Gran Turismo Racing its Way to the Olympics

Is the start to being a legitimate sport?
Is the start to being a legitimate sport? IOC

Over the past couple of years, video games have started to slowly enter the major sports events. We’re not talking about the esports scene but more about the multisport events. During the Asian Games in 2018, six video game titles were included in the official list of sporting events. The Southeast Asian Games in 2019 also had video games on multiple platforms.

This year, it looks like there’s another chance to further break into these events, as last week it was revealed by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) that Gran Turismo is taking part in the Olympic Virtual Series (OVS).

Gran Turismo joins four other games which are:

  • eBaseball Powerful Pro Baseball 2020
  • Zwift
  • World Rowing - Open format
  • World Sailing - Virtual Regatta

While this may be exciting news indeed, it would be good to remind you to take a pause. The OVS won’t be part of the Olympic proper but is scheduled to start May 13 until June 23.

In a statement, IOC President Thomas Bach shared that the OVS is set to offer a new experience to audiences around the world, especially when it comes to virtual sports. He added that this decision is in line with the IOC’s Digital Strategy and the Olympic Agenda 2020+5.

Just in case you were wondering, Recommendation 9 of Olympic Agenda 2020+5 states: “Encourage the development of virtual sports and further engage with video gaming communities.”

There have been no other details revealed though whether it’s going to be a purely online event or if it’s a LAN tournament. However, in their official statement, the IOC did say that they may allow participants to compete from home or in their respective training facilities. Hopefully, we get more details about this as the tournament nears.

There’s no question that Gran Turismo joining OVS is indeed good news. But it goes without saying that for other games, it may take quite some time before they get included in the Olympics. So don't expect Dota 2 or League of Legends to become an Olympic sport any time soon.

What about you? What do you think?

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