The Olympics Committee has announced the Olympics Virtual Series (OVS) as part of its efforts to reach out to younger audiences. So far, OVS events will include baseball, cycling, rowing, sailing, and motor sport events.

The International Olympics Committee (IOC) has announced the Olympics Virtual Series(OVS), the first-ever Olympics event for virtual sports. IOC has partnered with five International Sports Federations (IFs) and game publishers for the OVS. Here’s everything you need to know about the Olympics Virtual Series.

What is the Olympics Virtual Series?

The OVS will begin on May 13 and continue through to June 23, 2021. With the OVS, the Olympics Committee hopes to reach new and younger audiences. 

The Olympic Virtual Series is a new, unique Olympic digital experience that aims to grow direct engagement with new audiences in the field of virtual sports. Its conception is in line with Olympic Agenda 2020+5 and the IOC’s Digital Strategy. It encourages sports participation and promotes the Olympic values, with a special focus on youth.”

Thomas Bach

The OVS is a platform for the Olympics to connect to a younger audience. The International Olympics Committee has been exploring various ways to include esports in its programs. However, the violent nature of esports has been a major obstacle to its inclusion in the Olympics. 

<em>IOC President Thomas Bach has been in opposition to including violent video games in the Olympics. Image Credit: </em><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener nofollow"><em>Olympics website.</em></a>
IOC President Thomas Bach has been in opposition to including violent video games in the Olympics. Image Credit: Olympics website.

If you have egames where it's about killing somebody, this cannot be brought into line with our Olympic values/ 

Thomas Bach

The Olympics will not yet include games featuring violence anytime soon. However, there are many other titles with deep roots in physical sports that have a big audience in esports. 

Which games are part of the Olympics Virtual Series?

The IOC will partner with the following publishers and games: 

  • World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) — eBaseball Powerful Pro Baseball 2020, Konami.
  • Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) — Zwift, Zwift Inc.
  • World Rowing — Open format.
  • World Sailing — Virtual Regatta, Virtual Regatta SAS.
  • Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA) — Gran Turismo, Polyphony Digital.

At the same time, each event has a format that maximizes online mass participation and prioritizes inclusivity. The mass-participation Series allows participants around the world to compete from home or their training facilities in order to generate excitement in the build-up to the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020.

The International Olympics Committee will also share more details about the OVS shortly. IOC also saod Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), International Basketball Federation (FIBA), International Tennis Federation (ITF) and World Taekwondo (WT) expressed their commitment to exploring inclusion in future OVS events. This could mean football, Basketball, Tennis and Taekwondo Esports events in the Olympics soon.

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