Thomas Bach, the International Olympic Committee President recently made comments suggesting that violent eSports titles will not be considered in future Olympic events.
Bach commented to the South China Morning Post regarding his stance on what kind of games should be considered for the Olympic Games. He went on to explain that he favours competitive titles, in particular, sports based titles over more violent eSports fair. Additionally, he stated that he prefers titles that can be defined in having what he refers to as “Olympic Value”.
“So if ever somebody is competing at playing football virtually or playing other sports virtually, this is of high interest, we hope that, then, these players are really delivering sports performance. If [fans] at the end would even play the sports in the real world, we would even be more happy,” as stated by Bach to the China Morning Post.
Bach never explicitly name drops any particular titles. However, since he mentioned the inclusion of virtual sports focused games over violent titles. It can be assumed that titles such as Counter Strike, League of Legends and even Overwatch may fit into the violent category and therefore be exempt from consideration by Bach.
It is still early when it comes to the inclusion of video gaming in the Olympics. The talk for the inclusion of eSports titles only just started earlier this year. During the Paris Olympic Bid Committee, the idea was pitched ahead of the 2024 Summer Games announcement.
In other parts of the globe, the Olympic Council of Asia has already announced their plans to include competitive games — as medal worthy events during the 2022 Asian Games. The final list of eligible games are yet to be announced, however, several titles did get the green light including the likes of Hearthstone, StarCraft II and the King of Fighters XIV.