The Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) have announced esports will be an official medal sport at the 2022 Asian Games in Hangzhou, China.
These games have seen a number of new and different sports trialled over the years, including board games, with surfing and skateboarding set to be added to next year’s games in Jakarta and Palembang, Indonesia.
Esports will join the likes of athletics, football and rowing at the 2022 games, after featuring as a demonstration sport at the 2018 games and the OCA’s 5th Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games (AIMAG) in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, in September.
Alisports, the sports arm of online company Alibaba group, will be working with the OCA in a strategic partnership to develop and market esports at the Hangzhou games.
HE Sheikh Ahmad Al Fahad Al Sabah, OCA President, 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.
“We look forward to further collaboration with Alisports in regards to digital sports concepts along with sporting events. We are sure that the extensive organising capabilities of Alisports, and their experience in esports, will assist the OCA in developing all sports.”
It’s not yet known which games will be played at the 2022 games, but FIFA 17, MOBA and real time attack type games have been revealed for this year’s AIMAG event. Could this be a clue as to what we can expect to see in 5 years time?
With esports added as a medal sport into such an event, could we soon see it added to the list for the Olympic Games?