The International Olympic Committee (IOC) is taking its next steps into esports competitions, and it’s adding chess and Just Dance to the mix.
In June, the IOC will host Olympic Esports Week, which expands upon the Olympic Virtual Series it put on in 2021 with some new events. Like the Olympic Virtual Series, Olympic Esports Week will focus on virtual representations of physical activities. While that means you won’t see any Overwatch 2 gold medalists, the IOC is adding some entries to the lineup that adhere less to the traditional concept of “sport.”
New for Olympic Esports Week are archery, tennis, tae kwon do, Just Dance (Ubisoft’s hit dancing franchise), and chess, which will sit alongside returning competitions in motorsport (via Gran Turismo), cycling, baseball, and sailing. Chess, to me, feels particularly notable given how huge it has become on Twitch, and I think there could be a huge draw to watching the fight for the first Olympic esports chess champion.
Olympic Esports Week technically kicks off today, March 1st, with initial qualifiers. The competitions will conclude with an in-person event that’s set to take place in Singapore from June 22nd to 25th.