Congratulations to Ruby Plumridge (Lower Sixth, Gascoigne) and Isobel Ponsford (Lower Sixth, Gascoigne) who won the First Round of the prestigious ESU Mace Competition on Tuesday 28 November 2017. They spoke in opposition to the motion: ‘This House would add E-sports to the Olympics’. Other topics debated on the evening included: ‘This House would pay elected politicians the median wage in their country’ and ‘This House would introduce a year of compulsory, non-military national service after Year 13 (or equivalent).
This seemingly straightforward topic took some unusual turns with the revelation that Chess has been rejected as an Olympic sport, in part because of significant issues with doping in the chess playing world. We also explored the extent to which the Olympics have become a commercial enterprise and how the changes in broadcasting rights for Tokyo 2020 may signal the end of London 2012 as the Legacy Olympics. Through a clear focus on Olympic Values rather than a tabloid style liturgy of the dangers of gaming, the Cokethorpe team convincingly argued that e-sports have value but are not worthy of inclusion in the Olympic pantheon.