Wed August 30 2017

Esports could be too violent for the Olympic Games

by Charlie Fripp, Kwese ESPN

The Olympic Committee has in the past showed some interest in esports being included as a medal sport, but it might not be heading in the direction that players have hoped for.

Thomas Bach, president of the International Olympic Committee told the South China Morning Post that while he is open to the idea of including esports, it has to be on a non-violent level.

That would exclude some of the biggest games in esports like Counter-Strike, Dota 2 and League of Legends.

“We want to promote non-discrimination, non-violence, and peace among people. This doesn’t match with video games, which are about violence, explosions and killing. And there we have to draw a clear line,” he said.

That would only really leave sports simulation games like FIFA or PES open to being included. For Bach, if those players end up playing football in real-life, he would be ecstatic.

“So if ever somebody is competing at playing football virtually or playing other sports virtually, this is of high interest. We hope that, then, these players are really delivering sports performance. If [fans] at the end would even play the sports in the real world, we would even be more happy,” he added.

It does seem that Bach isn’t complete sold on the esports idea, especially since he hopes esports players will go on to play their chosen game in real-life.

Paris will soon officially be announced as the host city of the 2024 Olympic Games, and while the Committee in Paris hasn’t ruled out esports as a medal sport, Bach added that is too early to say.

“These discussions are going on. It will still take some time because this industry is now shaping itself. It’s a successful industry, but it is not yet really established in an organisational way.”

One of his biggest concerns for Bach regarding esports players is doping an unsportsmanlike behaviour – and having industry regulators.

“You have to have somebody who is guaranteeing you that these athletes doing video sports games are not doped, that they are following technical rules, that they are respecting each other,” he concluded.

While it is looking rather good for esports to be included in the Olympics, it might still be awhile until it actually happens.