According to an article on Olympic.org, representatives of the Olympic Committee met in Laussane, Switzerland for the 6th Olympic Summit, where a plethora of topics were discussed regarding the future of the Olympic Games. One of the topics, however, was specifically about the potential inclusion of eSports in future events.

The key talking points presented in the discussion about esports include the fact that it appeals to a younger demographic while maintaining a worldwide presence, and there’s also a positive comparison to sporting activities in general.

“eSports” are showing strong growth, especially within the youth demographic across different countries, and can provide a platform for engagement with the Olympic Movement.

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.

The inclusion of esports in future Olympic events has been an ongoing discussion for quite some time and has been seeing a steady progression in the last few years. Just over a month ago, “eSports” was a series of medal events at the 5th Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games, which is a part of the Olympic Committee in Asia, including games such as Hearthstone, Dota 2, StarCraft II, and The King of Fighters XIV. Earlier this year, it was already confirmed that eSports would also be a medal event in the 2022 Asian Games in Hangzhou, China.

The discussion presented at the Summit isn’t totally free of potential downsides, however, as the article does insist that “the content of “eSports” must not infringe on the Olympic values.” This echoes previous comments made by the Olympic Chairman earlier this year about violent games.

A further requirement for recognition by the IOC must be the existence of an organisation guaranteeing compliance with the rules and regulations of the Olympic Movement (anti-doping, betting, manipulation, etc.).

As it stands, there’s currently no central authority that rules over the entirety of the esports realm, and if there were to be one, there might possibly need to be multiple in order to accommodate multiple genres. However, in the case for StarCraft and Hearthstone, Blizzard themselves might be considered as that organization, but that remains to be seen.

With the rapidly growing discussion of eSports’ worthiness as a form of athletics, these major inclusions of big esports games in Olympically-tied events could possibly open the door for an inclusion in the big one: the Summer Olympics.

How do feel about the eSports becoming an Olympic event? Do you support it? Are you against it? Let us know in the comments below.


Matthew Fetrow

I've been playing video games since 4 years of age, and finally began to deeply invest myself into the world of fighting games in 2015 after many off-and-on encounters with games inside the genre. I have a preference for 3D fighters, but also enjoy Street Fighter, King of Fighters, and some airdashers. I'm also a big fan of RPGs and shmups.