Esports Discussions Were “Premature” According to International Olympic Committee
While the International Olympic Committee encourages discussion, they called recent efforts to try and implement eSports into the Olympic Games "premature".
Over the past year, discussions surrounding the possible inclusion of eSports in the Olympic Games have actually become louder and more passionate than ever. Despite the fact that the opportunity seemingly presented itself, there have been some roadblocks recently in getting eSports implemented into the Olympic Games. Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach was hesitant to include them due to the “violence and discrimination” that games could include, and now the International Olympic Committee is calling the discussions “premature” altogether.
That new statement came out of the Olympic Summit that took place in Lausanne, Switzerland over the weekend. While they recognized that just as much practice and effort is required in some eSports as in other sports already featured in the Olypmics, that train of thought “cannot necessarily be said to apply to leisure electronic gaming.” For that reason, the committee is encouraging further dialogue about if eSports can actually be considered a sport, but is not yet ready to put eSports in the Olympics.
Other roadblocks were cited as well. One highlights the fact that some games “are not compatible with the Olympic values” likely referencing Thomas Bach’s recent comment. They also say that the industry is evolving rapidly “towards augmented reality and virtual reality” which could cause issues. Finally, they called the games industry “fragmented in nature, with tough competition between commercial operators.”
Also, gaming being a “commercially driven” industry may go against the “values-based” sports featured in the Olympics. Personally, I find that last critique odd considering how commercialized many of the sports featured and the Olympics themselves already are.
While the actual addition of eSports may still be a ways out, at least the committee is encouraging discussions and actually feels more optimistic about including “eSports simulation games.” If any more real progress is made regarding eSports being included in the Olympic Games, DualShockers will be sure to let you all know.