The International Olympic Committee (IOC) on Wednesday confirmed that its inaugural Olympic Esports Week will be held in Singapore from June 22 to 25, 2023.
The announcement marks the next major step in supporting the development of virtual sports within the Olympic Movement and engaging further with competitive gamers, the IOC informed in a release on Wednesday.
The Olympic Esports Week will showcase the best of virtual sports — hybrid physical and simulated sports — with the four-day festival, including exhibiting the latest technologies, panel discussions, education sessions, and show matches, the IOC informed.
The event will be held in partnership with the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth, Sport Singapore, and the Singapore National Olympic Committee (SNOC).
The highlight of the week will be the first in-person live finals of the Olympic Esports Series, a global virtual and simulated sports competition created in collaboration with the International Federations (IFs) which builds on the successes of last year’s Olympic Virtual Series.
The 2021 series attracted over 250,000 participants from across 100 countries to take part in competitions in virtual and simulated sports including baseball, motorsport, cycling, rowing, and sailing.
Speaking about the announcement, IOC President Thomas Bach said: “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.
“It is a perfect opportunity to be partnering with Singapore, which has a history of supporting innovation in the Olympic Movement, hosting the inaugural Youth Olympic Games in 2010, so we are looking forward to working together closely,” Bach added.
SNOC Board member and IOC Vice-President Ng Ser Miang said: “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.”