After Asian Games inclusion, IESF hopes to see esports at Olympics
Nov 19 (Reuters) - The International Esports Federation (IESF) is looking to have esports included in the Olympic programme in future, president Vlad Marinescu said at its World Championship Finals in Eilat, Israel on Friday.
Esports is set to be an official medal event at the 2022 Asian Games in Hangzhou, four years after it was held as a demonstration event at the Asiad in Jakarta.
The esports industry has grown in recent years and is expected to surpass $1 billion in revenue this year but has met stiff resistance from the International Olympic Committee (IOC) when being considered as a sport for the Summer Games.
"Regarding Olympic inclusion, esports as a medal event... this is a trend that I see continuing through the continental unions, collaboration with the different continental Olympic committees," Marinescu told reporters.
"In the IESF we have continental bodies that are members... except for Oceania. These organisations will push forward to include esports in their various continental games.
"I can tell you that the IESF application fulfils all the statutory requirements and criteria. We have applied and we're looking forward to understanding what the next step is."
IOC president Thomas Bach had said in the past that some esports games were too violent and not in line with Olympic values to be included in the Games.
"We were faced with this question at this World Championship regarding the game title CS:GO," Marinescu added, referring to 'Counter Strike: Global Offensive', a multi-player first person shooter game.
"We have the ability to select, for the World Championship, the titles that the national federations want to play," adding that CS:GO was included by popular demand from the gaming community.
"When we speak about inclusion into the Olympic Games... or in any other event that is not under our umbrella but in cooperation with an organisation, we have to follow those standards and select the game that fits that criteria."
With mobile gaming now a booming industry, especially for those without the resources or means to play on gaming consoles, IESF's General Secretary Boban Totovski said the next World Championships would have one or two mobile titles.
Bali, Indonesia was confirmed as hosts of next year's World Championship, followed by Iasi, Romania in 2023.
"The minimum is one mobile title, but we're in negotiations with publishers," Totovski said. "The host city also has the right to nominate titles, we're starting negotiations in December."
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