Games “promoting violence or discrimination” will not be accepted.
The International Olympic Committee is still unsure of whether esports have a place in the future Olympic landscape, and Thomas Bach, the IOC President, is clear that esports “promoting violence or discrimination” will not be accepted.
The news came as Bach spoke with Associated Press reporters at the Asian Games this weekend, where esports featured for the first time, albeit as a demonstration sport (meaning that any medals achieved would not count towards a country’s final tally). Arena of Valor, Clash Royale, Hearthstone, League of Legends, Pro Evolution Soccer and StarCraft II all featured as tournaments.
Bach made clear that any games which revolved around violence, which he referred to as “killer games,” would not be accepted into the Olympics even if esports were to be included as an official sport, branding them “contradictory to Olympic values.”
Using his own background in fencing as an example, he pointed out his belief that although combat sports have their roots in violence, they are a “civilised expression,” whereas video games which encourage players to “kill” each other are unsuitable for the Olympics.
The report goes on to mention that Asian Games organisers expressed sympathy for the victims of the deadly shooting at a Madden tournament in Jacksonville; Kenneth Fok, president of the Asian Electronic Sports Federation, placed fault with “a bigger issue of gun control and access to guns” rather than blaming esports.
For more on the growing field of esports, check out what IGN has to say about the growth of college esports or take a look at our esports hub.
Matt Davidson is a freelance writer for IGN – catch up with him on Twitter, if you like!