IOC sees Japan as potential host of 2026 Olympic Esports Games

Japan has been asked by the International Olympic Committee to host the Olympic Esports Games in 2026, according to sources familiar with the situation who spoke on Friday.

In June 2023, the IOC’s first-ever Olympic Esports Week took place in Singapore. By October of the same year, IOC President Thomas Bach had revealed plans to organize an Olympic Esports Games, in light of the esports industry’s fast-paced expansion, particularly among the youth demographic.

It is anticipated that Japanese authorities will commence negotiations in 2024, in response to the IOC’s request.

Despite Japan’s cautious approach toward esports, hosting this event could provide an opportunity for the country to recover following Sapporo’s decision to withdraw from bidding for the 2030 Winter Olympics.

An Esports World Cup is set to be initiated by Saudi Arabia annually from the summer of 2024, offering the largest-ever prize pool in esports history.

The 2026 Asian Games, co-hosted by Aichi Prefecture and Nagoya, its capital city, will also feature esports competitions.

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