(Gray News) – The International Olympic Committee (IOC) announced on November 16th that the inaugural Olympic Esports Week will be in Singapore from 22 to 25 June 2023. The event is in partnership with the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth, Sport Singapore, and the Singapore National Olympic Committee (SNOC).
Olympic Esports Week aims to showcase the latest technologies in virtual sports. These virtual sports vary from cycling, which requires rigorous physical input on a stationary bike, to sailing, which is done online through a sailing simulator.
Show matches during the week will demonstrate how the competitions in each sport work. Education sessions and panel discussions will also further inform those attending the event.
IOC President Thomas Bach voiced strong support for the event: “The first Olympic Esports Week marks an important milestone in our ambition to support the growth of virtual sports within the Olympic Movement. 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.”
In-person live finals of the Olympic Esports Series, “a global virtual and simulated sports competition” created jointly with the International Federations (IFs), are set to be the event’s focal point.
The Olympic Virtual Series helped make Olympic Esports Week possible. From May 13 to June 23, 2021, the Olympic Virtual Series held competitions online in baseball, cycling, rowing, motorsport, and sailing.
eBASEBALL POWERFUL PRO BASEBALL 2020, a baseball video game, set up a space for players to compete in the Olympic Virtual Series. Players using a PlayStation 4 (PS4) had full access to the Baseball Tournament, while Nintendo Switch users challenged each other in a Home Run Derby.
Gran Turismo™ Sport was the vehicle of competition in motorsports for PS4 and PlayStation 5 (PS5) users. A global online qualification time trial was made available to players, and the top 16 finishers got picked to compete in the World Finals.
For cycling, Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) and Zwift, an indoor cycling app, joined together to hold group rides and open chase events during the Olympic Virtual Series week culminating in a Final chase event and a 24-hour group ride. Zwift allows you to cycle virtual roads and trails online.
Rowing was different in that anyone who wished to participate could. People would use personal equipment to join the Rowing Event on the Olympic Virtual Series website and follow along with rowing workouts released weekly. Participation in the event supported charitable causes through the Olympic Refugee Foundation.
Sailing events took place on Virtual Regatta, an online sailing simulator, and were organized by World Sailing. Players could download the sim and participate in the ‘Rio to Tokyo Race’ Offshore Mode or the three scheduled Inshore Mode options.
These competitions proved very popular, bringing in over 250,000 participants from 100 countries. The Olympic Virtual Series proved there is a want for virtual sports and esports to be on an international stage, and Olympic Esports Week is the next big step forward.
Singapore is excited to lead the way, with SNOC Board member and IOC Vice-President Ng Ser Miang saying: “The Singapore NOC shares the Olympic Movement’s ambitions of exploring the development of virtual sports. Singapore has a track record of successfully hosting some of the biggest events in the virtual sports and esports calendar – we are honoured to be collaborating with the IOC to bring this shared vision to life.”
More information about the Olympics Esports Week will surface in early 2023.
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