Official Olympic Esports Games will become reality soon
17 October 2023
During the opening ceremony of the 141st International Olympic Committee (IOC) session in Mumbai, India, on Saturday, October 14th, 2023, the IOC officially announced its intentions to create the Olympic Esports Games. The announcement came shortly after the IOC announced the creation of a brand-new official commission focused on international esports, aptly named the IOC Esports Commission.
“With respect to esports, our values are and remain the red line that we will not cross," said Thomas Bach, the current President of the International Olympic Committee, during the opening ceremony in Mumbai, "Our crystal-clear position is gaining more and more respect also in the esports community”.
Building on successful Olympic Esports Week
Both the creation of the IOC Esports Commission and the announcement of plans for an Olympic Esports Games event come only a few months after the Olympic Esports Week that took place in Singapore in June of this year. It was the first event of its kind and attracted over 250.000 players who competed in ten different sports, including taekwondo, football and racing. On top of that, around 20.000 people attended the live event as spectators, which emphasizes the potential of a full-fledged Olympic esports event.
“In Singapore, we saw proof that our holistic approach is working," Bach added. "We successfully brought together the Olympic and esports communities”, says Bach, “This was a promising start. But it is just that: a start. It is like in any sport: after even a promising start, the real race still lies ahead”.
Esports at Commonwealth Games
The Olympics are not the only major international sports event where esports have been making waves of late. The Commonwealth is an international association of 56 countries of which a majority used to belong to the British Empire. Every four years, this association of nations organizes an international multi-sport event among athletes from the Commonwealth, called the Commonwealth Games. The reason we are briefly explaining this is because last year, the 2022 Commonwealth Games featured a Commonwealth Esports Games event for the first time in its long history.
The event was held in Birmingham, England, on August 6th and 7th, 2022, and featured three esports titles: Dota 2, eFootball and Rocket League. The goal of this idea was to showcase esports on a bigger platform and to an audience containing plenty of people who did not yet have any meaningful contact with the world of international esports. Despite its success though, a subsequent esports event for the 2026 Commonwealth Games has not been announced as of yet.
“Esports has connected millions of young people across the Commonwealth, providing entertainment and a vital sense of community”, said Nigel Huddleston, Commonwealth Games Minister, at the time about the addition of an esports event to the 2022 Commonwealth Games, “The Commonwealth Esports Championships is a major vote of confidence in the West Midlands’ and the UK’s thriving esports industry and an exciting chance to look at how this can be brought into the Commonwealth Sport Movement”.