Olympic Esports Games mulled

Michelle Lojo - Philstar.com
Olympic Esports Games mulled

MANILA, Philippines — The International Olympic Committee (IOC) announced that the IOC Executive Board (EB) has proposed the creation of the Olympic Esports Games to the 142nd IOC Session -- happening at the 2024 Paris Olympics 2024 -- which will then be voted upon by the IOC members.

“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,” said IOC president Thomas Bach.

Esports and video games are something that the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has been considering venturing into. In the released Olympic Agenda 2020+5 last February of this year, the Executive Board (EB) of the IOC proposed different recommendations that are designed to strengthen the Olympic Movement by 2025.

The IOC made this come to life prior to the Tokyo 2020 Olympics with its first Olympic Virtual Series (OVS). The inaugural OVS happened last 2021 where players competed in virtual versions of Olympic events. The IOC partnered with International Sports Federations and game publishers showcasing the following events: Baseball, MotorSport, Sailing, Rowing and Cycling.

Following OVS, the IOC held the inaugural Olympic Esports Series (OES) in Singapore last year and featured 10 virtual sports: Archery, Baseball, Chess, Cycling, Dance, Motor Sport, Sailing, Taekwondo, Tennis, and Sport Shooting which was the only event to feature a popular esports title — Fortnite.

The same year, the IOC formed its Esports Commission.

Esports in the Olympics has been a topic of debate since esports was first proposed as an event for different multi-sport competition. 

The first time esports made an appearance at a multi-sport competition was back in 2007 at the Asian Indoor Games featuring titles FIFA07, NBA Live 07 and Need for Speed: Most Wanted. It has since become either as a demonstration or medal event in the Southeast Asian Games as well as the Asian Games, once again sparking the move to have esports as part of the Olympics.

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