Over the past weekend, representatives of the International Olympic Committee attending the Olympic Summit spent time discussion the inclusion of esports as a "medal event". The net result of the conversation is that esports are not quite ready for prime time for a number of reasons.
Here are some of the stated concerns with the inclusion of esports as an Olympic sport:
- esports are "not compatible with Olympic values"
- rapid evolution of the games industry with "changing popularity of games"
- "tough competition between commercial operators"
- the commercially driven nature of games versus the values-based nature of sports
The caveat in the discussion is the simulation games genre and the committee recommended "accelerated cooperation with regard to these kinds of esports".
A number of these uncertainties do not apply to esports simulation games. Because of this, accelerated cooperation with regard to these kinds of esports is encouraged by the Summit. The Summit encourages the IFs to explore the potential benefits and applications of the electronic and virtual versions of their sports, while:
- ensuring they gain or retain appropriate control over the electronic/virtual versions of their sports; and
- restricting their engagement to activation in the e-versions and virtual forms of their traditional sports.
Read the full report on the Olympic.org site.