Toward the integration of esports into the Olympic Movement: retrospective and prospective analysis.


  • Florian LEFEBVRE University of Montpellier
  • Nicolas BESOMBES Université Paris Cité, Institut des Sciences du Sport-Santé de Paris
  • Nicolas CHANAVAT CETAPS, University of Rouen Normandy Olympic Studies and Research Center (CEROUEN)


Olympic movement, esports, strategy, retrospective, prospective


While International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) president Thomas Bach recently asked the new IOC Esports Commission to study the creation of Olympic Esports Games, no research provides an empirical analysis of the rationale behind the IOC’ esports strategy. This study aims to fill this gap by highlighting how the IOC could plan the maintenance and evolution of its esports strategy for future Olympic esports events such as the Olympic Esports Games. A focus group of Vietnamese Generation Z esports fans forms the main data used for this research. The results provide both a retrospective and a prospective analysis of IOC’ esports strategy. The findings suggest that IOC’ esports commission decision-makers should try to find a balance between popular and sustainable esports scenes when choosing titles for the future Olympic Esports Games. The latter event further appears to be a strategic opportunity for the IOC to partner with major esports titles while previous initiatives such as the Olympic Virtual Series (OVS) and the Olympic Esports Series (OES) rely on physical and non-physical virtual sports.






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