The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has announced details of the Olympic Esports Series 2023, a global virtual and simulated sports competition created by the IOC and in collaboration with International Federations (IFs) and game publishers.
The initially confirmed featured games across nine sports are:
- Archery (World Archery Federation, Tic Tac Bow),
- Baseball (World Baseball Softball Confederation, WBSC eBASEBALL: POWER PROS),
- Chess (International Chess Federation, Chess.com),
- Cycling (UCI, Zwift),
- Dance (World DanceSport Federation, JustDance)
- Motor sport (Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile, Gran Turismo).
- Sailing (World Sailing, Virtual Regatta),
- Taekwondo (World Taekwondo, Virtual Taekwondo)’
- Tennis (International Tennis Federation, Tennis Clash),
The Olympic Esports Series 2023 has began, when both professional and amateur players from around the world are invited to take part in qualification rounds across a host of the featured games.
The Olympic Esports Series 2023 will culminate in live, in-person finals for the first time, with players having the opportunity to progress to the Olympic Esports Finals 2023. Taking place at Singapore’s Suntec Centre from 22June to 25 June, the finals action will be a highlight of the recently announced Olympic Esports Week 2023.
Coming together in Singapore for this unique competition, the players will compete in front of fans for the prestigious title of Olympic Esports Series winner. The thrilling finals action will be streamed globally across Olympics.com and Olympic social channels.
This evolved format of the IOC’s virtual competition builds on the successes of the Olympic Virtual Series. The 2021 series, which took place ahead of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, attracted over 250,000 participants from across 100 countries to take part in competitions. The Olympic Esports Series 2023 marks another step in supporting the development of virtual sports within the Olympic Movement, as laid out in Olympic Agenda 2020+5, and continues its collaboration with the gaming and esports communities to create new opportunities for players and fans alike.
Speaking at the announcement, IOC Esports Liaison Group chair David Lappartient, said: “The Olympic Movement brings people together in peaceful competition. The Olympic Esports Series 2023 is a continuation of that, with the ambition of creating more spaces to play for both players and fans of elite competition. We look forward to witnessing some of the world’s best compete on the global stage, as well as exploring together shared opportunities and lessons – across health and wellbeing, training and innovation.”
This follows the recent announcement that Singapore will host the first Olympic Esports Week 2023. Created in partnership with the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth, Sport Singapore and the Singapore National Olympic Council (SNOC), the four-day festival will showcase the very best of virtual sports – including technology exhibitions, show matches, expert panel discussions, and the first live finals of the Olympic Esports Series. The full programme and ticket details for the Olympic Esports Week 2023 will be revealed in April.
On the announcement Esports Federation of India Director and Asian Esports Federation vice president Lokesh Suji said, “Previously, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) had incorporated virtual/simulation versions of traditional sports in parallel to Paris Olympics. It is encouraging to see that the IOC is continuing to embrace esports, and I have full confidence that it will soon be included as a medal sport, just like the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) has done with the Asian Games and AIMAG. Although the physical aspect of traditional esports game titles such as DOTA and League of Legends may not be apparent when esports athletes compete, the IOC has included certain games like Zwift and Virtual Taekwondo; where the esports athletes compete in a virtual reality environment and have to physically move their bodies, such as cycling or taekwondo. This inclusion will help dispel the misunderstanding that esports does not involve physical movements.
The integration of a broad selection of esports game titles and genres into major multi-sport events is a crucial step in making esports accessible to everyone, regardless of age, gender, caste, creed, ability, and other factors, aligning with the Olympic Movement’s values of inclusivity.
With the official recognition of Esports as a multi-sport in India, we are thrilled to see traditional sports such as chess and motorsports thriving in video game form, thereby adding to the growth of the community and the development of the sector.”
Alpha Zegus founder director Rohit Agarwal shared, “Not only is this a big leap for the esports industry, but the fact that even amateur players get a shot at it makes it all the more special. That’s a big win for us since it will encourage gamers of all sizes, all across the world, to interact, compete, and grow the esports industry as a whole. Here’s wishing a grand success and a big win. “