Esports to enter the Olympics
Competitive gaming first entrance to the Olympic scene will be guided by Intel. As many know, the esports scene has constantly shown strong growth year after year, finally, the Olympic committee has shown interest in working with the industry.
Intel has officially announced they will be bringing ‘esports to pyeongchang (Korea) ahead of the Olympic Winter Games.” This is a certainly fitting decision considering Korea is the home to many of the best players in the major titles; StarCraft ll, League of Legends, CS:GO and Dota 2.
As the ‘esports’ scene is very big, Intel has kicked off their Olympic related event with 2 titles. StarCraft ll and the officially “licensed game of the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018”, ‘Steep road to the Olympics’. While the StarCraft ll scene has slowed down increasingly in the North American and European scene, it remains one of the top games in Korea.
Managing Director of IOC Television and Marketing Services, Timo Lumme, states his organization will continue to “explore esports’ relationship with the Olympic Movement further”. This clearly shows there will be much more to come in the future, considering the Olympic committee has finally decided to get involved in competitive gaming (after hesitating for years). Additionally, he mentions the event will be an important test to gauge whether to re-invest in the future and that they’re “interested to see how this experience will play out.”
The event will be completely open to the public, hoping participants will be made to go through ‘global online qualifiers’. As the StarCraft ll scene is more popular in Asia, especially China, there will be a special live qualifier event hosted in Beijing (December).
“The Intel Extreme Masters PyeongChang” will take place prior to the Winter Olympic Games in February. As it is partnership between Intel and the Olympic committee, the event will be endorsed and streamed through the “Olympic Channel” along with various “additional broadcast and digital partners to be announced in the near future”.
Considering the partnership between the Intel and the Olympic committee was announced mid this year in June, news of esports in conjunction with the traditional sporting organization was expected. Intel is certainly no new face in esports having hosted various events in the past, sponsoring the popular ‘IEM’ series since 2006. (IEM stands for Intel Extreme Masters).