SINGAPORE: Singapore will host the inaugural Olympic E-sports Week in June next year, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) announced on Wednesday (Nov 16).
In partnership with the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth, Sport Singapore and the Singapore National Olympic Committee (SNOC), the event will take place from Jun 22 to Jun 25 next year.
The four-day festival will exhibit the latest technologies and include panel discussions, education sessions and show matches, said the IOC.
The highlight will be the first in-person live finals of the Olympic E-sports Series, a global virtual and simulated sports competition which builds on the successes of last year’s Olympic Virtual Series, added the committee.
The 2021 series attracted more than 250,000 participants from 100 countries to take part in competitions in virtual and simulated sports including baseball, motorsport, cycling, rowing and sailing.
“The first Olympic E-sports Week marks an important milestone in our ambition to support the growth of virtual sports within the Olympic Movement,” said IOC president Thomas Bach.
“We believe the exciting new format of our virtual sports competition, with live finals to be staged for the first time, is an opportunity to collaborate further with e-sports players and to create new opportunities for players and fans alike.
“It is a perfect opportunity to be partnering with Singapore, which has a history of supporting innovation in the Olympic Movement, hosting the inaugural Youth Olympic Games in 2010, so we are looking forward to working together closely."
The IOC announcement comes as a boost to Singapore’s ambitions of becoming a global e-sports hub, as the country aims to host more events.
Last month, Singapore hosted the finals for The International, the annual flagship tournament for the popular multiplayer online video game Dota 2, which had a prize pool of US$8.5 million (S$12 million).
“The Singapore National Olympic Council (SNOC) shares the Olympic Movement’s ambitions of exploring the development of virtual sports,” said SNOC board member and IOC vice-president Ng Ser Miang.
“Singapore has a track record of successfully hosting some of the biggest events in the virtual sports and e-sports calendar - we are honoured to be collaborating with the IOC to bring this shared vision to life.”
Details about the first Olympics E-sports Week will be announced in early 2023, said IOC.