Are eSports becoming Olympic?
The Olympic Committee (IOC) and the Global Association of International Sports Federations (GAISF) are organising an eSports forum in Lausanne, Switzerland, on 21 July. The goal:
Exploring possibilities to include eSports as a discipline in the 2024 Olympic Games.
Various representatives from the video games industry are invited. The Olympic Association has announced, that, together, they plan on exploring synergies and designing a platform for future cooperation.
In Patrick Baumann's (President of the GAISF) opinion, the phenomenal growth of eSports and gaming is part of the ongoing evolution of sports. According to him, an eSports forum is an important and extremely valuable opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of the sport, its impact and possible future development.
While the IOC and GAISF already held their first meeting with the industry in 2017, the committee has now been expanded. Among others, the following guests are expected at Lake Geneva in Lausanne:
• John Bonini - General Manager eSports and Gaming at Intel
• Nicolo Laurent - President of Riot Games
• Jarred Kennedy - Co-Head of eSports, Riot Games
• Jens Hilgers - founding partner of BITKRAFT
• Mike Morhaime - President of Blizzard Entertainment
• Nate Nanzer - Overwatch League, Blizzard Entertainment
• Todd Pavlovski - Vice President of Blizzard Entertainment
• Justin Dellario - Head of eSports at Twitch
Violent games will definitely not be supported at the Olympics, which for example excludes eSports disciplines such as Counter-Strike and Dota 2. A game we could, however, see included, would be FIFA. Reason being, that games in which opponents fight each other by force of arms, violate the Olympic idea of peace and tolerance.
Furthermore, standards and restrictions on eSports events would need to be introduced - like control over possible doping, technical manipulations, as well as the respectful treatment of each other.
A final decision on which disciplines will be part of the 2024 Olympic Games will be made in 2020.