Computer gaming, e-sports, or electronic sports are terms used for the competitive arm of playing games on your computer. Although not considered a true sport by many people, there have been moves to include it as part of the Olympic Games program. In 2016, 2018 and 2021 there were demonstrations of the 'sport' held around the time of the Olympics. The inclusion at major events has become a reality, with eSports an official medal event at the 2022 Asian Games in Hangzhou, China.
2016 Rio Olympic Games
An international eSports competition (called the eGames) took place during the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio. It was an international gaming tournament where participants representing their country. These inaugural eGames took the form of a two-day pop-up event during the Olympic Games. It was a medal-only competition, with no prize money awarded, just medals. Male and female eGamers (>18 years old) played in team and individual games.
2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics
In 2018, two eSports tournaments (for StarCraft II and Steep) organized by Intel (part of the Intel Extreme Masters series) and supported by the IOC were held as unofficial demonstration sports before the Opening Ceremony.
2021 Tokyo Olympic Games
There was an esports demonstration event in Tokyo, called the Olympic Virtual Series (OVS). The event involved five sports - baseball, cycling, rowing, sailing and motorsport. The IOC labeled it "the first-ever Olympic-licensed event for ... non-physical virtual sports". It was an online mass participation event aimed to generate excitement in the build-up to the Olympics. It took place from 13th May to 23 June 2021, and was available for viewing on the Olympic channel.
2024 Paris Summer Olympics
The IOC has confirmed that they are not considering esports as a possible new addition for the 2024 Games in France, though there may be some form of online gaming integration with current sports.
- More about esports at the Olympic Games
- Major international esports tournaments
- Do you think esports be added to the Olympic Games program [poll]
- About the sport of eSports
- Full list of all Olympic demonstration sports