The burgeoning world of e-sports could soon achieve the ultimate endorsement — becoming an Olympic sport.
Video gamers probably aren't what you picture when you think of world-beating athletes, but according to Olympics boss Thomas Bach, the industry's biggest stars could find themselves competing for Olympic gold next decade.
"The IOC is in talks with the e-gaming industry, and they like what they see with virtual reality games," reported Seven News reporter Chris Reason.
"They could be an Olympic sport in 13 years time."
Mr Bach is in the country and meeting with local Queensland mayors in Brisbane and is expected to encourage city officials to bid for the 2032 Games, news.com.au reports.
His comments come after the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the Global Association of International Sports Federations (GAISF) met with representatives from the e-sports and gaming industries in Switzerland, in July last year.
The reason for the meeting was to explore areas for potential collaboration or, to put it more bluntly, for the IOC to get its hands on the huge amount of money sloshing around the e-sports world.
According to a post on the Olympic site at the time of the meeting, the forum looked at questions including "whether esports could be recognised as a sport, and in which form they could be represented within the Olympic Movement".
At the moment an organisation does not exist globally to represent e-sports that can "align with the Olympic values, rules and regulations", the post said. "For this reason, the consideration of whether e-sports could be included on the Olympic program was not an immediate goal of the e-sports Forum."
There's no question the Olympics is changing, as it looks to evolve with the modern sporting world. Surfing and skateboarding will feature in the Tokyo Olympics in 2020, and from the sounds of it, gaming could be the next unlikely sport to join the fray.
The idea e-sports could appear at the Olympics has been kicking around for the past couple of years, but the earliest it would probably happen is at the 2028 Games to be held in Los Angeles, if not the following Olympic event in 2032.
In an interview with the Associated Press in 2017, Tony Estanguet, then co-president of the Paris Olympic bid committee that will host the Games in 2024, said they explored the option of bringing e-gaming to the event.
Essentially, he said he owed it to the kids to entertain the idea.
"The youth, yes they are interested in e-sport and this kind of thing. Let's look at it. Let's meet them. Let's try if we can find some bridges," he said.