(FILES) South Korea (C) and Taiwan (R) teams prepare to compete in the Esports League of Legends final match during the Hangzhou 2022 Asian Games in Hangzhou in China s eastern Zhejiang province on September 29, 2023. Photo: AFP
"I have asked our new IOC eSports Commission to study the creation of Olympic eSports Games," said IOC president Thomas Bach during the opening ceremony of the 141st IOC session on Saturday in Mumbai, India.
The German noted there are three billion people playing eSports and gaming around the world.
Estimates suggest over 500 million of those are interested specifically in eSports, which include virtual sports and sports simulations.
"What is even more relevant to us: a majority of them are under the age of 34," added Bach.
"In 2021, the IOC developed the Olympic virtual series. It was the IOC's first pilot venture in eSports.
"Building on the learnings from the Olympic virtual series, we then launched the Olympic eSports week in Singapore earlier this year," said Bach.
"In Singapore we saw proof that our holistic approach is working. We successfully brought together the Olympic and the eSports communities."
Including the qualifiers, the Olympic eSports Series attracted over 500,000 unique participants, generating more than six million views of live action over all channels, with 75 percent of views from people aged 13 until 34.
"This was a promising start. But it is just that: a start. It is like in any sport: after the promising start, the real race still lies ahead," Bach said.
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