The International Olympic Committee (IOC) is officially bringing esports into the Olympics with the OES 2023.
With the rise in popularity of esports among younger audiences, it has been long talked about the potential of esports competition finding a place in the Olympics, along with traditional sports. Before the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games, IOC organized the Olympic Virtual Series with over 200k participants from 100 countries. After the success of this virtual competition, IOC stated their interest in bringing esports to their big audience, hinting at the Olympic Esports Series back in November 2022.
After IOC announced that Singapore would be hosting the Olympic Esports Week this June, many people expected some news about OES to follow. the Olympic Esports Week is a partnership between the IOC, the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth, Sport Singapore and the Singapore National Olympic Committee (SNOC) with the purpose of supporting the growth of virtual sports within the Olympic Movement. And today, IOC officially confirmed the Olympic Esports Series will not only kick off today, but the event will also finish with a live event at OEW in Singapore, between 22 and 25 June 2023.
Welcome to the Olympic Esports Series! 🎮
It’s time for the world’s best gamers to battle for the title in the virtual arena. 🥇#OlympicEsports #OlympicEsportsSeries pic.twitter.com/cARJZTeGF1
— The Olympic Games (@Olympics) March 1, 2023
Olympic Esports Series 2023 lineup has some familiar games
The games lined up for the inaugural Olympic Esports Series might be disappointing for some of the hardcore esports fans, who were expecting to see some of the more popular titles appear. But IOC seems like they decided to go with the approach of including games of more traditional sports, rather than what more gaming fans would consider esports. The full lineup of selected games 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)
Speaking at the announcement, David Lappartient, Chair of the IOC Esports Liaison Group, 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.”
The competition aims to bring both professional and amateur players together, with open registrations on Olympics.com available for each game selected for the OES. The registrations are open now with qualifications beginning today and ending on May 15, 2023. The full schedule of the live event in Singapore and ticket details for the Olympic Esports Week 2023 will be revealed in April with another announcement by IOC.