No esports in Olympics because 'killer games' promote violence

“They, from our point of view, are contradictory to the Olympic values and cannot therefore be accepted”

The president of the International Olympic Committee has made it clear that there is currently little hope of esports ever being included in the iconic sporting event.

Speaking to the Associated Press during the 2018 Asian Games, Thomas Bach said there is a crucial barrier that is stopping video games competitions from even being considered at this point.

"We cannot have in the Olympic program a game which is promoting violence or discrimination," he said. "They, from our point of view, are contradictory to the Olympic values and cannot therefore be accepted."

Bach himself is an Olympic gold medalist, having won in the team fencing competition at the 1976 Olympic Games. When asked about this, he emphasised the difference between this form of sword fighting and the violence in video games.

"Of course every combat sport has its origins in a real fight among people," he said. "But sport is the civilised expression about this. If you have egames where it's about killing somebody, this cannot be brought into line with our Olympic values."

The Olympic president has taken this stance before, exactly one year ago, but there continues to be demand for esports to be considered as an Olympic sport. An Olympic Esports Forum was held last month, where leading games firms made their case, and even the team behind the 2024 Paris Olympics have bid for their inclusion.

While the biggest esports at the moment often do centre around killing other players - ranging from Dota 2 and League of Legends to Counter-Strike GO, Overwatch and Fortnite - there are some non-violent titles making waves in the competitive space, such as Rocket League or even digital versions of real-world sports like FIFA and PES.

Esports have become a demonstration sport at this year's Asian Games, with competitions being held around Arena of Valor, Clash Royale, Hearthstone, League of Legends, PES and StarCraft II.

Last year, it was announce competitive gaming would become a medal sport in the 2022 games but this has since been brought into question by the lack of an overarching governing body.

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Latest comments (7)

Dan Griliopoulos Lead Content Editor, ImprobableA year ago
A reminder that the modern Olympic Games were founded by the French Baron Pierre de Coubertin because, as Wikipedia puts it, he "believed that men who received physical education would be better prepared to fight in wars, and better able to win conflicts like the Franco-Prussian War, in which France had been humiliated."
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John Brooks QA Analyst 3, Aristocrat TechnologiesA year ago
Riiight because boxing is in no way violent.
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Tomas Nawar PR & Community manager, MADFINGER GamesA year ago
The civilized expression about this? Really? Most of the so-called Leaders are assholes, It is a well-known fact, but like this? This is enormous :(
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Dariusz G. Jagielski Game Developer A year ago
How about Rocket League or Splatoon or Hearthstone/other CCGs?
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Klaus Preisinger Freelance Writing A year ago
Are you able to integrate these esports of yours into the existing TV rights structure?
Are you able to get the same brands behind them during advertisement breaks?
Are those games even conducive to the TV advertisement structure?
Are enough people watching on TV to expand the brand of the Olympic product?
Do those games fit the rest of the Olympic narrative?

No, No, No, No, No, but since this is 2018, allow me to troll you by claiming this was about violence, because the only nation we all truly live in is Kekistan.
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Daniel Trezub QA Analyst, LudiaA year ago
@Dariusz G. Jagielski: If you talk about including these and don't include the others, the Olympic Committee will be called "discriminatory", trolls and hackers will harass them and send them death threats, boxes with dead rats in it, their daughters and sons will be bullied to death at school and in the end they will say "good thing we didn't include any of these videogames"
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Daniel Trezub QA Analyst, LudiaA year ago
Honestly? The current toxicity around videogames is enough reason to not include them in the Olympics. Say what you want, but the Olympics still hold a certain ideal that's not exactly associated with the videogames community.
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