Olympic body proposes creation of Esports Games

Staff WritersDeutsche Presse Agentur
Australia's Vicki Whitelaw (2nd left) watches a cycling event at last year's Olympic Esports Week. (EPA PHOTO)
Camera IconAustralia's Vicki Whitelaw (2nd left) watches a cycling event at last year's Olympic Esports Week. (EPA PHOTO) Credit: AAP

The executive board of the International Olympic Committee will propose the creation of the Olympic Esports Games to the IOC Session taking place during the Paris Olympics this summer.

"The IOC is already in advanced discussions with a potential host, and an announcement can be expected very soon after the last formalities have been finalised," the body said after the executive board meeting on Friday.

The proposal will be voted on by the IOC members during the IOC Session on July 22-24.

"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," said IOC president Thomas Bach, who has previously hinted at his opposition to the inclusion of e-sports in the Games programme.

The IOC have already launched the Olympic Virtual Series in 2021 and the Olympic Esports Week in Singapore in June 2023. At the time, the competition included 10 games with a sports background: baseball, archery, motorsports, cycling, chess, shooting, sailing, taekwondo, dancing and tennis.

Including the qualifiers, the Olympic Esports Series attracted over 500,000 participants and generated more than six million views of live action over all channels, with 75 per cent of views from people aged 13-34, the IOC said.

Bach said a new structure would be set up within the IOC but it would be completely separate from the organisational and financial model for the traditional Olympic Games.

The IOC have been trying for years to connect with a younger generation of potential Olympic fans, with their traditional Olympic audience base gradually ageing.

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