Olympic Esports Week


2 minute read
Words Row360
Photography Benedict Tufnell
Published 20.06.23

Rowing takes its place at the Olympic Esports Week 2023. The Olympic Esports Week 2023 is a four-day festival showcasing the best of virtual sports. The inaugural event, created by the IOC in partnership with the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth, Sport Singapore and the Singapore National Olympic Committee (SNOC) will take place at Singapore’s Suntec Conference and Exhibition Centre from the 22nd to the 25th of June.

In collaboration with its exhibition partners EXR and Rowcave, World Rowing will present the sport’s latest gamified offerings to a global audience. Indoor rowing will be featured as an exhibition sport in the “free-to-play” zone.

Across the four-day festival, which will enjoy thousands of on-site visitors, the World Rowing zone will be accessible to the public, to discover and get involved with indoor rowing. Olympic athletes and gold medalists such as Will Satch MBE (GBR), Matthew Brittain (RSA), and Joan Poh (SGP) will be on-site. In addition, the Chair of World Rowing’s Indoor Rowing Commission, Filip Ljubicic, will contribute to the high-profile panel discussion “Gamification of Sports: the next level of competition”.

“The 2023 Olympic Esports Week is a fantastic opportunity for our sport to demonstrate its attractiveness to new audiences and participants globally,” says World Rowing President Jean-Christophe Rolland. “Indoor Rowing is a key part of our future, and being in Singapore, at the heart of innovation, alongside the top publishers will help us significantly increase awareness and excitement about this dynamic and fun side of Rowing with its new competition formats and virtual opportunities.”

“Fully embracing the modern trends of Healthy Living, Connected Fitness and Sport Gamification, Indoor Rowing is enjoying exponential, worldwide growth,” Vincent Gaillard, Executive Director of World Rowing adds. “We are excited about the journey ahead of us and activating all related opportunities for the overall development of our sport and World Rowing’s partners.”

In Singapore, World Rowing will be joined by two of developers. Salty Lemon Entertainment is the Belgian game development studio producing the virtual indoor rowing application EXR. “EXR opens the doors of Indoor Rowing to everyone, from top athletes striving for new records to novices looking for a fun way to get fit,” explains Alfred Campenaerts, CEO of Salty Lemon Entertainment. “EXR is the home of a passionate rowing community that is united by their love for the sport and the pursuit of their personal fitness goals.”

Rowcave is an immersive and performance-enhancing rowing studio which replicates real world conditions to extract the best from athletes. “Rowcave is a new kind of indoor training tool, created to empower individuals to reach their best levels of performance,” says Theo Rigden, Founder of Rowcave. “Athletes can train together in beautiful and detailed environments which immerse them in some of the world’s best waterways – all from the convenience of their clubs, gyms or boathouses.”

The Olympic Esports Week 2023 will showcase the best of virtual sports across exhibiting the latest innovations, panel discussions, education sessions and show matches. A highlight of the Olympic Esports Week 2023 will be the first live, in-person finals of the Olympic Esports Series 2023.