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Intel to use Tokyo 2020 to showcase new technology and host esports tournament

US technology giant Intel has announced plans for activations at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games that will showcase its technology and an esports tournament in Tokyo in the lead-up to the Games.

Intel, which is a TOP partner of the International Olympic Committee, plans to employ artificial intelligence-driven 3D tracking of athletes that will be used to augment Olympics television broadcasts.

The system, called ‘3DAT’, is being deployed in partnership with Olympic Broadcast Services, the Olympics’ bespoke host broadcaster. Mobile cameras will capture video that can be used by broadcasters to create visual analyses of individual athletes’ movements.

Intel chips will also be used in facial recognition systems tracking over 300,000 people at the Games, including athletes, volunteers, journalists and staff entering and exiting Olympic venues.

Intel is helping create virtual reality training programmes for staff working at the Games. The company said VR training could lower costs and increase the efficiency of training programmes.

According to Engadget, a drone light show is also being considered.

Reuters reports that Rick Echevarria, general manager of Intel’s Olympic Program, said: “This is a really good opportunity for us to showcase the microprocessor technologies that we have been developing for many years, but also our work in software, algorithms and broadcasting enhancing experience.”

Intel will host a four-day esports tournament in Tokyo in the run-up to the Games, on June 22-24, 2020. The Intel World Open will see players compete in games including Street Fighter V and Rocket League, and have a $500,000 prize pool.

In a press release, Kit McConnell, IOC sports director, said: “We are excited Intel is bringing the Intel World Open esports tournament to Japan in the lead up to the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020. As we explore the engagement between esports and the Olympic Movement we are looking forward to learning from this event and continuing to engage with the passionate esports community from around the world.”

Intel has sought to be an influencer on the IOC’s recognition of esports, including by hosting an esports showcase at the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Games. Esports has received recognition as a full medal event at the upcoming 2019 Southeast Asian Game in the Philippines, as well as the 2022 Asian Games in Hangzhou. The IOC, however, has remained cool on the prospects of esports being added to the Olympics programme.