The much anticipated Esports Forum hosted by the IOC and GAISF, the Global Association of International Sports Federations, took place on 21st July at the Olympic Museum. More than 150 participants have been invited for the day-long event, among them FIS Secretary General Sarah Lewis, who was part of a panel discussion on the topic of “Gender Equality in All Sports”.
The aim of the Forum was to explore synergies, build joint understanding and set a platform for future engagement between the esports and gaming industries and the Olympic Movement. Invited participants included representatives from across the esports and gaming ecosystem: players, publishers, teams, media, sponsors and event organisers; and from across the Olympic Movement: National Olympic Committees, International Sports Federations, athletes and the IOC.
IOC Sports Director Kit McConnell said: “The Esports Forum was a unique opportunity to hear from a wide variety of stakeholders, including some of the top players themselves. There was a consensus that future collaboration will be based on ensuring that any activity supports and promotes the Olympic values; and while the goal was not to develop a pathway towards the inclusion of esports on the Olympic programme, we have a strong plan for ongoing dialogue and engagement, and are in a strong position to coordinate and support the wider engagement of the Olympic Movement with esports.”
FIS Secretary General Sarah Lewis added: “The interaction between the traditional and esports communities was interesting and positive. Research carried out by FIS last season on users of the FIS digital channels with more than 1’500 responses showed that 51% play E-games and 20% of these persons believed that the ski and snowboard E-games helped inspire them to start the sport. Therefore, esports are a topic that is of growing importance to us as a sports federation.”