The first-of-its-kind Olympic Esports Games is set to be a welcome addition to the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) vast array of events to attract and engage younger audiences. The Executive Board (EB) of IOC is proposing the creation of the Olympic Esports Games at the 142nd IOC Session, which will be held during the Olympic Games Paris 2024, when the IOC members will vote on this proposal. 

The organisation further stated that it was in “advanced discussions with a potential host”. IOC president Thomas Bach in an online briefing said, “The IOC is taking a major step forward in keeping up with the pace of the digital revolution.”

Having marked its maiden venture into esports with the Olympic Virtual Series in 2021, the IOC launched the Olympic Esports Week in Singapore in June 2023 where over 130 players from around the world competed across 10 mixed-gender category events. The event drew a full house of fans in Singapore and garnered significant online viewership, with over 500,000 unique participants and six million live-action views across all platforms, notably popular among viewers aged 13 to 34.

IOC has been involved in the esports sector in a holistic way since 2018. IOC’s first venture into the esports sector was the organisation of the 2018 esports forum in Lausanne and the formation of the Esports Liaison Group as a platform to deal with all esports stakeholders. The organisation also expressed that they’re guided by the same principles that they’ve been for a century while approaching esports, the IOC president Bach claimed.

Bach further expressed, “We are very excited about how enthusiastically the esports community represented in our Esports Commission has engaged with this initiative. This is further proof of the attractivity of the Olympic brand and the values it stands for.” Bach previously mentioned to Xinhua, a Chinese state-operated news agency, that Olympics for esports games would take place as early as next year and no later than 2026.

The International Olympic Committee is a non-profit organisation of volunteers working to build a better world through sport. It also distributes 90 per cent of its earnings, approximately 4.2 million everyday to athletes and sports organisations across the world.