Olympics Executive Board to officially propose Olympic Esports Games at Paris Olympics

Image credit: IOC

The Executive Board of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has announced it will officially suggest and discuss the creation of the Olympic Esports Games during the next IOC Session, which is set to take place during the 2024 Paris Olympics.

The IOC’s Executive Board also disclosed that it is already in “advanced discussions” with a potential host for the Esports Games. According to the IOC, an announcement can be expected soon after ‘formalities’ have been finalised.

ESI Lisbon 2024

The move is the next step in making the previously announced Olympic Esports Games a reality, and is the latest in a string of esports-related news to come from the IOC. The organisation created the IOC Esports Commission in September 2023, and first announced its plans to create an Olympic Esports Games a month later.

The IOC, the body responsible for organising the Olympics, has explored esports in a variety of ways in recent years. Previously, the IOC organised the Olympic Virtual Series and the Olympic Esports Week. However, the event received poor viewership, despite including the likes of Rocket League, Street Fighter, Gran Turismo and NBA 2K23. The IOC also partnered with ESIC to combat misconduct in esports in June 2024.

The new developments mean that the IOCs’ Executive Board will discuss the creation of the Esports Games during their next Session, which will take place in Paris later this year, alongside the 2024 Olympic Games. If the IOC members vote favourably, there will be no obstacles in the creation of the new Esports Games.

The decision does come with some caveats. Due to the fact that the Olympic Games have a set of values all sports must adhere to, the lineup of games that may be included will certainly be different than most other esports competitions, notably missing the likes of Counter-Strike, League of Legends and other games perceived to have potentially violent themes.

Additionally, the IOC announced that a “completely new dedicated structure within the IOC” will be responsible for the Esports Games, one which it said would be separate from the organisational and financial model for the Olympic Games. The first partners for the Olympic Esports Games will, according to IOC, be the international federations that are already engaged in an e-version of their sport.

IOC President Thomas Bach, said: ““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.”

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.