SINGAPORE – Singapore will add another e-sports feather to its cap in 2023, when it hosts the inaugural Olympic Esports Week, which was announced by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) on Wednesday.
The June 22-25 event will feature a variety of virtual sports – both hybrid physical and sports simulations – and attendees will get to participate in exhibitions of the latest technologies, panel discussions, education sessions and show matches.
It will also feature the first in-person live finals of the Olympic Esports Series, a virtual and simulated sports competition which may include sports like taekwondo and archery.
With the accelerated interest and growth of the e-sports community, hosting of the Olympic Esports Week will further strengthen Singapore’s line-up of major sporting and virtual sports events, said Sport Singapore (SportSG) and the Singapore National Olympic Council (SNOC) in a press release on Wednesday.
Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Edwin Tong said: “The Olympic Esports Week will catalyse the development of sport technology and innovation in virtual sports and showcase new avenues for Singaporeans to lead an active lifestyle.
“It will also have a significant impact on our e-sports sector and, more importantly, create new common ground by bringing together different communities, especially sport and e-sports enthusiasts and the youths.”
SNOC president Tan Chuan-Jin is looking forward to Singapore staging another Olympic event after it hosted the 117th IOC session in 2005 and the first edition of the Youth Olympic Games in 2010.
He said: “It is our privilege to have this opportunity to co-create the inaugural Olympic Esports Week with the IOC and be part of this exciting milestone of the Olympic Movement.”
SportSG chief executive Lim Teck Yin believes that having the event in Singapore will allow those in the local sport industry to learn from others around the world.
“Hosting the inaugural Olympic Esports Week marks another milestone for sporting Singapore and we are excited to work with the IOC to bring this dynamic vision for virtual sports to life,” said Lim.
“The festival will be a platform for the local sport industry to collaborate with international federations and tech companies, and this will no doubt give a boost to the development of the local and regional virtual sports scene.”
Singapore has hosted several prestigious e-sports events in recent years, including the US$18.9 million (S$25.9 million) The International 2022, the biggest global tournament for Dota 2 which took place from Oct 15-30.
Other tournaments that have been held here include the US$800,000 Mobile Legends Big Bang (MLBB) M3 World Championship, the US$2 million Free Fire World Series and the US$500,000 Wild Rift Horizon Cup.