It’s happening: esports is coming to the olympics — sort of.
On September 11, Intel announced that it will be hosting the Intel World Open in Tokyo in the lead up to the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympic Games.
The Intel World Open will be happening at Tokyo’s Zepp DiverCity venue on July 22 – 24, 2020 and feature Street Fighter V and Rocket League with a combined prize pool of $500,000 (PHP25 Million). This means that the tournament will be ending on the same day the Olympics kick-off.
Backed by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), any individual from the countries participating in the 2020 Summer Olympics may register for the open online qualifiers and compete for the chance to join their national team. Following this, a live event in Katowice, Poland will determine the countries that will ultimately be competing in Tokyo.
This is not the first time esports has been tied into the Olympics. In 2018, Intel and the IOC teamed up to host Intel Extreme Masters Pyongchang — a Starcraft II event — right before the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics in Korea. However, IEM Pyeongchang was a closed doors event and was only available to be spectated via livestreaming. The Intel World Open will be, as the name implies, open to the general public.