Popular esports Battle Royale title Fortnite from Epic Games will be part of the upcoming Olympic Esports Series 2023 in Singapore. But an interesting thing here is that the tournament will not be featuring the PVP Battle Royale mode that the game is famous for.
As a matter of fact, any form of PVP or shooting of other people in the game is not present. The tournament will exclusively involve target shooting in creative mode which will feature an International Shooting Sport Federation Island.
Along with this, other games that are being featured in the Olympic Esports Series include, WBSC eBaseball™: Power Pros, Zwift, Chess.com, Just Dance, Tennis Clash, Gran Turismo 7, Virtual Regatta, and Virtual Taekwondo.
One thing to note is that the International Olympic Committee (IOC) is not adding traditional video games to the tournament but rather using them as “virtual and simulated sports competition”. This makes sense as the biggest international sports tournament cannot just feature games with people shooting each other.
The tournament will be featuring 12 players from the Fortnite Champion Series (FNCS) who will be tested for their aim accuracy in the International Shooting Sport Federation Island. People can think of it as sharp shooting, but in a video game.
FNCS can be considered as one of the biggest tournaments for Fortnite where players’ reflexes, aiming and building skills are tested. It also features massive prize pools in every global tournament.
While it is a great step for video games, a sizable bunch of gamers are not excited about the concept going by how they are making fun of the catalogs of games selected to be featured in the tournament.
Some players started asking for League of Legends and CS:GO matches which is understandable as not everyone wants to look at people shooting boards, that too inside a video game. The choice of games by the IOC is also quite interesting, and the end results remain to be seen.
While some players speculate that the tournament is being shadow sponsored by Epic Games it is unlikely to be true as Epic Games does not have that kind of money, and most importantly, the IOC have made clear that the event is not sponsored by Epic Games.
The official statement states, “This event is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or otherwise associated with, Epic Games, Inc. The information players provide in connection with this event is being provided to the event organiser and not to Epic Games, Inc.”
This is also not the first time a video game will be featured at a sports event as some other major esports titles like FIFA, Dota 2, e-Football and Tekken have already seen tournaments of their own in the Asian Games and Commonwealth Games.
Those games were not featured with any gimmicks like in the upcoming Olympic Esports Series and were played normally. The most recent Commonwealth eSports Championship also saw the Indian Dota 2 team secure a bronze medal.
Sadly, Esports was removed as a medal event last year for the next Commonwealth Games in 2026. The event was removed presumably due to anti-doping related issues as doping in esports is unlike doping in traditional sports.
Esports is also in the proposed list for medal sports at the upcoming Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games (AIMAG) 2025. The government of India has also recognized esports as a multi-sport event. With such advances in the gaming sector, esports is now also making its way into mainstream sport.