Sad news today for esports fans, players and investors. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has stated that adding esports to the 2024 Paris Olympics is still “premature.”
However, there is some potentially good news. Firstly, Tony Estanguet, Co-President of the Paris Olympic Committee, is advocating for esports to be included in the Olympics. Secondly, the IOC did say they are open to revisiting discussions at a future date.
“The Summit agreed that the Olympic Movement should not ignore its [esports] growth, particularly because of its popularity among young generations around the world. It was agreed that competitive gaming entails physical activity which can be compared to that required in more traditional sports. This, on the other hand, cannot necessarily be said to apply to leisure electronic gaming. For this reason, the use of the term sport with regard to esports/egames needs further dialogue and study”.
The IOC “agreed that the Olympic Movement should continue to engage with the esports community.” The IOC also said some titles were “not compatible” with the Olympic values. Esports not being included due to the Olympics values goes back to an article we wrote previously about esports being “too violent” for the Olympics.
During an interview with The Associated Press at the Asian Games, Thomas Bach, President of the IOC, discussed conditional requirements before approval.
“We cannot have in the Olympic program a game which is promoting violence or discrimination. So-called killer games. They, from our point of view, are contradictory to the Olympic values and cannot therefore be accepted. Of course, every combat sport has its origins in a real fight among people. But sport is the civilized expression about this. If you have egames where it’s about killing somebody, this cannot be brought into line with our Olympic values.”
The IOC requirements do not bode well for First-Person-Shooter (FPS) games such as Call of Duty, Counter-Strike or even much less gory Overwatch. FPS games may require unique graphical changes before being played on the worlds biggest stages.
Esports was played for the first time at this years Asian Games.
The Asian Games lineup of esports included: League of Legends, Hearthstone, Starcraft II, Pro Evolution Soccer 2018, Arena of Valor and Clash Royale. As seen by this selection of games, none of them are overly ‘violent’.
One key point for those on the side of esports is that there are many psychically violent sports already included in the Olympics. Boxing, judo, fencing, wrestling, to name a few, are all potentially harmful physical sports. Esports can contain simulated violence, but nobody will ever get hurt in the real world.
It is likely that if esports are included in the Olympics, we will see titles similar to that of the Asian Games. We will see sports games, and games that do not include realistic shooting. Overwatch will be on the border of acceptance due to the lack of gore compared to FPS games such as CS:GO and Call of Duty which are more realistic when compared to the real world.
Image Via: GameProtocol.io