changing it so the strategic planning also changes. But, this is almost no different than chess. Since the game is so large and has so many variables, no game will ever be the same. The top players in the world have so much knowledge and experience that few will ever reach those levels.

On a side note, it differs from most sports because it requires almost no athletic ability besides how long and fast you can click, but the underlying principle is that it requires… Read more »

Pvdh
5 years ago

How about no

hswimmer
5 years ago

LOL, made me laugh..

Kaez
5 years ago

This is insulting, adults who sit inside their basement all day playing videogames only lifting their hands are able to receive the same medal as an actual athlete who goes through INTENSE physical activity?

Hswimmer
Reply to  Kaez
5 years ago

Exactly

ATXswimmer
Reply to  Kaez
5 years ago

Please stop being ignorant and provincially minded if you’ve never attempted to try an esport at a professional level

Stay Human
Reply to  ATXswimmer
5 years ago

I know nothing about it; are there videogames that are at least as much physical as mental? That would be the cutoff for me.

Splash
5 years ago

I think we need to ask ourselves how we define “sport” in this instance. In some aspects these esports do fall into the same category as sport, whereas in other regards they are very different from sport. We need to ask ourselves if adding something such as esports will increase the reach and spirit of the Olympics. I know at the surface there are some very easy answers to these questions, but if we look a little bit deeper at things, the answer isn’t so clearly defined.

Nick
5 years ago

At first I read….ADD ESCORTS ….I was like “wow!” Ha ha a

Sven
Reply to  Nick
5 years ago

Now THAT would get some ratings. Fun for the whole family!

Sven
5 years ago

I’m against this, although I’m sure some will take issue with my reason why. Not on the basis of any distinction between E-Sports and traditional sports (anyone at the top level in either category is a more dedicated competitor than me, why nitpick about the activity itself?), but because the Olympic Games and the organization that runs it are already entirely too bloated and entrenched in the world of sport. I don’t want to see the IOC diversify its power over sport any further. Despite the IOC’s claims that their ideals are centered on the nobility and purity of sport and competition, it really is a corrupt organization, and I don’t want their reach to grow any longer. Obviously, any… Read more »

Sven
Reply to  Sven
5 years ago

My other hot take after some brief research on the global state of E-sports is this: Why is an American city the one trying to bring this to the table? We take so much pride in our medal counts every Olympics, but we might as well be giving the gold and silver medals to South Korea and China. That’s not intended to play on any stereotypes either, they really do clean up at E-sports.

For example:
This website lists earnings from E-sports by country: http://www.esportsearnings.com/countries
China earns more than us with almost 1/4 of the players, while Korea earns just a touch less than us with 1/4 of the players.… Read more »

About Hannah Hecht

Hannah Hecht

Hannah Hecht grew up in Kansas and spent most of her childhood trying to convince coaches to let her swim backstroke in freestyle sets. She took her passion to Morningside College in Sioux City, Iowa and swam at NAIA Nationals all four years. After graduating in 2015, she moved to …

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