Forum Lausanne: eSports at the Olympic Games?
On the 21st July 2018, in Lausanne, Switzerland, the first international forum was held to analyze and discuss the future of eSports at the Olympic Games. Organized by the International Olympic Committee (CIO) and the Global Association of International Sports Federations (GAISF), the meeting represented a fundamental step to illustrate and explore the opportunities to involve the video game category with the Olympic Movement. In fact, the aim of the forum was to analyze the actual possibilities of introducing eSports within the Olympic event.
The meeting was attended by distinguished figures such as, Nicolo Laurent, managing director of Riot Games (League of Legends), Nate Nanzer, commissioner of the Overwatch League, Justin Dellario, head of eSports of the streaming platform Twitch and Mike Morhaime, president of Blizzard Entertainment (StarCraft 2, Overwatch, Hearthstone).
The opening of the event was entrusted to Patrick Baumann, president of GAISF, who said that it is now necessary to build a solid link between the eSports community and the Olympics, also involving the values that the maximum sporting competition implies with it.
Baumann then gave the floor to Rick Fox, owner of Echo Fox, the North American professional team of League of Legends, purchased in December 2015 for a million dollars. Fox, after having called for the organization of successive forums, in an attempt to give continuity to the debate in question, has analyzed with other executives of the eSports world the level of development of the sector: how much it had grown in recent years; what were the priorities to face and the opportunities of growth of the sector; affirming, the importance of the collaborative theme with the Olympic movement. In particular, Fox wanted to highlight the important steps forward made by the universe of gamers, setting an example of its assertion of the increasing presence of sponsors interested in being involved.
At the end of the forum. The IOC and the GAISF confirmed the decision to set up the eSports Liaison Group (ELG), to continue and strengthen the discussion, and a further forum was agreed at the end of the year in Buenos Aires, in which the members will participate.
The dialogue, therefore, continues.