There have been a lot of rumblings about the prospect of esports eventually joining the Olympics as an event. While that's not in line to happen in a formal capacity, it does appear that esports will have a presence at the upcoming 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Japan. The International Olympic Committee and sponsor Intel are coming together for a special esports competition set to take place just prior to next year's games, centering around Street Fighter V: Arcade Edition and Rocket League.
According to Esports Observer, Intel and its ESL partners will spearhead these efforts, holding online qualifiers to determine finalists for each game. Live qualifiers will then be held at the upcoming Intel Extreme Masters Katowice in June. Whoever remains will compete in Tokyo on the weekend of July 22-24 from the Zepp DiverCity venue. The champions are set to be crowned just hours before the 2020 Summer Olympics opening ceremonies.
Both Rocket League and Street Fighter V are set to offer $250 prize pools for their respective titles. Each game was chosen in large part because of ease of accessibility, with Street Fighter V and Rocket League proving to be two of the biggest competitive games in the world that are also easy to understand and follow from a spectator's standpoint. For Street Fighter V, Intel is also citing the franchise's rich history in host country Japan, noting that the Intel World Open will serve as a complement to the ongoing Capcom World Tour and 3v3 Street Fighter League. For Rocket League, the Intel World Open represents one of the biggest steps Rocket League esports has taken since developer Psyonix was acquired by Epic Games. Studio Vice President Jeremy Dunham states that he'll be monitoring the tournament closely, seeking out potential new esports avenues to supplement the current Rocket League Championship Series, which is about to kick off its eighth season.
Look for more information on the Intel World Open as esports moves into 2020.