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International Olympic Committee to Host eSports Summit in July

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Photo: Gabriel Gagne via Wikimedia Commons

By Nick Butler |

An eSports summit is due to be hosted by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in Lausanne in July, to continue the organization’s “dialogue” with the gaming industry.

Full details have not yet been revealed, but IOC President Thomas Bach has said that the one-day meeting will take place in the second half of July.

“eSports is clearly an exciting and growing sector in which millions of young people move regularly around the world,” Bach told Sport Intern, as reported by Sport 1.

“The Olympic Movement can ignore such a phenomenon by no means.

“But it could still take a long time to get into the Olympic program.

“The idea [of the Summit] is to enter into a dialogue with the gaming industry and the athletes and, in due course, approach the stakeholders of the Olympic Movement again.

In April 2017, Bach voiced reservations about whether eSports can be considered a pursuit worthy of serious consideration for a place on the Olympic program but, at the same time, promised to “watch” its development following a call for a more organized governing body.

He spoke more enthusiastically later in the year and a declaration released following an October Olympic Summit in Lausanne said that 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”.

However, the German is also maintaining his view that eSports must not infringe on the so called Olympic values – meaning games should not promote violence.

“We need to draw a red line and make it clear that killer games can never be part of the Olympic Movement,” Bach added.

However, the six games due to be used as part of the official Asian Games eSports demonstration event at Jakarta and Palembang this year includes League of Legends, a battle arena game.

Heathstone, Starcraft II, Pro Evolution Soccer, Clash Royale and Arena of Valor are the other five games set to be contested.

At present, esports does not have an IOC-recognised International Federation so is not in a position to apply for Olympic inclusion.

Republished with permission from insidethegames.biz

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