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Future Of E-Sports: Singapore To Host Olympic Virtual Sports Festival

Future Of E-Sports: Singapore To Host Olympic Virtual Sports Festival

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the Singapore National Olympic Council (SNOC) are allegedly in talks over holding an inaugural Olympic Virtual Sports Festival in 2023.

During a luncheon hosted by the SNOC in Singapore, the current IOC president and former Olympic gold medallist, Thomas Bach, hinted Singapore could host the virtual sports festival.

“We would be very pleased to have the inaugural Olympic Virtual Sports Festival here in Singapore,” Bach said.

The festival will build on last year’s Olympic Virtual Series (OVS) by developing the series into an annual event.

When hosting last year’s virtual series, the IOC partnered with five International Sports Federations (Ifs) and game publishers to hold the inaugural OVS.

Overall, more than 250 000 participants across 100 countries took part in the event.

The announcement of 2021’s Olympic virtual series was a landmark move for the IOC after the organisation advised its subsidiary sporting organisations against joining the Global Esports Federation (GEF) in 2020.

The IOC’s change in tune regarding e-sports was catalysed by its release of the Olympic Agenda 2020+5 in 2021.

The agenda outlined a goal of developing the IOC’s relationship with virtual sports and the gaming committee.

Bach said a drive to stay relevant and remain at the forefront of change has influenced the IOC’s alignment with e-sports and its discussions regarding next year’s potential virtual sports festival.

“In this fast-developing world, you either change or be changed,” Bach said.

During the luncheon, Bach explained how Singapore’s adoption of change and e-sports makes it the ideal candidate to hold next year’s Olympic virtual sports festival.

“Singapore is one of the most dynamic countries in Asia and the world,” Bach said.

“You’re [Singapore] never getting complacent, never standing still…this is something the IOC want to follow,” he added.

Bach explained the IOC’s approval of Singapore’s efforts to drive positive change within e-sports and virtual sports.

“The IOC is very much impressed with this progress,” he concluded.

Overall, Asia is leading the way in e-sports growth with Shanghai set to become the global e-sports capital. 

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