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How to watch (or join) the Olympic Virtual Series games

For the first time ever, the Olympics is hosting a series of virtual games. Here’s everything you need to know to join or watch the games

Students work in the control room during an esports match.
Students work in the control room during an esports match in Boise, Idaho, on Thursday, March 4, 2021. For the first time ever, the Olympics is hosting a series of five virtual games.
Otto Kitsinger, Associated Press

For the first time ever, the Olympics will include a special series of online competitions — the Olympic Virtual Series. People worldwide are invited to join or watch the events on the Olympic Channel, according to Olympics.com.

The Olympic Virtual Series began qualification rounds on May 13 and will conclude with final competitions on June 23, Olympic Day, according to Olympics.com.

  • The traditional Olympic events will begin in Tokyo on July 23 after being delayed a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Deseret News reported.

What is the Olympic Virtual Series?

The Olympic Virtual Series includes five events: motorsports, sailing, baseball, rowing and cycling. These are not medaled events, according to The Verge.

  • This lineup differs from video game esports, like “League of Legends” or “Overwatch.” Instead, the IOC chose to focus on virtual versions of physical sports, reports The Verge.

How can you watch (or join) the Olympic Virtual Series?

All final events on June 23, Olympic Day, will be broadcast live on the Olympic Channel.

Two sports have finished qualification rounds:

Three sports remain open for participation:

The rowing and cycling events require participants to use physical equipment, says The Verge.

What’s the future of the Olympic Virtual Series?

The IOC has indicated that virtual sports will have a growing role in the Olympics, reports The Verge. Although far from confirmed, virtual versions of physical sports could become medalled events for the 2028 Los Angeles Games.