This Year's Rio Olympics Will Showcase Esports Too

The possibility of getting video games into the Olympics has been bandied around for a while, but it's not until this year that something concrete has finally begun to emerge. It's not officially affiliated with Rio itself, but during this year's Olympic Games there will be a two-day pop-up event for esports -- and it's backed by the United Kingdom.

Photo: eGames

The initiative is called eGames and it's pitching itself as an "international gaming tournament where national pride is the prize". They mean that quite literally too -- there's no prize money for winning the eGames, only the chance to officially represent your country and a gold, silver or bronze medal for the best.

The idea of a digital Olympics worked really well for the World Cyber Games, but Samsung -- which used WCG as a marketing tool -- at least invested enough money into the event to ensure that players walked away with something more tangible than a medal. Medals don't pay the bills. And with tournaments around the world offering millions of dollars of prizes it's hard to imagine a sense of nationalist pride surpassing players' looking after their financial interests.

Those uniforms look pretty sweet, mind you.

But it'll be interesting to see how this year's pop-up event goes. The International eGames Committee (IEGC) is the not-for-profit body responsible, and it's already overseen the establishment of advisory boards in Canada, the United States, and Brazil. "Each country will have a squad (eTeam) of gamers (male and female -- over 18) playing in team and individual games," the landing page says.

The first full eGames event will be a bi-annual affair and will begin in South Korea in 2018, with a second event scheduled two years later in Tokyo. "They will be taking place when there are no other major sporting events," the site advises, adding that domestic and national qualifiers will take place to determine representatives in 2017 and 2019 respectively.

Games for the pop-up event in Rio this year haven't been announced, although more details will be released in the coming months.

WATCH MORE: Gaming News


Comments

    Skeptical on its success is a gross understatement especially when theres a real lack of details. Especially in the fact that there are no games listed as of yet.

    Without a of a governing body in any country (The equivalent of a Football Federation Australia or Swimming Australia) for egames. Who's is gonna 1. hold a championship for selection and 2. pay for them to be sent abroad. Thats why most esports have prize money and are not just playing for "Pride"

    My prediction is its going to be a disaster and to people that view it from the outside, it will reinforce very stereotype about gaming and esports.

    I dont want it take it back

    This title is pretty misleading. They have made it clear a few times on the website it is not associated with the Olympic games in any way. They are just hosting an event in Rio. Here I was all excited for a moment!

      It says before the jump that it's not officially associated with Rio, and that paragraph is visible if you were looking on the site or RSS feeds, so that's a bit unfair.

        'This Year's Rio Olympics Will Showcase Esports Too' though... Olympics will have nothing to do with it. I get that you say that in the paragraph below, hence why I said 'title' and not 'article' :P

    Depending on the game this may end up being less fun to watch than the org based competitions.
    With games where it is a 1v1 situation this would still work quite well, as it could still be approached in the same way the comps normally are, just with some extra emphasis on the national pride.
    Team based games are the tricky one however, as a lot of players out there aren't always lone wolves and actually succeed not just based on individual skill but the way it all comes together with skill\tactics\teamwork.
    Considering this, a lot of teams are made up of players from many different countries (the FaZe CSGO team has players from 4 countries) - meaning players might be thrown together purely because they're from the same country and it could end with a bad result (unless you're Sweden).

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