Olympic Esports Series 2023 Games Revealed And It’s A Mixed Bag

The Olympic Esports Series 2023 is set to kick off as they announced the categories of events being held.

Similar to the previous Olympic Virtual Series, all of the games on offer are the virtual equivalents of established sport. So the Olympics have missed out on major esports titles of various game genres including MOBAs (Dota, League Of Legends), shooters (Valorant, CS:GO), and even fighting games (Street Fighter, Tekken).

The sport and games represented at the Olympic Esports Series 2023 are as follows:

  • Archery: Tic Tac Bow
  • Baseball: WBSC eBaseball: Power Pros
  • Chess: Chess.com
  • Cycling: Zwift
  • Dance: Just Dance 2023 Edition
  • Motorsport: Gran Turismo 7
  • Sailing: Virtual Regatta
  • Taekwondo: Virtual Taekwondo

Of the eight games, the most prolific games that some gamers may have heard of are Just Dance and Gran Turismo. Ubisoft’s ongoing and successful dancing game and Polyphony Digital’s racing game are good enough games to represent the genre and both having established their own world championships so there are established esports. It’s also interesting to note that either of which are Olympic medal sports yet. Though there is a push to get Dancesport to be recognised.

WBSC eBaseball: Power Pros is also a real video game. It’s Konami’s long-running baseball game, which only recently getting a worldwide release. Its graphics isn’t realistic, but at least it’s a real video game played by gamers.

Chess.com is a literal website. But with its popularity on Twitch these days it’s fair to include one of the oldest games ever and the most famous of many examples of sports where people bicker about it being a “real” sport.

The rest of the selections are probably unfamiliar to a mainstream gamer, let alone esports fans. Tic Tac Bow is a mobile game. Zwift is a sim that requires specific gear and its community of cycling sim has little overlap with general esports unlike sim racing.

Virtual Regatta is a game available on a website or an app that has millions of players participating in their last big tournament, the Virtual Vendee Globe. And Virtual Taekwondo is a game that uses motion tracking and presents the gameplay like a 2D fighting game.

It’s a mixed bag. Despite the “Esports” name in the series, the titles being selected do not resonate with the mainstream esports fans that are gamers first. Reaction online has been mixed as well, with many jokes about the whole series just using Wii Sports as the game.

But some of these games, based on real-life sports, do have a community and competition around them. So it’s not fair to dismiss the series as a whole.

The Olympic Esports Series 2023 will begin its qualifying soon. The finals, Olympic Esporst Week, will be held in Singapore, as an in-person event, from June 22-25.

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