International Olympic Committee launches IOC Esports Commission

06 September 2023


Image credit: International Olympic Committee

The International Olympic Committee (IOC), the governing body behind the Olympics, has announced the creation of a new official commission focused on esports.

The IOC Esports Commission will be tasked with further popularising IOC’s esports efforts and includes notable people from both esports and sports industries, such as G2 Esports’ CEO Alban Dechelotte.

ESI London 2024

The new Esports Commission was announced as a part of a regular IOC Commissions update for 2023, making this an important decision for the future of esports events organised by the IOC.

IOC Commissions vary in size and field of expertise, and serve as advisory bodies to the President of the IOC, the IOC Session or the IOC Executive board. The Commissions usually focus on a certain topic, on an upcoming event — such as the Future Host Commission — or on a general field like the Public Affairs and Corporate Communications Commission.

The new Esports Commisssion will be led by David Lappartient, the President of the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) as well as the leader of the IOC Esports Liaison Group and the Olympic Esports Week that took place this June in Singapore.

Lappartient will be joined by notable sports and government figures such as Olympic medalist BMX racer Sarah Walker and Mikaela Cojuangco Jaworski, as well as FIA CEO Natalie Robyn. The CEO and Secretary General of Saudi Olympic and Paralympic Committee Abdulaziz Baeshen will also join the Commission.

On the esports side of the lineup, G2 Esports CEO Alban Dechelotte and Ubisoft’s Senior Director of Global Competitive Gaming Zeynep Gencaga have been named as members. They will be joined by Konami’s Manager of Global Business Development Shinji Namekawa, TikTok’s Head of Gaming and Esports Harish Sarma and esports and sports psychologist Mia Stellberg.

The President of the IOC Thomas Bach commented on the announcement: “The IOC believes that virtual sports have the potential to complement and enhance the traditional Olympic sports, and that they can provide new opportunities for athletes and fans to participate in the Olympic Movement.

“We believe that virtual sports can help to promote the values of excellence, friendship and respect that are at the heart of the Olympic Games, and that they can inspire young people around the world to get involved in sports and to lead active and healthy lifestyles.”

Ivan Šimić
Ivan comes from Croatia, loves weird simulator games, and is terrible at playing anything else. Spent 5 years writing about tech and esports in Croatia, and is now doing it here.