On April 22nd, it was announced that the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has partnered with video game publishers and five International Sports Federations (IFs) to produce Olympic esports events. The Olympic Virtual Series (OVS) will take place during the summer in Tokyo.
Furthermore, Gran Turismo will be featured in a virtual Olympic event as well. This comes as part of the partnership between the IOC and the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA)
“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,” said IOC President Thomas Bach. “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.”
There are five main organizations scheduled to participate in the OVS. They are the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC), Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI), World Rowing, World Sailing, and FIA.
Scheduled to take place before the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, the OVS will begin on May 13th and run through June 23rd. The Olympic Virtual Series will mobilize virtual sport, esports, and gaming enthusiasts around the globe in an attempt to reach new Olympic audiences while encouraging the development of physical and non-physical forms of sports.
The Profit‘s Take:
The IOC is completely clueless here. Kudos to them for at least dipping their toes in the esports waters. That’s an achievement. However, the way they are going about it will not achieve what they desperately need – to attract a younger audience to the Olympics.