In recent years, esports has exploded in popularity and gained mainstream recognition as a legitimate form of competition. With its growing fan base and increasing revenue, it's no surprise that the International Olympic Committee has decided to hold the first-ever Olympic Esports Week this year.
The first day of qualification for the Olympic Esports 2023 Series was March 1. Players from all over the world, both pros as well as amateurs, were invited to take part in qualification rounds for each of the games. Participants who can complete the qualification stage will get a chance to compete at the Olympic Esports Week from June 22–25 in Singapore. The four-day event will be streamed live on Olympics.com and Olympics social channels.
The Olympic Esports 2023 Series will feature nine events based on traditional sports. These include:
- Archery: Tic Tac Bow (Begins Spring 2023)
- Baseball: eBaseball: Power Pros (Begins March 27)
- Chess: Chess.com (Begins April 1)
- Cycling: Zwift (TBC)
- Dance: Just Dance 2023 (TBC)
- Motor Sport: Gran Turismo 7 (Begins April 13)
- Sailing: Virtual Regatta (Begins March 17)
- Taekwondo: Virtual Taekwondo (TBC)
- Tennis: Tennis: Clash (TBC)
Even though the qualification process for the nine events has not been clarified by the IOC, it has been confirmed that Gran Turismo 7 qualification will be conducted on a specially-designed Olympic Esports Series track, where participants will compete in an online time trial to set their best time.
The Olympic Esports Series is a follow-up to the successful 2021 Olympic Virtual Series, which featured five events including motor sport (Gran Turismo), baseball (eBaseball Powerful Pro Baseball 2020), cycling (Zwift), rowing (Virtual Regatta), and sailing (Virtual Regatta).
Speaking of Gran Turismo, game developer Polyphony Digital is working on the next installment of the popular racing sim. According to Kazunori Yamauchi, the creator of the game, development on the next title in the series has already begun.