President says genre will not be considered as an Olympic Games event
Violence in the games used for competitions in eSports will rule out consideration of the sport as an Olympic event, says the president of the International Olympic Committee, Thomas Bach despite the sport’s 250 million global fans and revenues approaching a billion dollars a year.
The IOC in November last year recognised eSports as a sports activity and proclaimed that it will be included as a medal event at the 2022 Asian Games, but Bach now says that such inclusion is subject to conditions.
Bach told the Reuters news agency:
“We have to draw a very clear red line in this respect and that red line would be e-games which are killer games or where you have promotion of violence or any kind of discrimination as a content… they can never be recognised as part of the Olympic movement. They would be contrary to our values and our principles.”
Nevertheless, Bach acknowledges that it is necessary to embrace new disciplines to stay relevant.
“Olympic Games have always been open to new sports without forgetting our roots,” he said.
“Tradition alone is no value. If you just stick to tradition and don’t open up to sports practised by the younger generations, then you can lose your relevance very quickly.
“This is why we have to remain open to this and this is why we are happy that in Tokyo we’ll see some of these sports on the Olympic programme.”
“This is why we have added them, so that the Olympic Games in Tokyo will be younger, they will be more urban that means you’ll see more sports organised in the centres of the city where people are.”