IOC to host esports summit

International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Thomas Bach has revealed plans to hold an esports summit with key players from the competitive gaming industry.

The summit will be held in Lausanne, Switzerland at the end of July and will seek to provide the IOC with more information about esports ahead of the discipline possibly being included in a future edition of the Olympic Games.

“The idea is to enter into a dialogue with the gaming industry and the athletes and, in due course, approach the stakeholders of the Olympic Movement again,” Bach (pictured) said, according to the Sport1.de website.

Bach added: “Esports is clearly an exciting and growing sector in which millions of young people worldwide regularly engage in. The Olympic Movement cannot ignore such a phenomenon by any means.”

Earlier this week, the Asian eSports Federation (AeSF) named the titles that will contest esports’ first introduction at a major multi-sport event, with a number of leading games not making the cut for this year’s Asian Games.

Esports will feature as a demonstration event at this year’s Asian Games, which run from August 18 to September 2 in Jakarta and Palembang, Indonesia. The following titles will be showcased: League of Legends (Team 5 vs 5), Hearthstone (1 vs 1), Starcraft II (1 vs 1), Arena of Valor (4 vs 4), Clash Royale (1 vs 1) and Pro Evolution Soccer (1 vs 1).

Leading games such as Counter-Strike, Dota 2 and EA Sports’ Fifa series will be missing from the Asian Games and Bach has stressed that any esports titles that may be included at future Olympics would have to be non-violent.

“We need to draw a red line and make it clear that killer games can never be part of the Olympic Movement,” he said. “After all, the IOC is a ‘value-oriented organisation’. Game titles like Fifa, the basketball simulation NBA 2K as well as tennis and sailing games could therefore be an option.”