Gamers worldwide can rejoice as esports finally become a regular feature in the Olympic Games.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) announced on July 13, 2024, that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia will host the inaugural Olympic Esports Games in 2025.

This historic event marks a significant milestone in the evolving relationship between traditional sports and competitive gaming.

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This announcement follows the IOC’s recent decision to establish the Olympic Esports Games, a proposal to be presented at the upcoming IOC Session on the eve of the Olympic Games Paris 2024.

The 2025 Games in Saudi Arabia are poised to further solidify esports as a recognized and celebrated part of the Olympic movement. Get ready because the world’s best gamers are about to compete for gold.

Saudi Arabia to host groundbreaking Olympic Esports Games in 2025

The Olympic Esports Games 2025 announcement by the IOC and NOC
Credit: International Olympic Committee

This 12-year partnership marks a significant step in integrating esports into the Olympic tradition.

“We are very fortunate to be able to work with the Saudi NOC on the Olympic Esports Games because it has great – if not unique – expertise in the field of esports with all its stakeholders,” said IOC President Thomas Bach in an official post.

“The Olympic Esports Games will greatly benefit from this experience.”

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HRH Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki Al Faisal, Minister of Sport and President of the Saudi Arabian Olympic and Paralympic Committee, expressed his enthusiasm.

“Saudi Arabia is hugely excited by the prospect of partnering with the IOC and helping to welcome a completely new era for international sport,” said Turki Al Faisal.

“We are proud to support the writing of a new chapter in Olympic history that has the potential to inspire new dreams and ambitions for literally millions of athletes around the world.”

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This partnership aligns with Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030, which aims to transform the nation’s social and economic landscape. Since 2018, Saudi Arabia has hosted over 100 international sports events, significantly increasing sports participation nationwide.

Women’s sports have rapidly developed, with nearly half of the Kingdom’s 23 million female gamers.

“Witnessing the growing trends of female participation in esports is very exciting,” said IOC Member and President of the Women’s Committee, Princess Reema Bandar Al-Saud.

“I look forward to the Olympic Esports Games as an opportunity for more female participation from across the globe in a safe and inclusive space.”

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With the partnership in place, the next steps include selecting a city and venue, determining the event’s timing, choosing the game titles, and establishing the player qualification process. The IOC will also create a dedicated structure for the Olympic Esports Games, ensuring they receive the necessary focus and resources to thrive.

Since 2018, the IOC has steadily increased its involvement in esports, with notable events such as the Olympic Virtual Series in 2021 and the Olympic Esports Series in Singapore in 2023.

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