The world’s most popular esports are unlikely to ever appear as an Olympic event; even if the International Olympic Committee has been keen to incorporate video games into the its competitions. This is apparently due to the stance of the IOC to promote peace and harmony, and doesn’t look towards violent games.
Alisports, Alibaba’s esports arms, brought the complicated situation to light during an interview with Bloomberg. The company is set to sponsor the Olympics until 2028; and is now pushing for games that simulate real life sports like football and car racing.
“In our communication with the Olympics committee, we’ve come to have a better understanding of their values, which is to promote peace. That’s why for the future development of esports, we will focus more on titles that are actually related to sports, instead of games that focus on violence and slaughter,” Zhang Dazhong, chief executive officer of AliSports told the news agency.
This, unfortunately, leaves almost every major esport out of contention for being invited to the Olympics. Games like Overwatch, Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds, Dota 2, and Counter Strike: Global Offensive all require the use of (simulated) violence to win matches.
It’s entirely understandable why the IOC and Alisports would be taking this stance; since it’s in the Olympic spirit to want to avoid promoting conflict. However, it certainly puts a roadblock in the path to athletic legitimacy for esports.