Skip to main content

The next big Olympics esports competition will feature chess and Just Dance

The next big Olympics esports competition will feature chess and Just Dance


The IOC’s Olympic Esports Series adds some new activities to the lineup.

Share this story

Image: CRISTINA QUICLER/AFP via Getty Images

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) is taking its next steps into esports competitions, and it’s adding chess and Just Dance to the mix.

Starting today, the IOC is kicking off the Olympic Esports Series, which expands upon the Olympic Virtual Series it put on in 2021 with some new events. Like the Olympic Virtual Series, Olympic Esports Series will focus on virtual representations of physical activities. While that means you won’t see any Overwatch 2 gold medalists, the IOC is adding some entries to the lineup that adhere less to the traditional concept of “sport.”

New for Olympic Esports Series are archery, tennis, tae kwon do, Just Dance (Ubisoft’s hit dancing franchise), and chess, which will sit alongside returning competitions in motorsport (via Gran Turismo), cycling, baseball, and sailing. Chess, to me, feels particularly notable given how huge it has become on Twitch, and I think there could be a huge draw to watching the fight for the first Olympic esports chess champion.

The Olympic Esports Series technically kicks off today, March 1st, with initial qualifiers. The competitions will build up to an in-person event, Olympic Esports Week, that’s set to take place in Singapore from June 22nd to 25th. 

Correction March 1st, 1:36PM ET: Clarified that the competition is Olympic Esports Series, not just Olympic Esports Week. We regret the error.