Zwift and the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) are pleased to announce their participation in the Olympic Esports Series 2023, organised by the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
Together, Zwift and the UCI will be responsible for delivering the cycling events at the live Olympic Esports Series finals, taking place at Singapore’s Suntec Centre 22-25 June 2023. Selected from the very best cycling esports athletes, based on performances at the 2023 UCI Cycling Esports World Championships and the Zwift Grand Prix, the 16 (8 men, 8 women) finalists will compete to be crowned champion.
Cycling esports is an athletic competition where the real-world efforts of the competitors power their avatars in Zwift’s virtual environment, combining the physicality of cycling with the accessibility and modern appeal of esports. Via the Zwift app, competitors can compete against other cyclists located anywhere in the world, all from the comfort of home. Zwift further gamifies competition with unique PowerUps that bring another level of skill and tactics into the mix as racers need to learn how to use these to their best advantage during the race.
Cycling esports will be one of nine esports disciplines represented at the Olympic Esports Series 2023, a global virtual and simulated sports competition, created by the IOC, and in collaboration with International Federations (IFs) and game publishers. The remaining games across eight sports are Archery (Tic Tac Bow), Baseball (WBSC eBASEBALL™: POWER PROS), Chess (Chess.com), Dance (Just Dance), Motorsport (Gran Turismo 7), Taekwondo (Virtual Taekwondo), Tennis (Tennis Clash) and Sailing (Virtual Regatta).
The Olympic Esports Series 2023 will culminate in live, in-person finals for the first time, taking place at Singapore’s Suntec Centre 22 – 25 June. Players will compete in front of fans for the prestigious title of Olympic Esports Series winner. The thrilling finals action will be streamed globally across Olympics.com and Olympic social channels.
This evolved format of the IOC’s virtual competition builds on the successes of the Olympic Virtual Series. The 2021 series, which took place ahead of Tokyo 2020, attracted over 250,000 participants from across 100 countries to take part in competitions. Cycling events held on Zwift on behalf of the UCI saw over 77,000 participants ride over 1.9 million miles during the series.
The Olympic Esports Series 2023 marks another step in supporting the development of virtual sports within the Olympic Movement, as laid out in Olympic Agenda 2020+5, and continues its collaboration with the gaming and esports communities to create new opportunities for players and fans alike.
David Lappartient, Chair of the IOC Esports Liaison Group and UCI President, said: “The Olympic Movement brings people together in peaceful competition. The Olympic Esports Series 2023 is a continuation of that, with the ambition of creating more spaces to play for both players and fans of elite competition. We look forward to witnessing some of the world’s best compete on the global stage, as well as exploring together shared opportunities and lessons - across health and wellbeing, training and innovation.”
Zwift CEO and Co-Founder, Eric Min, adds: “I’m thrilled to continue our esports journey with the IOC and once again deliver cycling events in partnership with the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI). The live Olympic Esports Series finals in Singapore will provide a perfect backdrop for some of the very best cycling esports racers to showcase this exciting new discipline.”
Cycling esports is one of nine cycling disciplines promoted by the UCI. Together with Zwift, the UCI has hosted three UCI Cycling Esports World Championships. The latest event took place in February and was won by Denmark’s Bjørn Andreassen and Loes Adegeest of the Netherlands. The event featured three knockout rounds held on a bespoke map designed specifically for cycling esports.
To find out more about the Olympic Esports Series, players and fans can visit Olympics.com.