Esports Just Took A Big Step Toward The Olympics

eSports Olympic Games
(Image credit: Nintendo)

The Olympic Committee is preparing for the 2020 Olympic Games set to take place in Tokyo, Japan. However, they're also looking down the road at other events including the 2024 games in Paris, France. During this preparation phase the Olympic Committee informed the public at large at some of the changes and considerations being deliberated on, including a major step being taken in having eSports as part of the Olympics.

Over on the official Olympics website, there's a brief news update about the committee representatives meeting in Lausanne to discuss various responsibilities of the upcoming Olympic Games. One of those responsibilities centers around adding eSports to the Olympic Games proper.

The representatives believe that the electronic competitive and professional pastime could be considered as a legitimate Olympic sporting activity, and that the training and preparation could take place that would be "comparable" to other athletes in professional and other traditional sports.

The major caveat is that in order to be recognized by the International Olympic Committee as a legitimate sporting event the games selected for eSports competition "must not infringe on the Olympic values".

This condition was mentioned before, during an interview, where members of the IOC mentioned that the games selected couldn't feature killing or death as a means of competition. This severely limits what sort of popular games might appear during the Olympics. That basically removes the possibility of just about any MOBA game such as League of Legends, DOTA 2, or Heroes of the Storm. That also removes the possibility of seeing games like Counter-Strike, PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds or Overwatch from the line-up, especially since those games rely on teamwork utilized to commit violence against others.

I do wonder if the games selected would then be closer to the likes of Nintendo and Sega's own Mario & Sonic At The Olympic Games? Where the titles are more-so centered around sporting events rather than competitive events containing violence. Obviously, it wouldn't make a whole lot of sense to have the actual Mario & Sonic At The Olympic Games at the actual Olympic Games, but something non-violent and essentially family-friendly is likely what will make the cut, if the cut is made.

One of the front-runners for consideration would likely be Rocket League, since it not only fits the anti-violent criteria but also doesn't feature humans killing humans in anyway.

Sports games like FIFA, or racing games like Gran Turismo or Forza Motosport might also be up for consideration, but neither of the latter two are all that popular in the eSports community compared to some of the other games mentioned above.

There's also the possibility of the FGC finally getting its biggest mainstream break yet, with a fighting game potentially making the cut. But it depends on how the IOC views games like Street Fighter V or Marvel vs Capcom: Infinite as "violent games". I could easily see a game like ARMS making the cut since its violence is a lot more subdued and cartoony, and possibly fits closer in line with what the IOC might be expecting from the market.

Additionally, eSports athletes will be subjected to the same sort of medical scrutiny as professional physical athletes. The IOC made it known that there will be no doping, betting, or manipulation allowed if eSports do happen to make the cut for the 2020 Olympic Games.

Will Usher

Staff Writer at CinemaBlend.