Win a gold medal from your front room? IOC launches Olympic Virtual Series
Win a gold medal from your front room? IOC launches Olympic Virtual Series IOC announces it is moving into esports and virtual sports Baseball, cycling, rowing, sailing and motor sport in frame Konami eBaseball Powerful Pro Baseball 2020.Photograph: The Famicast/Konomi Konami eBaseball Powerful Pro Baseball 2020.Photograph: The Famicast/Konomi Thu 22 Apr 2021 13.00 BST Last modified on Thu 22 Apr 2021 21.29 BST The prospect of an Olympic gold medal being won from someone’s living room or garden shed moved a step closer on Thursday after the IOC announced it was moving into esports and virtual sports.The inaugural Olympic virtual series, which starts next month, will involve five sports – baseball, cycling, rowing, sailing and motor sport – as part of a plan to grow new audiences for the International Olympic Committee .Read more A well-placed source told the Guardian that while medals would not be awarded for now, the possibility of medal events in the future for “physical” virtual sport, such as online rowing and cycling, should not be ruled out.But the source insisted there would never be gold medals for Overwatch or League of Legends.
In a statement the IOC said the Olympic Virtual Series would “mobilise virtual sport, esports and gaming enthusiasts all around the world in order to reach new Olympic audiences, while also encouraging the development of physical and non-physical forms of sports in line with the recommendations of the IOC’s Olympic Agenda 2020+5 ”.The IOC president, Thomas Bach, said the series, which will initially last for a year, is “a new, unique Olympic digital experience that aims to grow direct engagement with new audiences in the field of virtual sports”, adding: “It encourages sports participation and promotes the Olympic values, with a special focus on youth.” The IOC confirmed five international federations and gaming publishers would be part of the Olympic Virtual Series.They include World Baseball Softball Confederation and Konami’s eBaseball Powerful Pro Baseball 2020 video game; the UCI and Zwift; World Rowing and Open format; World Sailing and Virtual Regatta; and the FIA and the Gran Turismo video game.David Lappartient, chair of the IOC’s esports and gaming liaison group and president of the UCI, also welcomed the establishment of the new series.
“A number of international federations have well established virtual sports initiatives; and thanks to the cooperation between the IOC, the IFs and the publishers, the Olympic virtual series is an exciting step forward for the virtual sports world and the Olympic movement.” Topics .