IOC Taps Rick Fox to Host Upcoming Olympic Esports Forum
Former NBA player-turned esports mogul Rick Fox has been tapped by the International Olympic Committee to moderate their upcoming esports forum in Switzerland. As the head of Echo Fox, the ex-baller gained experience fielding professional teams in most leading esports including League of Legends and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive.
The IOC wants to talk crossovers between the worlds of traditional sports and esports, making Fox a suitable pick for a moderator. His job at the forum will be to open the conversation between IOC president Thomas Bach and the competitive video game industry, group that includes pro athletes, team owners, game publishers, and investors.
The pressure is on – the IOC has yet to decide whether esports is worthy of inclusion as an Olympic sport. A final decision on that matter is expected to be made during the 2019 annual session of the Olympic Committee. For now, Fox will facilitate only facilitate an understanding of esports.
Earlier this year, the IOC took a major step towards accepting esports when they established that the games can be considered sporting activities. The committee came to that conclusion based on the level of intensity in esports training.
One of the lesser-talked-about points that is a concern for the IOC is the commercialization of esports. The relationship between game publishers and competition in their games creates a number of complications from an Olympic standpoint. Unlike traditional sports, esports involves intellectual property rights and lacks a single point of contact that can make decisions for the industry.