Olympic e-sports are becoming inevitable as IOC says they ‘could be considered as a sporting activity’

The International Olympic Committee has formally stated that it may consider e-sports a sporting activity.

“Competitive e-sports 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,” IOC summit attendees declared in a statement. “E-sports are showing strong growth, especially within the youth demographic across different countries, and can provide a platform for engagement with the Olympic Movement” – provided those sports uphold Olympic values, like anti-doping, betting practices, and match manipulation.

Last summer, the co-president of the Paris Olympic bid committee told the AP that the organization was considering bringing video gaming on board for the 2024 program in France. The 2022 Asian Games also announced e-sports as a medal event, citing the inclusion of e-sports at the Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games, though multiple countries bailed out of this year’s AIMAG e-sports events, citing health concerns, poor regulation, and “governance concerns.”

Earlier this month, we polled our own userbase on whether or not e-sports belongs in the Olympics; almost 80% of those who voted said no, while only 15% said some or all should be included, in contrast to Nielsen’s poll of actual e-sports fans, which asserted that over 50% of fans believe e-sports are real sports and less than a third believe e-sports belong in the Olympics.

Source: GIbiz, Gamasutra
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55 Comments on "Olympic e-sports are becoming inevitable as IOC says they ‘could be considered as a sporting activity’"

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sirsam

The other day I threw a crumpled napkin behind my back into the trashcan from around 15 ft. It was amazing. Lets have crumpled napkin throwing as a sport.

In fact, I’d rather watch that than watch my screen that has people sitting watching their screen and have it be called a sport.

I swear we are like 100 years away from the movie Idiocracy.

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Byórðæįr

Skill pushing your body and mind beyond average. Shooting requires holding you body perfectly still then racing to the next station. e-sports would require more than run and gun in an a first person shooter, for an Olympic version. The question actually came up once before when Nintendo made the track and field games back in late 1980s.

So likely we would need special maps that the teams could train on six months leading up the the Olympics where various companies work together to create a single game that show unity and coming together. So you might find that for it to work you would have to have say Capcom and blizzard work together to create a track and field game for the Olympics with the avatars being cartoony characters from various companies to show people working together for a common good. Nintendo was told that they would have to create every person represented if they wanted their game at the Olympics, companies like blizzard and capcom likely will side step that by using silly looking avatars representing individuality while not suggesting that it does not look like the person. But seeing a belf, a gnome, and a couple other ip charaters wearing a tabards with a countries colors at the olympics working together might actually be interesting to watch.

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draugris

Absolutely not a fan. A lot of those e-sport guys would need a serious lesson in what the olympic spirit means and what fair sportsmanship is first. Too many of them are just raging cry-babies.

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Malcolm Swoboda

That’s my bigger concern than ‘video games being sports’ (IMO they are or rather can be).

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Utakata

I’ll file this under the “Just no!” folder. /sigh

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MrNastyButler

E-Sports in the Olympics…hard for me to say no on this one. Especially with the fact there have been in the past mental sports (ie Chess) and there are non-physical sports like shooting, which are more hand eye coordination events. Really, it’s going to come down to how much the industry pumps money into the Olympics and if people will watch it. That’s going to be the deciding factors.

Me, I’d never watch that stuff on the Olympics really. I don’t watch them much at all, nor pay attention to them. If someone walked up to me and told me they won a gold metal for *insert activity here*, I’d just say congrats and walk on by.

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MesaSage

So I guess Olympic hacking won’t be far behind. *sigh*

possum440 .
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possum440 .

Gaming in the Olympics, what a damn joke. Next thing you are going to tell me is that sliding a big rock across some ice with a broom in front of it is a sport too……

Veldan
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Veldan

Lol! Best response.

Grave Knight
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Grave Knight

What? But esports is not a physical sports. It’s why there isn’t an Olympic chess event. If esports wants it’s own olympiad then go ahead but keep the Olympics about physical sports.

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MrNastyButler

There actually use to be Chess in the Olympics. They got rid of it cause no one was watching it. They also have a number of non-physical events in the Olympics.

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traja

You need to come up with some really strange definitions if you call lying on the ground and shooting an air rifle a “physical sport” but spamming your keyboard is not. This is a line that the Olympics has already crossed.

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rafael12104

Lol. Well, I’m both sides of this.

On the one hand E-sports requires skill. And let’s face it, there are many Olympic sports that feature skill over athleticism. Archery, Sharpshooting, Billiards, etc. etc. So why not? And lest we forget, E-sports already have “global” competitions. I use the term loosely because certain countries don’t have the tech to even field a team. Then again, the Jamaicans don’t have snow and they have a bobsled team.

On the other hand, will the general public spectate such an event? After all, the Olympics is driven by the same need as most events especially those televised, eyeballs. Take women’s softball which is no longer in the Olympics. The reason it was dropped was because of a lack of participation and a general poor viewership. Aside from us, some of us at least, will people watch E-sports after the nuisance is over?

Ah, what hell, make it one of those exhibition events. Officially, not official, but in the Olympics. Let’s see what happens.

possum440 .
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possum440 .

You are comparing Shooting, Archery, Billiards to playing games? Puh-lease.

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rafael12104

Indeed I am. Thank yeee.

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Jack Pipsam

The Olympics is boring enough without E-Sports.

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rafael12104

Damn good swimmers you Aussies. ;)

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Armsbend

You would have enjoyed it when the aussie’s dominated at swimimming I bet!

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Jack Pipsam

Didn’t honestly pay attention. If we do well, great. If we don’t, oh well.
The only part of any Olympics I watch is the opening ceremonies, I rather see the state-funded culture stuff.

Australia is a very sporty nation, it’s all very dull. Swimming is great as a thing to do for exercise, leisure or adventure. But as a sport? Meh.