IOC to explore possibility of eSports at the Olympics

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The IOC says it will explore the possibility of eSports being included in future Olympic Games.

Competitive video gaming is an industry enjoying rapid growth and will be included in the programme for the 2022 Asian Games.

While there is no immediate prospect of eSports being included in the Olympics, further dialogue will take place to examine whether it can one day take its place at the Games.

In a media release following the sixth Olympic summit, the IOC highlighted the "rapid development" and "strong growth" of eSports, "especially within the youth demographic across different countries".

The IOC added: "Competitive eSports could be considered a sporting activity, and the players involved prepare and train with an intensity which may be comparable to athletes in traditional sports.

"In order to be recognised by the IOC as a sport, the content of eSports must not infringe on the Olympic values.

"A further requirement for recognition by the IOC must be the existence of an organisation guaranteeing compliance with the rules and regulations of the Olympic Movement [anti-doping, betting, manipulation, etc.].

"The summit asked the IOC, together with GAISF [the Global Association of International Sports Federations] 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."