IOC Executive Board proposes creation of 'Olympic Esports Games'

The IOC's initiative follows successful ventures into esports with events like the Olympic Virtual Series in 2021 and the Olympic Esports Week in Singapore in June 2023 which featured over 130 players in 10 mixed-gender category events. With a packed audience in Singapore, the event attracted substantial online viewership, engaging over 500,000 unique participants and accumulating six million live-action views across diverse platforms, particularly resonating with viewers aged 13 to 34


ANI | Updated: 17-06-2024 18:38 IST | Created: 17-06-2024 18:38 IST
IOC Executive Board proposes creation of 'Olympic Esports Games'
Olympics logo. Image Credit: ANI
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In a groundbreaking move, the Executive Board (EB) of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has proposed the establishment of the 'Olympic Esports Games.' This proposal will be discussed at the upcoming 142nd IOC Session during the Paris Olympics, marking a pivotal moment for the integration of esports into the global sporting landscape. The IOC's initiative follows successful ventures into esports with events like the Olympic Virtual Series in 2021 and the Olympic Esports Week in Singapore in June 2023 which featured over 130 players in 10 mixed-gender category events. With a packed audience in Singapore, the event attracted substantial online viewership, engaging over 500,000 unique participants and accumulating six million live-action views across diverse platforms, particularly resonating with viewers aged 13 to 34.

For India, known for its burgeoning esports industry, this proposal holds profound implications. The country's esports athletes have already demonstrated their skill at multiple major international multi-sport tournaments. This includes a bronze medal for the nation's DOTA 2 team at the Commonwealth Esports Championships 2022, and Tirth Mehta's bronze at the Asian Games 2022, where esports was a demonstration event. Sharing his thoughts on this development, Akshat Rathee, Co-Founder and Managing Director of NODWIN Gaming commented, "This recent development around the 'Olympic Esports Games' further fortifies the dawn of esports as a mainstream sport in international multi-sport events. The decision to make International Federations responsible for the adjacency of their sport to an esport title empowers democratically elected and independent sports federations the ability to engage with the youth of their respective sports while keeping the tenets of the Olympic charter."

India also competed in five different titles at the Asian Games 2022 in Hangzhou, where esports made its debut as an official medal sport. With esports slated to feature prominently in future multi-sport events like the Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games (AIMAG) 2025 and the Aichi Nagoya Asian Games 2026, Indian esports stands to gain enhanced recognition and support. On how the proposal of IOC's EB will impact the esports sector, Akshat Rathee stated, "The Olympic Esports Games is an endorsement of esports by the most prestigious global sports body, realizing its value and giving it recognition. With the strategic partnership of NODWIN gaming with the Global Esports Federation (GEF), our aligned vision is to elevate esports globally in emerging markets. We expect newer partnerships with existing and fresh entrants in the space for brands, publishers, and communities. I am excited and hopeful that the opportunity offers traditional esports titles a chance to be chosen by International or National Federations and will soon be included as a medal sport in the Olympics as well as this new-age sport will finally be embedded under the iconic rings of the Olympics."

Since achieving official recognition as a 'multi-sport' event, esports has emerged as a mainstream sport in India. Noteworthy tournaments like NODWIN Gaming's BGMI Masters Series (BGMS) are now broadcast on mainstream sports networks, traditional sports figures, and teams have become involved in the industry, and Prime Minister Narendra Modi has openly supported its growth. "We're excited to see the International Olympic Committee (IOC) actively considering the inclusion of Esports in the Olympics. This is a major step in recognizing Esports as a legitimate performance sport. By integrating Esports into the Olympics, the IOC acknowledges the dedication, skill, and sportsmanship of this growing field. The hard work of governing bodies, stakeholders, game developers, and especially the gamers, has made this achievement possible. This move validates the importance of esports and celebrates the efforts of everyone involved. In our own small way, we are proud to contribute to the grassroots growth of Esports in India, and it is exciting to see the grit and talent of players from across the world compete at Esports and shine in their Olympic journey." stated Roby John, CEO and Co-Founder of SuperGaming.

The potential inclusion of esports as an Olympic sport will not only bring in more audience by positioning esports alongside traditional sports but also open doors for new partnerships and opportunities within India's dynamic esports ecosystem. (ANI)

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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