The International Olympic Committee formally laid down its expectations of esports if they’re ever to be included in the Olympic games.
The IOC’s statement on Saturday doesn’t diverge significantly from what earlier officials have said. Namely, that esports would need a worldwide governing federation for the IOC to work with, and the events should comport with the values of the Olympic movement.
“In order to be recognized by the IOC as a sport, the content of eSports must not infringe on the Olympic values,” the IOC said in a statement.
That could be an oblique mention that the content of the games might be part of the argument over what becomes and Olympic event and what doesn’t. Two months ago, IOC president Thomas Bach called out video games as “about violence, explosions and killing.”
But, assuming the IOC can come to an agreement with whatever sanctioning authority steps in to handle esports on a global basis, the rest of the statement sounds open to esports’ inclusion.
As reported by Reuters, the IOC held a summit in Lausanne, Switzerland with its global stakeholders — federations, national committees and athlete representatives.
“The Summit agreed that 'eSports' are showing strong growth, especially within the youth demographic across different countries, and can provide a platform for engagement with the Olympic Movement,” the IOC said in a statement.
“Competitive ‘eSports’ could be considered as a sporting activity, and the players involved prepare and train with an intensity which may be comparable to athletes in traditional sports,” the statement added.