GameBaba Universe

Olympic Esports Series (Photo credit: @ECUonline/Twitter)
Olympic Esports Series (Photo credit: @ECUonline/Twitter)

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has revealed the games that will feature in its Olympic Esports Series. Nine virtual sports have been selected to feature in the series including dance, racing, chess, tennis, taekwondo, sailing, cycling, baseball, and archery.

Qualifying events for the maiden edition of the Olympic Esports Series will be held in the coming months, according to the IOC. However, the finals that will be held from 22 to 25 June in Singapore will be in-person (the first-ever).

This is not the first time that the IOC has tried to organize Olympic Esports Series. In 2021, the IOC held the Olympic Virtual Series prior to the delayed 2020 Tokyo Games. That edition featured four sports and eventually failed to make a great impression.

ALSO READ: 5 Stunning Video Games To Watch In March 2023

The difference this time is that the IOC is involving more game publishers instead of trying to do everything on its own as well as widening the number of games. For example, Ubisoft is in charge of Just Dance and will be the one to select a “talented pool of former Just Dance World Cup top athletes” that will get an express invitation to the Singapore finals.

In the majority of games that will be played at the Olympic Esports Series, champions will be picked from players on the mobile apps. For example, the champion of cycling will be picked from Zwift, a massively multiplayer online (MMO) cycling and running physical training app.

For archery, the organizers will turn to Tic Tac Bow which combines “the traditional requirement for accuracy with the choices of the classic pen-and-paper game” for the champion.

Olympic Esports Series roster of games

After the IOC released the list of the games that will participate in the Olympic Esports Series, analysts zeroed in on all the choices. While some of the picks were top-class in their categories with tens of thousands of players, others left gamers scratching their heads—especially because they were little-known games that people rarely play.

“The Olympic Esports Series 2023 is a continuation of that, with the ambition of creating more spaces to play for both players and fans of elite competition,” said David Lappartient, chair of the IOC’s Esports Liason Group. “We look forward to witnessing some of the world’s best compete on the global stage, as well as exploring together shared opportunities and lessons—across health and well-being, training, and innovation.”

Qualification for some of the Olympic Esports Series 2023 is now open and will run until 15 May 2023. Players can sign up for the qualifying round here. Below is the IOC’s lineup for the Olympic Esports Series.


Chess is one of the games included in the Olympic Esports Series

The champion for chess will be determined through This is by far one of the biggest online platforms for chess players—and definitely a great pick by the IOC.


Zwift is virtual game played with physical stationary bike

The champion will be picked from Zwift. Here people pedal real stationary bikes to compete


This is the only exception where no app is used to decide champions. It will be done by invites only and motion capture will be used for the final showdown. Virtual Taekwondo will make use of VR motion-tracking.


Just Dance is one of the games included in the Olympic Esports Series

The champion will be determined through Just Dance. This is a good pick considering the fact that Just Dance already has its annual competition.


Gran Turismo is one the most famous racing games

The champion will be picked through Gran Turismo. While there are other solid competitors that deserve attention in this category, Gran Turismo is still a solid choice—and there is little argument about that.


Virtual Regatta has received wide applause from players

For sailing, the champion will be picked through Virtual Regatta. This is a sailing simulation game that is available on mobile. It has been widely promoted for being fairly balanced and accurate.


Tennis clash will feature in Olympic Esports Series

Tennis Clash was the choice of the IOC in this category. With over 50 million downloads, the popularity of this game is unquestionable. However, many people that have played the game complained about predatory mechanics and how high it costs to succeed in the game.


Baseball Power Pros is available on PlayStation and Switch

The champion will be determined through Baseball Power Pros which is available on PlayStation and Nintendo Switch. It has many playing modes including Exhibition, Success, Season, MLB Life, and Home Run Challenge. This is another fairly good choice.


The champion of archery will be decided through Tic Tac Bow. Arguably the worse choice in the entire Olympic Esports Series roster. The game was released on 24 February 2023 and is only available on Android and not on iOS. At the time of writing this post, it had just over 5K downloads with very poor ratings.

Tic Tac Bow was the surprise inclusion in the list

ALSO READ: Dead by Daylight Is The Latest Horror Game To Get A Movie Adaptation

According to a note released by the IOC, beginning in mid-April, there will be in-app qualifiers where gamers across the globe will compete to win the World Archery Tic Tac Bow Championships.

Eight players will qualify for the Olympic Esports Finals. Six others will be picked from the virtual world championships while two gamers will be selected from physical Olympic Esports Series Qualifiers.

Esports professionals could not hide their disappointment

Esports professionals have been speaking out since the release of the Olympic Esports Series roster—and most of them are far from impressed. Zachary Allor, coordinator for Northeastern University’s esports program said he expected to see massively popular games like “Overwatch” and “Leagues of Legends”.

Speaking with optimism, Allor said the Olympic Esports Series roster was “an honest first attempt” as the IOC tries to enter the world of esports. Allor said the IOC’s selection was a literal interpretation of esports. What they have done is opt for “virtual sports” over games that dominate esports. Allor also expressed concerns about the inclusion of Tic Tac Bow.

ALSO READ: This Video Game Allows You To Play As Jesus Christ—And Kill Satan

“[The game] is literally a mobile app where you play tic-tac-toe and it came out last month, and the Olympic finals for it is in a few months,” Allor said. “Even if we wanted to take it seriously, I don’t know who can master a game at that level in two months.”

Matt Woods of the esports marketing and talent agency AFK could not hide his disappointment after the announcement of the Olympic Esports Series roster. Woods said the inclusion of esports in the Olympics should have been a triumphant moment for fans of esports which has grown tremendously since the early 1980s to over five hundred million in 2023.

“Unfortunately, last week’s announcement left us feeling disappointed and, honestly, a little embarrassed,” Woods said. “Instead of working with existing game publishers or well-established tournaments, it seems that the Olympic committee has instead decided to use this event as a marketing vehicle for brand-new, poorly thought out, unlicensed mobile games.”

Remember to share and bookmark this website to stay up to date on all the hottest news in the gaming industry.