Imagem: COI / Greg Martin

Thomas Bach, president of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), announced, in Gangneung, South Korea, that the long-awaited debut of the eSports Olympic Games could take place as early as 2025 or, at the latest, in 2026.

The leader revealed in an interview with the Chinese news agency Xinhua.

Japan could be the first to host eSports Olympics

Studies to hold the inaugural event, according to the IOC president, are at an advanced stage and digital games could participate in the Olympic scenario next year.

“We can have the first edition of the eSports Olympic Games in 2025 or, at the latest, 2026,” said Bach, emphasizing the potential reach of this phenomenon among younger people.

The IOC president highlights that around 3 billion people in the world are involved in games. The age range of players is, on average, 34 years old.

Thus, this makes clear the massive interest in this electronic universe.

Therefore, given this scenario, Japan emerges as the favorite to host this pioneering edition. Negotiations between the entity and Japanese authorities intensified at the end of 2023, however, an official decision has not yet been reached.

The preference is for games that stimulate physical activity

In June 2023, the IOC promoted Olympic eSports Week in Singapore, marking a significant approach to the universe of electronic sports.

But the titles highlighted were predominantly virtual simulators of conventional sports. Thus, giants such as Counter-Strike, League of Legends and Valorant were left out, the only exception being Fortnite, which participated in the event.

Vincent Pereira, responsible for eSports and games at the IOC, ruled out the possibility of including first-person shooter games (First-Person Shooter – FPS) in the Olympics.

Even with the presence of Fortnite, Pereira stated the exclusion of FPS, highlighting the entity’s emphasis on titles that promote physical activity.

Thus, on the national scene, the Minister of Sports, André Fufuca (PP-MA), during his visit to Brasil Game Show (BGS) in October last year, vigorously defended the regulation of electronic sports in Brazil.

In this way, the minister recognizes eSports as true sports, signaling a paradigm shift in the treatment of this modality in the country.