An IOC and GAISF esports forum will be held in Lausanne on July 21 ©IOC

An esports forum organised by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in conjunction with the Global Association of International Sports Federations (GAISF) is set to take place on July 21 in Lausanne, it has been confirmed.

The IOC claim the forum, due to be staged at the Olympic Museum, will "explore synergies, build joint understanding and set a platform for future engagement between the esports and gaming industries and the Olympic Movement".

The forum was announced in May but the IOC have now revealed further details.

Esports players, teams and sponsors will join representatives from National Olympic Committees, International Federations, athletes and the IOC at the one-day event.

"We understand that sport never stands still and the phenomenal growth of esports and gaming is part of its continuing evolution," GAISF President and IOC member Patrick Baumann said. 

"The esports forum provides an important and extremely valuable opportunity for us to gain a deeper understanding of esports, their impact and likely future development, so that we can jointly consider the ways in which we may collaborate to the mutual benefit of all of sport in the years ahead."

The forum is taking place amid continued dialogue regarding esports between the Olympic Movement and the gaming industry.

The forum is set to include various panel discussions, sessions and interviews on a number of topics ©IOC
The forum is set to include various panel discussions, sessions and interviews on a number of topics ©IOC

IOC President Thomas Bach voiced reservations last April on whether esports can be considered a pursuit worthy of serious consideration for a place on the Olympic programme but, at the same time, promised to "watch" its development following a call for a more organised governing body.

He spoke more enthusiastically later in the year and a declaration released following an October Olympic Summit in Lausanne said that 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".

Bach has continually urged caution, however, particularly over the inclusion of "killer" games.

However, the six games due to be used as part of the official Asian Games esports demonstration event at Jakarta and Palembang this year includes League of Legends, a battle arena game.

Heathstone, Starcraft II, Pro Evolution Soccer, Clash Royale and Arena of Valor are the other five games which will be contested.

At present, esports does not have an IOC-recognised International Federation so is not in a position to apply for Olympic inclusion.

"We are pleased to be hosting our first esports forum, which is a great opportunity for both the Olympic Movement and representatives from the world of esports and gaming to begin a discussion, listen and learn from each other, and understand the potential opportunities for collaboration," said IOC sports director Kit McConnell.

"The IOC and GAISF are closely following the rapid development of esports globally, and we look forward to a really engaging discussion."

The forum is set to include various panel discussions, sessions and interviews.

Governance, media and broadcasting, the athlete perspective and the investor perspective are among the topics due to be explored.