eSports Can Be in the Olympics, Former Diablo and World of Warcraft Dev Says

Blizzard's former chief creative officer Rob Pardo explains why eSports could be considered for the Olympics.

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Blizzard's former chief creative officer Rob Pardo recently discussed the possibility of adding eSports events to the Olympics.

"There's a very good argument for eSports being in the Olympics," Pardo told the BBC in an interview. "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. When you look at their 'actions per minute', they're clearing over 300."

Pardo said that it's hard to think of video games as a sport if you define it strictly as something that requires physical exertion, but that he questions that definition given other events already included in the Olympics.

Sports television network ESPN has been airing Dota 2 and League of Legends eSports events on its online branch, ESPN 3, but the company's president John Skipper recently stated that he doesn't consider video games played at that level to be a sport.

“It’s not a sport—it’s a competition. Chess is a competition. Checkers is a competition,” Skipper said. “Mostly, I’m interested in doing real sports.”

Pardo, a 17-year Blizzard Entertainment veteran who was lead designer on the original World of Warcraft and who also worked on the Starcraft, Diablo, and non-WoW Warcraft franchises, left Blizzard earlier this year.

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