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Olympic Committee agrees eSports 'could be considered' legitimate sport

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

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has spelled out what needs to happen for eSports to feature in the Olympic Games. 

Back in August, IOC president Thomas Bach said he wasn't keen on promoting violent games, and would prefer to spotlight competitive games based on real sports like soccer. 

At the time, Bach explained eSports would have to adhere to "Olympic values" if they were to make an appearance. 

Although that point was again hammered home at a recent summit, the IOC also agreed that eSports are becoming increasingly worthy of sporting recognition.

"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,' explained the IOC in a statement picked up by The Inquirer.

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

It's a positive step forward, but the IOC was also keen to temper expectations. "In order to be recognized by the IOC as a sport, the content of eSports must not infringe on the Olympic values," reiterated the committee. 

"A further requirement for recognition by the IOC must be the existence of an organization guaranteeing compliance with the rules and regulations of the Olympic Movement."

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