IOC to vote on creation of Olympic Esports Games, says president

LAUSANNE, Switzerland -- The International Olympic Committee will next month vote on the creation of new Olympic Esports Games that the Olympic body hopes will become the peak of achievement for gamers around the world, president Thomas Bach said Friday.

The IOC has been looking into esports for several years and formed a dedicated commission to look at opportunities. In 2021, it developed the Olympic virtual series, a pilot venture in esports.

"With the creation of Olympic Esports Games, the IOC is taking a major step forward and is keeping up with the pace of the digital revolution," Bach said at a news conference. "We are very excited how enthusiastically the esports community represented in our Esports Commission has engaged with this initiative. This is further proof of the attractivity of the Olympic brand and the values it stands for."

The proposal of the IOC executive board will be voted on at their session during the Paris Olympics next month, with a potential host already being considered.

Bach said a new structure would be set up within the IOC, but it would be separate from the organizational and financial model for the traditional Olympic Games.

The IOC has been trying for years to connect with a younger generation of potential Olympic fans, with its traditional audience base for the Games gradually aging.