Esport: France brings back an Olympic medal which is not really one

A French esports team has just won a gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics. Well… almost since in reality the competition is not officially under an Olympic license.

The Tokyo Olympics left a very small place for esports this year and France took the opportunity to bring back the “ first gold medal of these Olympics “. The highly respected Team Vitality won first place at the international tournament of Rocket league. The feat was praised by Roxana Maracineanu, the Minister for Sports.

Great favorite of the competition, the French team won against Dutch competitors, once again confirming France’s solid reputation in the esports world. But unfortunately, this medal is an honorary award.

No official recognition

Although the competition was organized under the aegis of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), it was not officially one of the events recognized by the Olympic Games. This tournament Rocket league (just like the one organized around Street Fighter V) took place on the sidelines of the big competition, during an event named Intel World Open.

A Rocket League competition in 2018 // Source: Intel

Despite timid advances in the recognition of esport on an international scale, this practice did not have the right to official Olympic recognition at the 2020 Olympics. The competition is organized almost at the same time as the traditional events. It is piloted in part by the IOC and was to take place in Tokyo, but it was not entitled to the title of “Olympic Games”. A quirk underlined by the tweet of the Minister for Sports, who affirms that the recent French victory will ” watch[r] the way To the French Olympic and Paralympic team, which will have the right to a medal stamped with the seal of Olympism.

20 years late

Institutional recognition of esport should not arrive at the 2024 Olympics either, since the Olympic Summit deemed the integration of this event “premature”. It should be remembered that, in France alone, competitions such as the Gamers Assembly or eSports World Convention have existed since the 2000s.

Quite recently, the IOC nevertheless agreed to organize the Olympic Virtual Series, a competition ” Olympic licensed “, But which will be limited to simulation games such as Gran Turismo, Virtual Regatta or eBaseball Powerful Pro Baseball 2020. The Olympic Committee took the opportunity to highlight the difference between the” real sports world and virtual sports community “. Esport at the Olympics is definitely not for tomorrow.

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