The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has agreed to ‘incorporate and cooperate’ with gaming titles that simulate ‘real-life’ sports, in a move that appears to shun popular esports such as League of Legends and Dota 2.
The most popular professional esports globally are not sports simulations and often involve mortal elements, but this has created issues for the IOC in terms of recognition. Last year IOC president Thomas Bach said that “killer games” are “contradictory to the Olympic values”.
In regards to sports simulation titles there does appear to be some softening towards esports from the IOC. The chair of its esports liaison group, and International Cycling Union (UCI) president, David Lappartient, made a positive report at the eighth Olympic Summit.
It said: ‘With regard to electronic games simulating sports, the Summit sees great potential for cooperation and incorporating them into the sports movement.’
The statement appears to open the door titles such as FIFA, MLB The Show and NBA 2K to be involved in future Olympic competitions as they represent soccer, baseball and basketball respectively.
However, on esports titles that do not reflect ‘real-life’ sporting disciplines, the committee’s view was that ‘at this stage, the sports movement should focus on players and gamers rather than on specific games.
‘This focus on individuals should promote participation in sport and its benefits as well as a healthy lifestyle at all levels.’
The summit also agreed that a ‘continuous dialogue’ should be maintained between the Olympic Movement and esports communities.