First Asian Games featuring esports potentially postponed to 2023

Meg Kay
The logo for the 2022 Hangzhou Asian Games

According to a report by Barrons, the Asia Games will face postponement to 2023 due to ongoing lockdowns in Shanghai and Hangzhou – with esports set to make its first appearance as an accredited sport at this year’s games. 

A report by Barrons on April 21 has revealed that the 2022 Asia Games face potential postponement to 2023. 2022 was set to be the year that esports made their debut at the Games for the first time in history, with member states fielding national teams in titles including PUBG, DOTA 2, and League of Legends.

The announcement comes as the Games’ host city of Hangzhou and China’s largest city, Shanghai, face ongoing lockdowns which would make the hosting of the games impossible. Husain Al-Musallam, the director-general of the Olympic Council of Asia, stated that although “no official decision has been taken” by the committee, there is a “possibility” that the games will be postponed.

All venues for the Games have now completed construction, with Chinese organizers stating that they would provide a quarantine plan similar to that put in place for the 2021 Winter Olympics in order to ensure the safety of all participants.

What does this mean for esports?

The presence of esports at the Games has provided no shortage of logistical issues for the teams involved.

In League of Legends, the LPL was forced to create a new schedule for its Summer split in order to allow players selected for the national team the opportunity to compete in both their domestic league and the international event.

Due to this condensed schedule, the LPL’s representative for the 2022 Mid-Season Invitational will be unable to attend the tournament in Busan in person, and will instead compete remotely from their team facilities or the Shanghai LPL Arena.

The LCK also faced its own issues, with the Korean e-Sports Association (KeSPA) coming under fire for supposed poor handling of the selection process for the Korean national team.

Head Coach Kim ‘Kkoma’ Jeonggyun announced his intention to resign from the position of head coach for the national roster on April 21, citing the continual mismanagement of the selection process and tryout schedule.

The postponement of the tournament would potentially allow national leagues more time to prepare their national teams, and to change the schedules of domestic tournaments accordingly to allow their players to attend the Games.

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