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IOC EB Suggests Creation of 'Olympic Esports Games' The EB will be putting the proposal in the upcoming 142nd IOC Session during the Olympic Games Paris 2024. The IOC Members will further vote on the proposal

By Paromita Gupta

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In a groundbreaking push for having esports on a global platform, the International Olympic Committee Executive Board, later last week, proposed the creation of the 'Olympic Esports Games'.

The EB will be putting the proposal in the upcoming 142nd IOC Session during the Olympic Games Paris 2024. The IOC Members will further vote on the proposal.

According to the official statement, the IOC is already in advanced discussions with a potential host, and an announcement can be expected very soon after the last formalities have been finalized.

"With the creation of Olympic Esports Games, the IOC is taking a major step forward and is keeping up with the pace of the digital revolution. We are very excited how enthusiastically the esports community represented in our Esports Commission has engaged with this initiative. This is further proof of the attractivity of the Olympic brand and the values it stands for," said Thomas Bach, President, IOC.

Bach tasked the Esports Commission with studying the creation of "Olympic Esports Games" last October.

The history

The international body has time and again shown its interest in taking esports to the next level.

The IOC has been engaging with esports since 2018, with the first engagement with the community being the establishment of the Esports Forum in 2018 in Lausanne. Later, the Esports Liaison Group (now IOC Esports Commission) was set up as a platform to engage with all the esports stakeholders.

In 2021, the committee developed the Olympic Virtual Series, the IOC's first pilot venture in esports.

Other commitments include Olympic Esports Week which took place in Singapore in June 2023 where the finals were created in collaboration with the International Sports Federations (IFs) and game publishers.

Notably, over 130 players competed in the Olympic spirit on the global stage, in 10 mixed-gender category events.

Industry rejoices

Akshat Rathee is optimistic of the move and expects newer partnerships with existing and fresh entrants in the space for brands, publishers, and communities. "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. The Olympic Esports Games is an endorsement of esports by the most prestigious global sports body, realizing its value and giving it recognition," shared Akshat Rathee, Co-Founder and Managing Director, NODWIN Gaming.

Roby John, CEO and Co-Founder of SuperGaming feels 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," adds John.

Rajan Navani of JetSynthesys calls it a hopeful move, "The IOC's proposal to create 'Olympic Esports Games' presents India with a golden opportunity to shine on the global esports stage. With a vibrant video gaming community of over 450 million and a booming industry, India is poised for exponential growth."

Paromita Gupta

Entrepreneur Staff

Features Writer with Entrepreneur India

Covering news and trends in AI and Metaverse segments. An avid book reader running her personal blog on the side. You may reach me at paromita@entrepreneurindia.com. 
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