Intel has announced that it will be bringing esports to the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, marking a new milestone in gaming competitions on the world stage.
Fans of sporting competitions in the virtual realm have been hoping for Olympic representation for decades, and now it could finally become a reality thanks to Intel.
The Intel World Open will take place on July 22-24 and will feature popular multiplayer titles such as Rocket League and Street Fighter 5, both of which have bustling competitive scenes at the time of writing.
Each tournament will feature a prize pool boasting a staggering $250k per game, so the winners will be in with a chance of earning some serious money. Here’s hoping it gives gaming a wider reputation amongst other Olympic sports, too.
Online qualifiers for the event will be held soon, and are open to anybody from represented countries, while the event itself will be held at Zepp DiverCity Tokyo in July 2020. That’s a huge shopping complex/concert venue with a massive Gundam statue outside, which is pretty rad.
It’s unusual that big hitters like Counter Strike: Global Offensive, League of Legends and DOTA 2 are missing from the selection of games, but after thinking about the reasoning it makes sense. Each of them already have major tournaments that draw in millions of fans, so why hold another at the Olympics purely to safe face.
The same principle can be applied to something like Overwatch or Starcraft, both of which already receive heavy investment from Blizzard Entertainment and wouldn’t warrant an inclusion.
If I was a developer, I’d love to put my product on the world stage in front of people who might not know anything about gaming, let alone competitive ones and the context in which they exist. We’ll see what happens, but it’s definitely a bright future for esports on the world stage.