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IOC Eases Off Support for Electronic Gaming as Olympic Event 


FILE - Philadelphia Fusion players compete against the London Spitfire during the Overwatch League Grand Finals at Barclays Center, Brooklyn, N.Y., July 28, 2018. The Overwatch League says Atlanta will join the global, city-based esports circuit for its second season in 2019.

The International Olympic Committee has slowed its support for recognizing electronic gaming as a sport.

After an Olympic leaders' meeting on Saturday, the IOC said "discussion about the inclusion of esports/egames as a medal event on the Olympic program is premature.''

Enthusiasm has seemed to dim since the IOC hosted a July conference with esports organizers and players.

Sports bodies are now advised to "continue to engage with this [gaming] community, whilst at the same time acknowledging that uncertainties remain.''

The IOC rules out cooperation with violent games, and suggests virtual and augmented reality could become more popular with young people.

"Commercially driven'' gaming was also compared unfavorably with "values-based'' sports.

The IOC said governing bodies would continue meeting gaming industry officials "to explore jointly collaborative projects.''

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