The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has announced that the 2023 Olympic Esports Series qualifiers will begin today.
The series is a “global and virtual simulated sports competition” created by the IOC, organized in cooperation with official sports federations.
Nine sports are represented at this year’s event, e.g Gran Turismo and Just Dance included.
Professional and amateur players from around the world are invited to participate in qualifying for each event starting today, with the finals taking place in live events at Singapore’s Suntec Center from 22-25. June. These will be streamed on Olympics.com and Olympic social channels.
The nine events and games confirmed for this year’s series (with cooperating official sports federations and at the start of qualifying for each event) are as follows:
- Archery – Tic Tac Bow (World Archery Federation) – Starts Spring 2023
- Baseball – WBSC eBaseball: Power Pros (World Baseball Softball Confederation) – Starts March 27th
- chess – Chess.com (International Chess Federation) – Starts April 1st
- Cycling – Zwift (UCI) – Starts TBC
- dance – Just Dance 2023 (World DanceSport Federation) – TBC start
- Motorsport – Gran Turismo 7 (Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile) – starts on April 13
- Sailing – Virtual Regatta (World Sailing) – starts March 17th
- taekwondo – Virtual Taekwondo (World Taekwondo) – starts TBC
- Tennis – Tennis Clash (International Tennis Federation) – TBC to start
The qualifying process for each game is different and details are available from the official Olympic Esports Series website when the details are finalized.
What has been confirmed, however, is that Gran Turismo 7’s qualifiers will take place on a customized Olympic Esports Series track that will be available in-game from April 13, where players will attempt to set their best time in an online time trial.
According to the IOC, the Olympic Esports Series 2023 is the next step in “supporting the development of virtual sports in the Olympic movement”.
The first Olympic Virtual Series took place in 2021 before the Tokyo Olympics and featured five sports, including baseball (played in eBaseball Powerful Pro Baseball 2020) and motorsports (played in Gran Turismo Sport).