(ATR) The International Esports Federation opened bidding for its 11th world championship to be held in 2019.
An esports competition (Wikimedia Commons)
According to the federation cities have until September 30 to bid for the event, which has only been held outside of Asia once. The first IeSF World Championships was held in 2009 in South Korea, which has hosted six of the 10 championships so far.
Esports have grown in profile in recent years, and the federation has expressed interest in joining the Olympic program as soon as it can. The IOC will receive stakeholders from the esport industry for a one day summit in July as the two groups court each other.
The PyeongChang Olympics featured an esport showcase, put on by TOP Sponsor Intel. Esports will be a demonstration sport at the 2018 Asian Games before becoming a full medal sport at the 2022 Games in Hangzhou, China. The IeSF has said previously the federation would like to be included in the Paris 2024 program.
After a 2017 Olympic Summit the IOC has maintained that esports are a competitive activity, but the games played must adhere to Olympic values
before joining the Games program.
Three game titles will be contested at the 2018 IeSF World Championships. None of the three titles would likely be considered in line with the IOC’s vision for competitive esports, given the violent nature of each.
Currently the IeSF has only 47 member federations worldwide, which would need to be increased before Olympic inclusion would be feasible.
In a recent session of the St. Petersburg Economic Forum, Russian Minister of Sport Pavel Kolobkov discussed the growth of esports in the first event panel the sport received at the event. Kolobkov reportedly mentioned the IOC’s desire to integrate esports with traditional sports, according to Esports Insider
. He mentioned at the panel that the government was willing to work with the esports industry to help with standardization of regulations to help the sport’s development.
Written by Aaron Bauer
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