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The next time someone tells you to put down the video game controller, get off of the couch and finally do something with your life, just go ahead and tell them that you've got your sights on becoming an Olympian one day.
While that will surely get a strange reaction, just quietly smile and keep on playing, because Esports could become an Olympic sport by the year 2024, per ESPN, so who's to stop you from taking part?
LA 2024, the group organizing the 2024 Olympic bid for Los Angeles, is pledging to harness the popularity and technology of esports for their efforts to bring the Games back to the U.S. In a press release, the LA 2024 acknowledged the recent League of Legends World Championships, held in a sold-out Staples Center this past weekend, as inspiration for the announcement.
In a statement, LA 2024 Chairman Casey Wasserman said "we view esports' immense global popularity and continued advances in digital technologies as tremendous tools for reconnecting millennials with the Olympic movement."
With the immense popularity of Esports around the world—with the ESPN piece noting that a whopping 21,000 fans showed up for the 2016 World Championships final, and millions tuned in on Twitch and other broadcast services—adding it to the Olympics might not be as crazy as one might think.
Added Wasserman, via ESPN:
"Harnessing the power of new technologies like virtual and augmented reality to promote healthy lifestyles will be a key objective as we seek to create a new Games for a new era in 2024,"
After the IOC approved five new sports for the 2020 Games in Tokyo—baseball/softball, karate, skateboard, sports climbing and surfing—in hopes of connecting to a younger generation, Esports would be the ultimate sign of changing times for the typically conservative group.