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Olympic Committee agrees eSports 'could be considered' legitimate sport

The International Olympic Committee on Saturday gave its "full support" to the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang despite tensions over North Korea's nuclear tests which have raised concerns over the showpiece event.

In August, the Paris 2024 bid team said it was keen to discuss the introduction of esports with the International Olympic Committee, adding: "The youth are interested, let's meet them".

What does an esports player do?

In order to be fully recognised by the IOC, however, they must ensure that esports does not "infringe on the Olympic values".

The IOC is now working with the Global Organisation of worldwide Sport Federations (GAISF), the gaming industry and players to, "Explore this area further and to come back to the Olympic Movement stakeholders in due course". According to research firm Newzoo, global esports audience will reach 385 million in 2017, which is a sizeable market.

Inclusion in the Olympics would be greeted with skepticism by many older people, but the International Olympic Committee is hoping it would reach out to the younger generation, who have grown up surrounded by video gaming.

This aside, the majority of the statement sounded positive for esports inclusion, the IOC seems impressed by esports as a competitive force for good, "the Summit agreed that "eSports" are showing strong growth, especially within the youth demographic across different countries, and can provide a platform for engagement with the Olympic Movement".

The rest of memo reiterates previous statements, in that the games being played should be violent in nature (so no Mortal Kombat or CSGO), and that the industry should be regulated to ensure compliance with the rules and regulations of the Olympic Movement.



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