COI apoia a entrada do eSports na competição
Imagem: COI / Greg Martin

The Executive Board (EB) of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) is proposing the creation of the “eSports Olympic Games” for the 142nd IOC Session, which will be held during the Paris 2024 Olympic Games, when members of the IOC will vote on this proposal .

The entity is already in advanced discussions with a possible host, and an announcement can be expected very soon, after the final formalities are finalized.

IOC enters the digital revolution with virtual games

“With the creation of the eSports Olympic Games, the IOC is taking a major step forward and keeping pace with the digital revolution. We are very excited by the enthusiasm with which the eSports community represented on our eSports Commission has engaged with this initiative This is further proof of the attractiveness of the Olympic brand and the values ​​it represents,” said IOC President Thomas Bach.

In other words, the IOC has been involved with esports since 2018 in a holistic way. The institution has chosen an approach that allows the organization to be successful in the esports space. In this way, the committee remained faithful to the values ​​that guided it for more than a century.

“With regards to esports, our values ​​are and remain the red line that we will never cross,” said the IOC President.

The IOC’s first engagement with the eSports community was the organization of the eSports Forum in 2018 in Lausanne, followed by the creation of an eSports Liaison Group as a platform to engage with all eSports stakeholders.

This group was later transformed into the IOC eSports Commission, chaired by IOC member David Lappartient. Then, in 2021, the IOC developed the Olympic Virtual Series, the IOC’s first pilot project in esports.

The success of the Olympic eSports Week was decisive

Building on learnings from this Olympic Virtual Series, the IOC launched Olympic eSports Week in Singapore in June 2023, which brought together the Olympic and eSports communities. One of the highlights of Olympic eSports Week was the exciting live finals. They were created in collaboration with International Sports Federations (IFs) and game publishers.

So, more than 130 players from around the world came together to compete in the Olympic spirit on the global stage, in 10 mixed-gender category events. The players were cheered on by a full house of fans in Singapore, with all the action streamed online.

Therefore, including the qualifiers, the initiative attracted more than 500,000 unique participants and generated more than six million views of the live action across all channels. Younger audiences dominated the broadcast with 75% of views coming from people aged between 13 and 34.

Following this success, last October the IOC President tasked the eSports Commission with studying the creation of an “eSports Olympic Games”. In record time, the Commission came back with a very concrete proposal.

At the Executive Committee meeting it was highlighted that this organization must take place in a completely new dedicated structure within the IOC. In other words, clearly separated from the organizational and financial model of the Olympic Games.

However, the IOC Executive Committee emphasized that international institutions already involved in an electronic version of their sport that is being considered for inclusion in the “eSports Olympic Games” would be the IOC’s first partners. Thus, the same will happen with National Olympic Committees that include electronic sports in their activities.