SINGAPORE: E-sports will be an official medal sport at the 2022 Asian Games in Hangzhou, China.
The Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) and Alisports of China – the sports arm of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group – on Monday (Apr 17) announced a strategic partnership to bring the electronic sports “video game phenomenon” to the games.
In a joint statement on the OCA website, OCA and Alisports said that e-sports would feature as a demonstration sport in next year’s 18th Asian Games in Jakarta and Palembang, Indonesia, and become an official medal sport by the time of the 19th Asian Games in 2022.
This would reflect the “rapid development and popularity of this new form of sports participation among the youth”, the statement said.
“The Olympic Council of Asia has constantly been committed to the heritage, development and improvement of Asian sports, and we are extremely pleased about the strategic partnership with Alisports,” said OCA president Ahmad Al Fahad Al Sabah in the statement.
“We look forward to further collaboration with Alisports in regards to digital sports concepts along with sporting events,” he added. “We are sure that the extensive organising capabilities of Alisports, and their experience in e-sports, will assist the OCA in developing all sports.”
Alisports founder and CEO Zhang Dazhong thanked the OCA for their faith in Alisports.
“Together we will work on providing the sponsors of the Asian Games with more opportunities and maximising the market value, so that the OCA enjoys optimum benefits and advantages,” he said in a statement.
E-sports has already been added to the OCA’s 5th Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games (AIMAG) this September as a demonstration sport. FIFA 2017, MOBA (Multiplayer Online Battle Arena) and RTA (Real Time Attack) gaming types will be among those contested, the statement added.
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