The International Olympic Committee has announced that Epic Games’ popular title Fortnite will be an official (e)sport at the inaugural Olympic Esports Week, set to take place in Singapore. The four-day festival of “virtual sports and gaming” includes various digital games, such as Gran Turismo, Just Dance, Zwift Cycling, and web chess, as well as digital archery, baseball, sailing, taekwondo, and tennis. The event is part of the IOC’s broader effort to connect with the esports world and expand the appeal of traditional sports events.
Sharpshooters Take to Fortnite’s Virtual Island for Olympic Event
The Fortnite segment of the event will focus on sharpshooting, with 12 players from the Fortnite Champion Series competing on a Fortnite Creative Island created just for the event. The International Shooting Sport Federation is backing the competition. The event will take place virtually, and fans can watch it via the official Olympics website and the organization’s social media channels.
Fortnite and the IOC’s Esports Series
This is not the first time that the IOC has engaged with the esports community. In 2021, it launched the Olympic Virtual Series to create a new experience for gamers and sports fans alike. While it is unlikely that Fortnite will be included in the regular Olympic game roster anytime soon, featuring Fortnite during the Olympic Esports Week can help the gaming community and the Olympics widen their appeal to people who are increasingly interested in playing and watching esports.
The Rise of Esports and Gaming Communities
Gaming and esports are rapidly growing industries, and their fan base continues to expand worldwide. According to a Newzoo report, the global esports market grew 9.9% year-over-year to reach $1.08bn in 2021. Experts predict that the revenue will exceed $1.6bn by 2024. In 2020, the esports audience was projected to reach 495 million, and by 2023, that number is expected to reach a massive 646 million worldwide.
Recognizing this growth, many traditional sports organizations have tried to connect with the esports world to tap into the new revenue streams and audiences. The FIFAe World Cup and the NBA 2K League, for example, have been successful esports events for soccer and basketball. As esports continue to gain more recognition, experts predict that more and more traditional sports organizations will take steps to include digital games in their events.
The Future of Esports in Sports Events
Fortnite’s inclusion in the Olympic Esports Week and the IOC’s embrace of digital games are significant milestones for the gaming and the sports worlds. Fortnite’s popularity and the passion of its fans make it an appealing game for both traditional sports organizations and esports fans alike. This event may pave the way for similar esports events featuring popular games, such as League of Legends, Overwatch, and Call of Duty.
As esports continue to gain momentum and secure more prominent places in traditional sporting events, gamers, esports fans, and sports fans will continue to come together to celebrate and enjoy thrilling competitions. The gaming community has shown the world the true potential of esports, and its achievements have changed the face of modern sports.
The inclusion of Fortnite in the Olympic Esports Week is a historic milestone for both esports and traditional sports communities. It marks the first time that one of the world’s most popular games appears in an Olympics-related event. This is yet another sign that esports are here to stay and will continue to grow in popularity and prestige. As esports continue to evolve, traditional sports organizations will likely continue to embrace their integration, leveraging their popularity and revenue potential to reach new audiences and build new revenue streams.