eSports becoming an Olympic sport is a hot ticket issue. Gaming has become so deeply popular that it was recently featured in the Asian games as a ‘demonstration sport’, but it doesn’t look like there is a plan to take it any further beyond that.
During the 2018 Asia Games, International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach made a statement to the Associated Press on the state of eSports and whether they have a place in the Olympics.
“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.”
Later probed on the inception of some Olympic sports being real fighting, he acknowledged this notion but made it clear that “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.”
Many popular eSports (like PUBG and Counter-Strike) are heavily centred around violence, which seems to be swaying Mr Bach’s opinion on the genre.
This is in light of the tragic shooting that took place at a Madden tournament in Florida, where a gunman opened fire on attendees after becoming enraged at losing the game. Event organizers at the Asian games shared their sympathy for those involved.
So there we have it. Whilst it did look hopeful for some time, it appears that eSports still has a long way to go before it can be accepted as an Olympic sport.