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ESPORTS: IOC proposes the creation of Olympic Esports Games

The road to Esports Olympics may have just begun. This is after the International Olympic Committee or IOC, which... Paolo | 14. June 2024

The road to Esports Olympics may have just begun.

This is after the International Olympic Committee or IOC, which organizes the Olympic and Paralympic games, has proposed the creation of the Olympic Esports Games to the 142nd IOC session which will be held during the Paris 2024 Olympics in France.

During this time, members of the IOC will vote on the proposal, and the IOC itself has announced in a press release that there are already “advanced” discussions with a potential host.

“An announcement can be expected very soon after the last formalities have been finalized,” the IOC said in a statement.

The IOC Executive Board also said that international federations already engaged in an electronic version of their sport being considered for inclusion in the Olympic Esports Games will be among the first go-to partners for the establishment of the Games. National Olympic Committees that also include esports or have separate esports associations, will also be tapped for the organization.

“With the creation of Olympic Esports Games, the IOC is taking a major step forward and is keeping up with the pace of the digital revolution. We are very excited 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,” IOC President Thomas Bach said in the same press release.

“At the IOC EB meeting today, it was highlighted that such organisation must happen under a completely new dedicated structure within the IOC, clearly separated from the organisational and financial model for the Olympic Games,” the IOC said, which, in theory, makes the organization of the Olympic Esports Games a separate entity from the Summer and the Winter Olympic Games.

Bach added, “the IOC has been engaging with esports since 2018 in a holistic way. It has chosen an approach that allows the organisation to be successful in the esports space while staying true to the values that have guided the IOC for over a century. “With respect to esports, our values are and remain the red line that we will never cross,” the IOC President said.

The formation of the Olympic Esports Games can be dated back to 2018 when the IOC reached out to the esports community in a forum in Lausanne, Switzerland, This became the genesis for the IOC Esports Commission, chaired by IOC member David Lappartient. By 2021, the IOC made the Olympic Virtual Series, and by 2023, the IOC launched the Olympic Esports Week in Singapore.

“A highlight of the Olympic Esports Week was the thrilling live finals, created in collaboration with the International Sports Federations (IFs) and game publishers. Over 130 players from across the globe came together to compete in the Olympic spirit on the global stage, in 10 mixed-gender category events. Players were cheered on by a full house of fans in Singapore, with all the action streamed online. Including the qualifiers, the Olympic Esports Series attracted over 500,000 unique participants and generated more than six million views of live action over all channels, with 75 per cent of views from people aged 13 to 34,” the IOC said in its press release.

Following this success, last October the IOC President tasked the Esports Commission with studying the creation of “Olympic Esports Games”. In record time, the Commission has come back with a very concrete proposal. At the IOC EB meeting today, it was highlighted that such organisation must happen under a completely new dedicated structure within the IOC, clearly separated from the organisational and financial model for the Olympic Games.