Official dates for first-ever Olympic Esports Week announced
5 December 2022
At times, it feels like the world of international esports has just become a series of milestones, one after the other, as gaming is incorporating itself more and more into other, more mainstream sectors and industries. Viewership records are being broken on the regular for practically every popular esports title and more major events are being organized around the world, including the first African Esports Championships in Malawi and the new Valorant Challenger Circuit by Riot Games. Those are just a few examples and the list of major virtual sports events will soon welcome another long anticipated name, because very recently, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) announced the Olympic Esports Week 2023, the first-ever event of its kind.
International esports going Olympic
We’ve had enormous international tournaments, we’ve had World Cups, we even had the inaugural Commonwealth Esports Championships take place this summer, and now it’s time for yet another big step. Esports are coming to the largest sporting event in the world in a big way, because next year, the first-ever Olympic Games for esports will be organized in Singapore. From June 22nd 2023 to June 25th 2023, the event aims to showcase the very best virtual sports have to offer by exhibiting the latest tech, setting up panel discussions involving industry leaders, organizing educational sessions with esports professionals, and of course, by showing hundreds of matches in different disciplines.
“The Singapore NOC shares the Olympic Movement’s ambitions of exploring the development of virtual sports”, stated Ng Ser Miang, Vice-President at the IOC and Board Member of the SNOC (Singapore National Olympic Committee), “Singapore has a track record of successfully hosting some of the biggest events in the virtual sports and esports calendar – we are honored to be collaborating with the IOC to bring this shared vision to life”.
Building on Olympic Esports Series
While the Olympic Esports Week in Singapore will be the first of its kind, the various international sports federations who also take part in the Olympics have already been dabbling in virtual sports. Just last year, they organized the Olympic Virtual Series, a series of competitions in virtual and simulated sports like motorsport, cycling and baseball, that attracted more than 250.000 participants from more than one hundred countries. The finals of this Series will take place during the Olympic Esports Week 2023 as the highlight of the week.
“The first Olympic Esports Week marks an important milestone in our ambition to support the growth of virtual sports within the Olympic Movement”, says Thomas Bach, President of the IOC, “We believe the exciting new format of our virtual sports competition, with live finals to be staged for the first time, is an opportunity to collaborate further with esports players and to create new opportunities for players and fans alike. It is a perfect opportunity to be partnering with Singapore, which has a history of supporting innovation in the Olympic Movement, hosting the inaugural Youth Olympic Games in 2010, so we are looking forward to working together closely”.