The International Olympic Committee (IOC) announced it will dive into the esports scene with the Olympic Esports Series.
But, contrary to what many people expected, the respected sporting body did not choose popular games for its 2023 edition, so say goodbye to your hopes of seeing Tencent's TCEHY "League of Legends," Valve's "Dota 2", "Valorant," or "Counter-Strike" in this year's Olympic Esports.
See also: Why Esports Teams Are Hiring More Women Gamers Than Ever Before
So, which games will be represented? Mainly, video games that are simulations of real-world sports, like Sony Group Corp's SONY "Gran Turismo," Ubisoft Entertainment's UBSFF "Just Dance", Konami Group Corp's KONMY "WBSC eBaseball: Power Pros," "Virtual Regatta," "Virtual Taekwondo," "Tennis Clash," and "Tic Tac Bow", as well as a chess video game and an indoor cycling trainer.
Olympic Esports 2023: The Reason Behind It All
Polygon, the gaming website, reached out to the IOC to ask for clarification about the controversial video game picks, which cited violence as one of the main reasons for discarding the most-popular esport games. The Committee also pointed at "inclusivity," and "technical barriers to entry" which could be referring to titles that need a high-end PC to operate.
"When considering these proposals, it is important to us that the featured games in the Olympic Esports Series align with the Olympic Values. This includes participation inclusivity, such as technical barriers to entry, the gender split of player base and avoiding any personal violence, against the backdrop of the IOC’s mission which is to unite the world in peaceful competition," the IOC told Polygon.
Moreover, the IOC explained it partnered with international sports federations for the selection of the games, and that the popularity of the titles was not a factor in its consideration.
"The Olympic Games has always offered a diverse programme, including those sports whose competitors do not benefit from the platform of other high-profile competitions. In order to build a similarly diverse programme for the Olympic Esports Series 2023, we have partnered with International Federations (IFs), who in turn propose game developer partnerships. Although not currently sports on the Olympic programme, both chess and motorsports are recognised International Federations, so were invited to submit proposals to be part of the competition," the IOC added.
The Olympic Esports Series' qualification rounds started on March 1, and the event will culminate in live, in-person finals at the first Olympic Esports Week, which will take place from June 22 to June 25 in Singapore.
Next: What Are Esports And Where Is The Industry Going? Everything You Need To Know
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