Former Blizzard chief creative officer Rob Pardo discussed the idea of putting eSports in the Olympics in a recent BBC interview.
“There’s a very good argument for e-sports being in the Olympics,” Pardo said. “I think the way that you look at eSports is that it’s a very competitive skillset and you look at these professional gamers and the reflexes are lightning quick and they’re having to make very quick decisions on the fly.”
The long-running debate over whether playing video games professionally is a sport has become more of a topic for mainstream media this year as eSports continue to grow in popularity.
Earlier this year, the president of ESPN weighed in on the debate, saying that eSports aren’t sports.
“It’s not a sport — it’s a competition,” ESPN president John Skipper said in an interview. “Chess is a competition. Checkers is a competition.”
Pardo noted that doing something like trying to get eSports into the Olympics would require a lot of work, especially in how sport is defined.
“If you want to define sport as something that takes a lot of physical exertion, then it’s hard to argue that video games should be a sport, but at the same time, when I’m looking at things that are already in the Olympics, I start questioning the definition,” he said.