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Singapore to host Olympics’ first Esports Week in 2023

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has announced that Singapore will host the Olympics’ first Esports Week, which will begin on June 22 and end on June 25, 2023.

The IOC said the announcement marked a revolutionary step in developing and integrating virtual sports into the Olympics. IOC has partnered with the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth, Sport Singapore and the Singapore National Olympic Committee (SNOC) to organize the tournament.

The Olympic Esports Week will feature a combination of physical and simulated sports. The event will showcase the newest technologies and feature panel discussions, seminars and Esports tournaments, with its first in-person live finals as the highlight.

The Olympic Esports Series is building on the triumphs of the Olympic Virtual Series from last year. The event had over 250,000 people from around the globe competing in virtual and simulated sports like baseball, racing, cycling, rowing and more.

“We believe the exciting new format of our virtual sports competition, with live finals to be staged for the first time, is an opportunity to collaborate further with esports players and to create new opportunities for players and fans alike,” IOC President Thomas Bach said.

Bach said The Olympic Esports Week is an excellent opportunity to collaborate with Singapore. The country is a renowned powerhouse of innovations within the Olympic Movement, like when Singapore hosted the first Youth Olympic Games in 2010.

“Singapore has a track record of successfully hosting some of the biggest events in the virtual sports and esports calendar,” SNOC Board member and IOC Vice-President Ng Ser Miang said.

Miang said the Singapore NOC and the Olympic Movement have the same aspirations and are ready to bring these ambitions to life. The IOC will release the details of the Olympic Esports Week and Olympic Esports Series in early 2023.

IOC Head of Virtual Sport talks about esports in Olympics

During an interview with Inven Global, IOC Head of Virtual Sport Vincent Pereira said that although esports and sports are different, there are still some “synergies.” He said that bringing together the two sports would lead to remarkable developments in global competition.

“There are many areas where sports can support esports – for example, the Olympic Movement has tools and resources in areas such as competitor development. If there are things we can do to support this development, we’re happy to explore doing so,” Pereira said.

When asked if it was possible to see popular esports titles like League of Legends at the Olympics, Pereira said that the IOC prioritized virtual and simulated sports competitions.

“Our mission is to support the growth of virtual sports within the Olympic Movement, so this is why we’ll create new opportunities for IFs, publishers, and fans to be involved in virtual sports and see how we can work together,” Pereira added.

EU Parliament supports gaming industry

The IOC is not the only one turning its attention to the gaming industry and esports. The European Parliament recently announced support for developing professional talent in the gaming and Esports community like developers, Esports initiatives and players.

The parliament created a plan to promote growth within the gaming industry and protect “culturally significant” video games. It further said it would strive to offer a solid financial infrastructure that considers possible future difficulties and quick changes in the industry.