The International Olympic Committee has their 7th Olympic Summit last week in Lausanne, where some crucial topics were discussed, such as the anti-doping rule, the calendar of sports and most importantly for us: whether eSports should be included.
The final decision for gamers was both bitter and sweet. The OIC admit that the development of esport is undeniable, especially to the youth, and playing games do require physical activities in a way that is similar to traditional games.
What made them worried is that a lot of games do not ask for real physical activities as the majority of us would compete while enjoying a piece of pizza. Thus, the OIC still confused if gaming can be sorted as a real sport, which needs further discussion.
Saying that listing eSports as an Olympics game would be ‘premature,’ the IOC pointed out:
- some games are against the core value of the Olympics: anti-violence, thus they can not be featured on this event.
- The development of eSports games is beyond control. There are new trending games every day, and the technology to support these games are also changing quickly, such as VR (virtual reality)
- The fragment is intrinsic of eSports, and it is also the competitions between commercial operators.
- The final purpose of any games lies at the commercial. At the end of the day, eSports are profit-aimed.
This rejection does not mean a closed door for eSports. The IOC still consider the possibility of including eSports in the future and agree that the list above is not true with eSports simulation games.
According to the Olympic committee, two specific criteria have to be met before they can “explore the potential benefits and applications of the electronic and virtual versions of their sports.” The first thing is to make sure that the organizers are in total control of the virtual versions of the games, and the other criteria are too active both online and virtual versions of the traditional sports.
In order to come to the agreements and launch new projects regarding including eSports in the Olympic, there will be meetings between the IOC, the Global Association of International Sports Federations and the eSports’ stakeholders.
Despite being disappointed with the news of the Paris Olympics, eSports fans can get still satisfied with the establishment of a new committee consisting the members from the eSports industry. There are still 6 years before things got settled, so the fans have all the right to be an optimist.
Gamers still keep their hope as many sports in the past have been doubted about their participation in the Olympics at first such as Snowboarding, rugby sevens, golf, and slopestyle skiing.