The International Olympic Committee (IOC), responsible for overseeing the Olympics, has just made a noteworthy announcement. They’ve introduced a fresh initiative known as the IOC Esports Commission. This group has a clear mission: to boost the popularity of esports within the IOC’s domain.
It’s an eclectic assembly, featuring individuals from both the esports and sports sectors, including Alban Dechelotte, the CEO of G2 Esports.This Esports Commission unveiling was part of the regular 2023 IOC Commissions update, a significant development for the future of IOC-organized esports events.
Now, these IOC Commissions are quite diverse, varying in size and areas of expertise. They function as advisory bodies for the IOC President, the IOC Session, or the IOC Executive Board. Each Commission typically concentrates on specific topics, upcoming events (such as the Future Host Commission), or general fields like the Public Affairs and Corporate Communications Commission.
The Notable Members of the Esports Commission
Taking the helm of the new Esports Commission is David Lappartient, President of the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI), and leader of the IOC Esports Liaison Group, as well as the orchestrator behind June’s Olympic Esports Week held in Singapore.
Lappartient is flanked by prominent figures from the realms of sports and government, including Olympic medalist BMX racer Sarah Walker, Mikaela Cojuangco Jaworski, and Natalie Robyn, CEO of FIA. Additionally, Abdulaziz Baeshen, CEO and Secretary-General of the Saudi Olympic and Paralympic Committee, is joining the Commission.
Representing the esports sector, we have Alban Dechelotte, CEO of G2 Esports, and Zeynep Gencaga, Senior Director of Global Competitive Gaming at Ubisoft. They are joined by Shinji Namekawa, Manager of Global Business Development at Konami, Harish Sarma, Head of Gaming and Esports at TikTok, and Mia Stellberg, an esports and sports psychologist.
Thomas Bach, President of the IOC, shared his thoughts on this development, stating, “We believe that virtual sports can help to promote the values of excellence, friendship and respect that are at the heart of the Olympic Games and that they can inspire young people around the world to get involved in sports and to lead active and healthy lifestyles.”
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