Olympic Virtual Series gathering steam


IOC announces Olympic Esports series Image: Olympics

The Olympic Esports Series 2023 kicked off on March 1st and nine sports were initially included in the event when details were released by the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

‘hangzhou2022.cn’ stated that archery, baseball, chess, cycling, dance, motorsport, sailing, taekwondo, and tennis events are open to professional and amateur players in the world as the series takes the format of the Olympic Virtual Series, which took place before the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

‘olympics.com’ stated that the above event is a global virtual and simulated sports competition created by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) 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); and
  • Tennis (International Tennis Federation, Tennis Clash).

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 June 22nd-25th, the finals action will be a highlight of the recently announced Olympic Esports Week 2023.

‘olympics.com’ further stated that 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 the players and fans alike.

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 the 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 program and ticket details for the Olympic Esports Week 2023 will be revealed in April.

Each featured game in the Olympic Esports Series 2023 has its own competition format and entry requirements. In addition to this, these requirements will align with the current IOC recommendations on the participation of athletes with Russian and Belarusian passports, and should be followed by the IFs.

The International Sports Federations (IFs) are responsible for the integrity of their sport on the international level. The International Sports Federations are international non-Governmental organizations recognized by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) as administering one or more sports at world level.

Singapore-based Sport Singapore is a statutory board under the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth of the Government of Singapore. It is the lead agency tasked with developing a holistic sports culture for the nation.

The Singapore National Olympic Council (SNOC) is the National Olympic Committee and National Paralympic Committee for the Republic of Singapore. It was founded in 1947 as the Singapore Olympic and Sports Council before renaming to its current iteration in 1970.

Lausanne (Switzerland)-based the International Olympic Committee (IOC) is a not-for-profit, civil, non-Governmental, international organization made up of volunteers which is committed to building a better world through sport. It redistributes more than 90 percent of its income to the wider sporting movement, which means that every day the equivalent of USD 4.2 million goes to help athletes and sports organizations at all levels around the world.

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