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Could you be an Olympic esports hero? Intel announces $500,000 open-invite tournament for Tokyo 2020

Tokyo 2020 World Open

Intel is offering an open invitation to all Rocket League and Street Fighter V players to compete in its brand new tournament in Japan ahead of the Tokyo 2020 summer Olympic games. With perhaps an eye to eventually get esports on the Olympic agenda, Intel is set to host a series of competitive gaming events leading up to World Open in 2020 – with an alluring prize pool set at $250,000 for each videogame.

Everyone has the chance to enter the competition with online qualifiers beginning early 2020 leading up to the big event in Tokyo. The open invite and large prize pool will surely attract some of the biggest teams and players in esports, so you’ll need to bring your a-game if you’re hoping for a chance at taking home the gold.

The road to $250,000 differs slightly between Street Fighter V and Rocket League, but the best teams from either games’ qualifiers will end up duking it out for the prize pool at the Zepp DiverCity venue in Tokyo running in the few days prior to the Olympic Opening Ceremony.

The stages for Street Fighter V are as follows:

  • National Qualifiers: Four seats will go up for grabs in one of 12 national teams worldwide. The invitation is open to all for a chance at a spot on the team, and will run for 4-8 weeks early 2020.
  • Regional Qualifiers: Players from outside of the 12 countries picked for national teams will face off in the regional qualifiers, running between March and May 2020. Eight teams will advance to the next stage.
  • Live Qualifier in Katowice, Poland: All teams will converge in Katowice for a 20-team showdown. The seven strongest team from the Americas, EEMEA, and APEC will head to Japan for the finals, joining the auto-qualified home team.
  • Tokyo Final Event: Taking place on July 22-24, 2020 at the Zepp DiverCity venue, this event will see one team emerge victorious and claim a majority stake in the $250,000 prize pool.

The stages for Rocket League are as follows:

  • Online qualifiers: Early 2020 the call will go out for players across the globe to go head-to-head, 3v3, in Rocket League, with spots on 16 teams up for grabs and an automatic spot in the Live Qualifier for whoever comes out on top.
  • Live Qualifier in Katowice: June will see 16 teams in the arena to claim one of seven spots available in the final alongside home side Japan.
  • Tokyo Final Event: Taking place on July 22-24, 2020 at the Zepp DiverCity venue, this event will see one team emerge victorious and claim a majority stake in the $250,000 prize pool.

The World Open offers gamers a chance to show the professional sporting world what esports can do, and the audience it can attract. Esports in the Olympics has been a hot topic in recent years, even attracting the likes of Formula 1 and McLaren. Unfortunately, Thomas Bach, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) chief, has ruled out any violent videogames from participation in the Olympics, which likely means we won’t see Street Fighter V ever make the cut. However, major events such as this one could be precursor to further cooperation between esports and the professional sporting world.

Intel esports

We spoke with Intel’s global head of marketing strategy for esports and gaming, Brenda Lynch, about Intel’s partner, the IOC, and its involvement in the tournament occurring moments before the Tokyo 2020 games.

“They [The IOC] have certainly have been very supportive of trying to bring the spirit of the Olympics to this activation, and we’ll be working with them especially on some integrations certainly on digital platforms.

“I think that the spirit of the tournament certainly does provide an opportunity for the IOC to learn a bit more about this audience. And I think that as much as I say that it also gives an opportunity to esports fans to learn a bit more about the Olympics… I think this is an opportunity for all the parties to learn a little bit about each other.”

If you want a shot at that $500,000 total prize pool and a chance to visit Tokyo during peak Olympic fervour, you best get training – you’ve got six months until qualifiers begin to hone your skills ready to take on the best the world has to offer.

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