Olympic Games organiser the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has announced details of the upcoming Olympic Esports Week, which will take place in Singapore in June 2023.
The event will feature the live in-person finals of the Olympic Esports Series, a continuation of the Olympic Virtual Series which featured competitions in virtual cycling, motorsport, rowing, sailing, and other virtual sports.
The Olympic Esports Week will be held in partnership with the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth, the Singapore National Olympic Committee and Sport Singapore.
The four-day festival, set to take place between 22-25th June 2023, will see showcases of hybrid physical and simulated sports, exhibitions of new technologies, panel discussions, show matches, and education sessions.
The news comes just a day after the Global Esports Federation partnered with the European Olympic Committees to expand the development of esports on the continent, and less than a week after the European Union voted to recognise and devise a long-term strategy for esports in Europe.
Further details about the Olympics Esports Week, including how players can participate, will be revealed in early 2023, IOC announced.
The Olympic Virtual Series was unveiled in April last year, and was timed to coincide with the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. DreamHack Sports Games was chosen to handle its marketing and production.
The IOC has made moves towards exploring esports in the past, for example holding an Esports Summit in 2018. Esports has also appeared as a pilot event at the Commonwealth Games and a medal event at the Asian Games in the past.
Although details are slim, the Olympic Esports Week does show that the IOC has intentions to further explore the possibility of working more with esports in the future.
There are currently no publicily announced plans for esports titles to be part of the Olympics, thuogh the fact the Committee is exploring ways to connect with gamers and esports fans is encouraging.
IOC President Thomas Bach commented in a release: “The first Olympic Esports Week marks an important milestone in our ambition to support the growth of virtual sports within the Olympic Movement.
“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.”