Olympic Virtual Series announced by the IOC

Olympic Virtual Series announced by the IOC

One step closer for esports to be recognized as an Olympic sport

Esports has yet to be recognized as a major world-level sporting event, but an announcement by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) may bring it closer to that level. The IOC just announced that they will be hosting an Olympic Virtual Series or OVS event, prior to the upcoming Tokyo Olympics.

The event is a partnership between the IOC, International Sports Federations (IFs), and game publishers. The event is an Olympic-licensed event for physical and non-physical virtual sports. There will be 5 different sports that will be included in the event:

  • Baseball: World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) – eBaseball Powerful Pro Baseball 2020, Konami Digital Entertainment
  • Cycling: Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) – Zwift, Zwift inc.
  • Rowing : World Rowing – Open format
  • Sailing: World Sailing – Virtual Regatta, Virtual Regatta SAS
  • Auto racing: Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) – Gran Turismo, Polyphony Digital

“The Olympic Virtual Series is a new, unique Olympic digital experience that aims to grow direct engagement with new audiences in the field of virtual sports. Its conception is in line with Olympic Agenda 2020+5 and the IOC’s Digital Strategy. It encourages sports participation and promotes the Olympic values, with a special focus on youth.” – IOC President Thomas Bach 

Other sports federations that have expressed an interest in future OVS instalments, per the IOC, include FIFA, as well as bodies that oversee basketball, tennis and taekwondo. If this takes off, we may see more esports title included in the line-up, similar to how the upcoming Asian Games in Hanoi will have  esports like League of Legends and PUBG Mobile as part of the sports being showcased.


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