esports: International Olympic Committee considering esports for future Games

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The International Olympic Committee is exploring the possibility of including esports in future Games.

The Olympic governing body said esports "can provide a platform for engagement with the Olympic movement".

However, to be included the content "must not infringe on the Olympic values".

In August, the Paris 2024 bid team said it was keen to discuss the introduction of esports with the IOC, adding: "The youth are interested, let's meet them."

The 2024 programme will start to be shaped in 2019, and a decision on what sports are to be added in Paris will be taken after the 2020 Games in Tokyo.

"We have to look at it because we can't say, 'it's [esports are] not about Olympics,'" Paris 2024 co-president Tony Estanguet said in August.

Competitive video gaming generated £400m in revenue in 2016, has a global audience of about 320 million, and will be included in the 2022 Asian Games.

At Saturday's summit, the IOC agreed esports is "showing strong growth, especially within the youth demographic across different countries".

It added that competitive esports could be considered as a sporting activity, and that the players involved may be comparable to athletes in traditional sports as they "prepare and train with an intensity".

A further requirement for its future inclusion would be compliance with the IOC's rules and regulations in areas such as anti-doping, betting and manipulation.

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