The International Olympic Committee (IOC) is introducing a special esports program. It will be held in cooperation with international sports federations and game publishers before the upcoming Olympics in Tokyo. Among the disciplines are baseball, cycling, rowing, sailing and motorsport.Gran Turismo Sport

This was reported today on the official website of the IOC.

A special virtual series will be held from May 13 to June 23. The Olympic Games themselves will be held from July 23 to August 8.

“The Virtual Olympic Series is a new unique Olympic digital experience that aims to engage a new audience in the field of virtual sports,” said IOC President Thomas Bach.

According to him, the concept of the new series corresponds to the Olympic agenda “2020 +5”. This is the IOC’s development strategy for the next five years, which also implies the development of esports and interaction with the video game community.

The following international federations will participate in the upcoming virtual series:

  • World Baseball and Softball Confederation — eBaseball Powerful Pro Baseball game;International Cycling Union — Zwift online cycling training program;
  • The International Rowing Federation — a specific game or service is not called, it is assumed that the format will be open;
  • International Sailing Federation — Virtual Regatta game;
  • International Automobile Federation — Gran Turismo game.
  • The IOC notes that all five events will differ in concept, and people from all over the world will be able to take part right from home.

Details about the rules and the submission of applications are promised to be announced in the near future.

Representatives of other federations also expressed interest in the new format and promised to consider their participation in further Olympic virtual series. Among them are the International Tennis Federation (ITF), the International Football Federation (FIFA) and the International Basketball Federation (FIBA). In the case of the latter two organizations, we can talk about cooperation with Electronic Arts and 2K, which publish a series of FIFA and NBA 2K games.