The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has partnered with five international sports federations and video game publishers to produce the Olympic Virtual Series (OVS), the first Olympic-licensed event for virtual sports.
According to the official news statement, the event will take place between 13 May and 23 June 2021 May 13th, featuring virtual sports and esports across baseball, cycling, rowing, sailing, and motorsport. It will coincide with the start of the upcoming Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
Some of the titles selected for the event include Konami’s eBaseball Powerful Pro Baseball 2020 (for baseball), Zwift (for cycling), Virtual Regatta (for sailing), and Polyphony Digital’s Gran Turismo (for racing). However, it has yet to be revealed which title will be used for OVS’ rowing event.
IOC President Thomas Bach said:
“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.”
Perhaps this will finally help bring esports one step closer to being featured in the actual Olympics. It’s a good day for the further development of esports in the eyes of the world.