It seems esports is one step closer to its inclusion into the Olympics.
The International Esports Federation (IESF) has been pushing the cause for some time now, and it might soon be reality as The Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) has signed an official partnership with Chinese e-commerce giant, Alibaba’s sports wing, Alisports, to put esports on the map with its inclusion in the Asian Games, which would be the first time for an esport event to be included in any major multi-sport event.
The deal has been signed to bring esports in the 2022 Hangzhou Asian Games, while it will also be included in 2017 Ashgabat Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games and the 2018 Jakarta Asian Games.
This would likely have huge implications in the process of esports’ inclusion in the Olympics as well as in its popularity in the contemporary milieu. As the Asian Games are recognised by the International Olympics Committee, and is dubbed as the biggest multi-sport event after the Olympics, the impact will be much higher.
This would not be Alibaba’s first venture into esports as last year the company invested $150 million to create World Electronic Sports (WESG) and the current deal signed with OCA is reportedly much higher.
This would definitely pave way for esports and will give a big boost in finding its place in the mainstream.