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eSports set to feature at the 2022 Asian Games

20 April 2017 16:02

The 2022 Asian Games is set to see eSports introduced as an official medal sport for the very first time.

The 19th Asian Games will take place in Hangzhou, China, in five years’ time, with eSports’ inclusion down to the partnership between the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) and Alisports, a branch of Chinese e-commerce firm Alibaba.

Prior to 2022, eSports is featuring as a demonstration sport in both the Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games (AIMAG) this September in Turkmenistan, and in next year’s Indonesian-based Asian Games.

The AIMAG will see players compete in FIFA 2017, and multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) and real time attack (RTA) games such as League of Legends, Dota 2 and StarCraft II.

Recognised by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), approximately 10,000 athletes took part in the most recent Asian Games three years ago in South Korea. Other athletes will compete in games such as swimming, diving and athletics, but the introduction of eSports will really catch the eye due to its lack of perceived physical exertion.

Teams competing as a country will raise an interesting dynamic to the eSports world. Currently, players compete on teams with multiple other nationalities, so bringing countries together as one will be really interesting to find out who ends up on top. With Asia being the biggest continent in which eSports are played, it really will be the best of the best going head to head.

The 2022 Games will take place on the 10th–25th September, making it the third-time China has hosted the Games after 1990 and 2010. Given the popularity of eSports already throughout Asia, the sport’s growth will undoubtedly increase even further between now and then.

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Updated on: 2017-08-18

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