Esports featured as a demonstration event at this year's Asian Games in Jakarta ©Getty Images

An International Olympic Committee (IOC) strategy could be devised on esports at the Olympic Summit in December, according to the organisation's President Thomas Bach.

Last year's Summit appeared to mark the beginning of the Olympic Movement's discussions surrounding esports.

It saw the IOC and the Global Association of International Sports Federations pledge to enter a "dialogue" with the gaming industry, which came to fruition with an esports forum in July.

The creation of a liaison group and presentations at the Olympism in Action Forum in Buenos Aires earlier this month have followed.

Discussions are also expected at next week's IF Forum here, before the Olympic Summit in December.

Bach claimed he was hopeful an esports strategy could be devised at the Summit, but sought to cool speculation regarding a possible quick entry to the Olympic programme.

The German repeated his previous assertion that esports would be a topic for his successor as IOC President.

He referenced the challenge of finding an "esports community" whom the IOC could partner with to address issues they have.

"We thought we would invite the community, only to realise that there is no such thing," he said.

"This does not exist.

"There is an aggregation of varying individuals and economical interests, with most of them having met for the first time at our Forum.

"Because they are competitive amongst themselves, several of them had not ever met with each other.

"We realised it was very difficult to find a partner with whom we could deal or address issues and challenges."

IOC President Thomas Bach suggested a strategy could be devised in December but cooled talk of a quick entrance onto the Olympic programme ©IOC
IOC President Thomas Bach suggested a strategy could be devised in December but cooled talk of a quick entrance onto the Olympic programme ©IOC

A perceived lack of physicality of esports has been cited by critics against any potential future involvement in the Olympics, with accusations that it promotes inactivity.

IOC Athletes' Commission member and BMX rider Sarah Walker told insidethegames at the esports forum that it was not currently suitable for the Olympic Games as "entry level gaming" is not active enough.

Walker did admit, however, that professional esports players at the top level of the sport are often physically fit and that there are a lot of similarities between them and more "traditional" athletes regarding commitment.

Bach made a similar assertion today, when speaking here at the Smart Cities and Sport Summit, by claiming that professional players could potentially be viewed as achieving a similar physicality with traditional sports but that lower level players might not be.

He repeated his statement that esports that contravene the Olympic values, such as violent games or those with discrimination, were a "red line" for the IOC.

The IOC President also spoke of a possible challenge of esports being added to the Olympic programme and then falling out of favour with young people due to the fast developing nature of digital technology.

"We were told at the Forum that what we saw would have disappeared in five, maximum 10 years," he said.

"Because then VR [Virtual reality] and AR [Augmented reality] will take over.

"This means if we took something like this in the Olympic programme, and it then becomes VR and AR, they might say 'this is what my grandfather was playing'.

"So it makes no real sense.

"On the other hand, we have sport simulation, there we do not have the content and values issues.

"There we might have a different approach with regard to the organisation.

"We have to wait until the discussions in December, but there could be a difference made between sport simulation and e-games in general."