Get ready for Olympic eSports
Professional gamers around the world can rejoice because the Olympic Council of Asia announced that eSport games will appear in the 2022 Asian Games for the first time in history. This is a major development and we expect to see Olympic eSports in the future. The debate whether eSports should have a place among professional sports events has been long debated. The Olympic Council of Asia and Alisports of China have taken the first steps in making eSports recognized as an actual indoor sport. The aim is that young people and teenagers from around the world can enjoy watching them on official sports programs.
If you aren’t aware, the Asian Games is one of the biggest sports events, second to only the Olympics. 10,000 athletes took part in the 2014 Asian games. Having eSports as an event in the Asian Games will significantly boost the chance of Olympic eSports materializing.
If you can’t wait to see how eSports will be integrated into live sports events then you’re in luck. Popular eSport games will become a part of next year’s Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games. As of now, FIFA 17 is the only game confirmed to be a part of the Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games, but online competitive games like DOTA 2 and League of Legends are expected to be part of the event alongside real-time strategy game which would hint towards StarCraft 2.
The Big Guns Speak
Alisports is the eSport subsidiary of Alibaba – the Amazon & eBay of the east. It has partnered with the Olympic Council of Asia to make this happen. The OCA President, HE Sheikh Ahmad Al Fahad Al Sabah, has stated: “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 organizing capabilities of Alisports, and their experience in eSports, will assist the OCA in developing all sports.”
Alisports founder and CEO Mr. Zhang Dazhong said: “I would like to thank the Olympic Council of Asia for their faith in Alisports. Together we will work on providing the sponsors of the Asian Games with more opportunities and maximizing the market value, so that the OCA enjoys optimum benefits and advantages.”
Alisports has been a long term supporter of eSports and has even invested $150m in the International eSports Federation, a South Korean organization that requested the Olympics committee to make eSports an Olympic event. Considering how many professional sports leagues are accepting the rise of eSports and taking part in them, the acceptance of the athletic community does play a key role. The NBA has already made plans to launch their own professional eSport league and by the looks of it the NHL are not far behind.
Will we see competitive gaming and Olympic eSports? Well, we will find that out after the 2018 Indoor Asian games. If the integration of eSports is successful during these games, and backing from large organizations like Alibaba stays strong, it’s only a matter of time before we see our first medalists in Olympic eSports.
Read about the rise of eSports here.