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Street Fighter 5 and Rocket League to be featured in the Intel World Open alongside the 2020 Tokyo Olympics worth $500,000

Fighting games get their official Olympics backing

Posted by Dakota 'DarkHorse' Hills • September 11, 2019 at 6:32 a.m. PDT • Comments: 43

Bringing competitive video games and eSports to the world stage of the Olympics has been a topic of discussion and debate for a number of years now, and the people behind the events are bringing us one step closer to that reality, fighting games included.

Intel and the International Olympic Committee announced today they will be holding the Intel World Open in 2020 alongside the Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan featuring Street Fighter 5 and Rocket League with a prize pool total of $500,000.

Each tournament will receive half of that prize money, so that will be a still staggering $250,000 per game though that will also be split amongst teams from across the globe.

Street Fighter 5 will be made up of teams representing the different countries of the world. Players on the teams will first need to compete in online qualifier events to be named to their country's representatives.

A live qualifier event will then be held in Katowice, Poland to determine which teams will advance to play at the World Open tournament in Tokyo.

Intel chose Street Fighter 5 as one of its main events for the Olympics stage because of the franchise's "clear, rich history" in Japan which in turn sparked the popularization of the genre in the first place.

"[Street Fighter and Rocket League] are something that the average consumer or audience member can look at and get what’s going on, and that's unfortunately not always the case in eSports" - Intel's Mark Subotnick

Capcom, who have been pushing their own Pro Tour and Street Fighter League eSports initiatives for years now, also saw a great opportunity to bring their fighting game to their home country's world stage.

"Even though we have two existing products in the marketplace, nothing really touches on that specific, unique trait," said Mike Larson, the vice president of marketing at Capcom Media Ventures via The Esports Observer. "That's why we're super excited about the program. eSports is very much a part of where we see the franchise and company going forward. We’re thrilled to be part of this, because it really allows us to move even further in that direction with the good people of Intel."

Another part of the reason Street Fighter was chosen for the event was because of its audience accessibility with the one on one action and two large health bars being more easily understood by the uninitiated than some other eSports titles.

"These two titles are something that the average consumer or audience member can look at and get what’s going on, and that's unfortunately not always the case in eSports," said Intel's director of business development for games and eSports, Mark Subotnick. "So that makes a lot of sense to work with these two partners."

The Intel World Open finals will be held from July 22–24, 2020 at the Zepp DiverCity center in Tokyo where the actual Olympics events will kick off on the last day.

Further information regarding team structure, rules, the online qualifiers and just how many countries will be represented in the finals will be revealed at a later date.

Via The Esports Observer.

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