Esports have been rising in popularity for years now, so it only makes sense that at some point, someone would offer the idea to include them in the Olympic Games. The gaming community has been growing over the years, and the mere mention that esports could become an event at the Olympics has excited a lot of gamers from all over the world.
There is one issue, however. The president of IOC, Thomas Bach, has stated that if esports does join the Olympics as an event, certain popular titles would not be included (Polygon.com). IOC stands for the International Olympic Committee. Bach went on the say, “we want to promote non-discrimination, non-violence, and peace among people,” he told the Morning Post. “This doesn’t match with video games, which are about violence, explosions and killing. And there we have to draw a clear line” (Polygon.com).
This would mean there would be no first-person shooter titles such as Overwatch and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (Polygon.com), or fighting titles such as Street Fighter, Mortal Kombat, or Injustice, which make up a lot of popular esports events.
However, Bach did have some ideas to resolve the issue presented. He stated, “E-sports that mirror those played in real life – like soccer or basketball – could be considered for the Olympics, but those that involve gratuitous violence and bloodshed went against “Olympic values”” (Scmp.com).
This could pose some serious backlash from gamers, as first-person shooters (FPSs), fighting games, and other titles with similar themes make up a lot of mainstream and well known esports events.
Bach has stated that it is too early to determine if esports will make it in the Olympics as a medal event, but Paris, who is to be announced as the host of the Olympics, seems interested in esports events (Scmp.com).
Gamers will just have to wait and see if and how esports will be integrated into the Olympic Games, but nevertheless, the Olympics should still be a pleasure to watch, even without new virtual events.