IOC statement on eSports

03 November 2017

Popularity amongst the young in eSports can provide a platform for engagement with the Olympic Movement.

This was one of many conclusions about eSports from a summit of delegates from across the Olympic Movement who also asserted that: ‘Competitive "eSports" could be considered as a sporting activity, and the players involved prepare and train with an intensity which may be comparable to athletes in traditional sports.’ The stakeholders included international federations, national Olympic committees and athletes’ representatives among others.

Regarding eSports, a new report by Newzoo, a leading provider of market intelligence covering the global games, eSports, and mobile markets, states that “for brands, media, and entertainment companies, eSports provides a chance to capitalize on the favourite pastime of digital natives and Millennials: playing games and watching game content”.

The latest report from market analysts, Nielsen, gives some numbers on eSports and shows that the 53% of fans from the four largest markets (UK, France, Germany, and US) consider eSports to be an actual sport, and only 28% felt that eSports should be included in the Olympics.

In order to be recognised by the IOC as a sport, the content of "eSports" must not infringe on the Olympic values. However, two months ago, IOC President Thomas Bach called out video games as “about violence, explosions and killing.”

The Summit asked the IOC together with GAISF in a dialogue with the gaming industry and players to explore this area further and to come back to the Olympic Movement stakeholders in due course.


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