Esport: was the tournament on the sidelines of the Olympic Games a missed event?

Unveiled at the end of 2019, initially scheduled for Tokyo in 2020, on the sidelines of the Olympic Games, theIntel World Open – an esports tournament co-organized by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) on Rocket league and Street Fighter V – ended online (pandemic requires) about ten days ago. Three years after a successful first test on Starcraft II in PyeongChang, this eagerly awaited competition after its announcement had a small flop: at a distance, regionalized, badly put forward … The sauce did not really take. Despite everything, this Open made it possible to see sportsmen representing their nations on the international scene, an almost unique concept in an environment where the competitions are held more by clubs than by country.

A mixed record

On Rocket league, the French of Team Vitality, united in the same team under the tricolor banner, won the European tournament. This title, pushed by the Parisian club like an Olympic coronation before the hour (obviously, it does not count in the medal table), allowed Alexandre “Kaydop” Courant, Victor “Fairy Peak” Locquet and Yanis “Alpha54” Champenois to add a new line to their impressive track record, but it did not have the prestige expected. Even before the competition, the recent European champions, who had checked off the appointment in 2020, explained bluntly that it did not represent a real objective given the conditions.

It’s good to have won this tournament and the guys are happy but there is a taste of unfinished business, explains Gauthier Klauss, himself an Olympic medalist in Rio in a canoe and now manager of the team. Rocket league by Vitality. It would have really made sense if it had been in Tokyo and we had shared the Olympic Village, the opening ceremony, that they had had a medal …

“Communication around the event was poorly done in my eyes”

Mister Crimson, French player of

Nathan “Mister Crimson” Massol took part in the competition on Street Fighter V. Best Habs in the tournament, he finished fourth. ” My defeats didn’t mean much. The podium was not far away and I’m still a bit disappointed with my tournament. I’m sad because it could have been exceptional if everything had gone as planned. The planets were aligned: it was in Japan, THE emblematic country of Street fighter, then with the atmosphere and the fervor around an event like the Olympic Games, unique in its kind …

Beyond the “bad luck” of the conditions linked to the pandemic and an online organization, the Intel World Open suffered from too light communication in particular. If these (video) games generally benefit, for their most prestigious events, from a relatively large audience, this one did not respond this time. ” If we compare this meeting with the Red Bull Kumite (international tournament he won, end of May), I had a lot more people behind me during this last one, continues Mister crimson. Communication around the tournament was poorly done in my eyes, with the means at hand. “A lack of visibility which has disillusioned some Vitality fans on Rocket league, who learned of the existence of the Open … at the announcement of the victory of the Blues.

The pride of representing France

Despite the snags and the feeling of missed rendezvous, all agree on one point: they have experienced it as a real honor to represent their nation. And Gauthier Klauss knows this feeling well. ” My whole life as an athlete has been animated by the Olympic Games. When, in 2012, we played our first Games with Matthieu (Sin, also manager at Vitality) by wearing this tricolor tunic, it is a culmination. This is the sportsman’s Everest. When you represent France, you go there not for fun but to be medalist. It’s a fucking great pride to represent your country.

Mister Crimson shares this point of view: “ There is special prestige in representing France. It can sometimes put a little more pressure, but it’s also important to tell yourself that there are people behind us who support us and who should not be disappointed. The niche occupied by the IOC has undeniably potential. Because beyond the thorny debate on the relevance of one day integrating esport into the Olympic Games, the prospect of having major international competitions by nation in the discipline is exciting. If the difficult conditions this year have somewhat spoiled the meeting, electronic sport should continue to live on the sidelines of Beijing 2022 and Paris 2024. Cities particularly geared towards the discipline.


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