Earlier today the International Olympic Committee declared that it would no longer consider adding Esports to the Olympic sports roster as they are “too violent” according to IOC president Thomas Bach.
The call for Esports to be added to the Olympic games came about after their inclusion in the 2018 Asian Games for the first time in its history. It is estimated that Esports reached a global audience of 320m people, it has gained serious traction to the point that inclusion in the Olympics became a seriously consider matter.
Up until now, that is. IOC President Thomas Bach went on to say:
“We cannot have in the Olympic program a game which is promoting violence or discrimination, so-called ‘killer games’. They, from our point of view, are contradictory to the Olympic values and cannot, therefore, be accepted,”
Mr Bach who won an Olympic Gold in the 1976 Montreal games for fencing went on to say:
“Of course every combat sport has its origins in a real fight among people,” he added. “But sport is the civilized expression about this. If you have egames where it’s about killing somebody, this cannot be brought into line with our Olympic values.”
Personally, I was looking forward to seeing Esports represented at an Olympic level. Although I find myself agreeing with Mr Bach. Yes, sports like Judo and boxing are violent but in the sphere of the Olympic Games they are controlled and civilized to a point.
There is rarely a serious injury and if so it is accidental. The main crux of the matter that contact sports such as boxing and judo are about the skill of the combatants. It is about scoring a point not injuring or maiming them.
The opposite is true for gaming. To score a point against your opponent in most games you are required to kill them. Therefore promoting murder, albeit virtual, over skill. Yes, you need the skill to kill someone in a game but the main core of the argument here is that it is you dominate by killing. That isn’t in accordance with Olympic values.
I don’t see why none violent games such as Rocket League can’t be included in the Olympics as Esports. Unless the IOC see this as setting a precedent to allow future violent games in.
Esports global revenue in 2017 was almost $700 million!! It will be interesting to see just how long the IOC can say no to the juggernaut that is Esports.
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