The Asian Games are the world’s second largest multi-sports event and competetive gaming will be an official part of the Games in Hangzhou 2022.
Competetive gaming has become one step closer to be recognized as official sport. As The Guardian reported, eSports will be featured as demonstration sport during next year’s event in Indonesia. At the Hangzhou Games 2022 however, competetive gaming will be completely included in the official sporting program. The Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) said, it wanted to reflect “the rapid development and popularity of this new form of sports participation”.
As a preview, eSports will also be part of the upcoming Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games. So far, FIFA 2017 is the event’s only confirmed title. But the organizers already announced that both multiplayer online battle arena games and RTS titles will appear in the competition.
The multi-sport Asian Games are touted as second only to the Olympics. About 10,000 athletes participated in the most recent event in 2014.
The event will be sponsored by Alisports, the sports division of Chinese online retail juggernaut Alibaba. The company had invested $150 million in the South Korean International eSports Federation, which had long campaigned to bring eSports to the Olympics. Therefore, the Asian Games 2022 might be a test run for the next step, the inclusion of competetive gaming in the Olympics.