Esports in Olympics? The International Olympic Committee (IOC) stepping into the world of esports and gaming with the introduction of Olympic Virtual Series (OVS). Olympic Virtual Series or OVS marks the inclusion of esports & gaming to the big leagues. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) is reportedly partnering with five international sports federations & publishers to make the major event (OVS) a milestone success. The event marks itself as the first-ever Olympic-licensed event for both physical and non-physical virtual sports.
According to reports by the SportsPro, World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC), the International Cycling Union (UCI), World Rowing, World Sailing, and the International Automobile Federation (FIA) are the federations who are working together to push through all the barriers & make the esports event a reality.
The report further revealed eBaseball Powerful Pro Baseball 2020, Zwift, Virtua Regatta, and Gran Turismo are the gaming platforms set for OVS. With an open format, World Rowing is listed as well.
While there’s no information available on how to participate or respective prize pool for each event, the federation has assured that there will be major announcements real soon. They have also promised that based on diverse concepts, each OVS event will be unique & the sport will deviate from each other. The audience can watch the event live on the Olympic Channel.
Scheduled for 13th May, the federation believes the event successfully capture the attention of a lot of gaming enthusiasts around the globe before it concludes on 23rd June. In other terms, OVS has the protentional to appeal to new audiences. For that reason, the event has been set just before the beginning of the rescheduled Tokyo 2020 Olympics. The federation plans to conduct this event as a major hype-booster before the main Olympic Games begin.
Esports is finally being recognized in major platforms & IOC itself wants to establish virtual sports & capture the young audience. ‘The development of physical and non-physical forms of sports’ IOC expressed. More federations Fifa, soccer’s global governing body, the International Basketball Federation (Fiba), the International Tennis Federation (ITF) and World Taekwondo (WT) are also looking for opportunities to collaborate in future editions.
IOC president Thomas Bach said in a statement “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.”
According to David Lappartient, chair of the IOC’s esports and gaming liaison group (ELG), and president of the UCI, “On behalf of the ELG, as well as the UCI, I am delighted to be involved in the launch of the first-ever Olympic Virtual Series. A number of IFs have well-established virtual sports initiatives; and thanks to the cooperation between the IOC, the IFs and the publishers, the OVS is an exciting step forward for the virtual sports world and the Olympic Movement”.