Esports agenda once more at 6th Olympic Summit

Shounak Sengupta

31st, Oct, 2017
The IOC despite its reservation on esports, continues to actively pursue ways to integrate it in future Olympics. Earlier this year, IOC President Thomas Bach had said that violent esports which are about explosions and killing were in conflict with the spirit of the Olympics and had no place in it. This effectively meant that none of the popular esport titles had a shot at being an Olympic discipline.
 
However at the recent Olympic Summit held in Lausanne, a number of topics were discussed including one which is listed as ‘development of esports’.
 
The Summit discussed the rapid development of what are called "eSports", and the current involvement of various Olympic Movement stakeholders. 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.
  •  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.
  • In order to be recognised by the IOC as a sport, the content of "eSports" must not infringe on the Olympic values.
  •  A further requirement for recognition by the IOC must be the existence of an organisation guaranteeing compliance with the rules and regulations of the Olympic Movement (anti-doping, betting, manipulation, etc.).
  • The Summit asked the IOC together with GAISF in a dialogue with the gaming industry and players to explore this area further and to come back to the Olympic Movement stakeholders in due course.
Source

Speaking with Mr. Lokesh Suji of Esports Federation of India, he said “This was bound to happen and we are excited to see this happening very soon. Esports is the fastest growing sport and cannot be ignored. The numbers and engagement in esports is huge and are growing at a rapid stage. It will be a Dream come true to see esports as part of Paris Olympics and are confident that this will happen. Esports was there as a demonstration sport this year at Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games-2017 @Ashgabat and will be there at Asian Games in 2018 @Jakarta; will be a medal sport in 2022 China Asian Games. For esports things are moving in the right direction and in India ESFI is gearing up for that already”. Lokesh is also the VP-South Asia for Asian Esports Federation and Founder/Chief Gamer of Indian League Gaming.


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