Esports has been officially approved as a medal sport for the 2022 Hangzhou Asian Games during the 39th General Assembly of the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) held in Muscat Oman.
According to the announcement, esports will join “intellectual titles” of the event alongside chess, and break dancing will be added as “dance sport.” Official game titles to be played during the event have not been disclosed as of this writing.
At the 2018 Asian Games held in Jakarta, Indonesia, five games were included as demonstration titles: League of Legends, Arena of Valor, Pro Evolution Soccer 2018, StarCraft II, Hearthstone, and Clash Royale. Earlier in 2018 India won a bronze in Asian Games 2018. Tirth Mehta created history as he won the country’s first ever esports medal at Asian Games 2018, came third and won bronze in the collectible card-based video game tournament, called Hearthstone.
BREAKING!! Esports and #Breakdance has been announced as the official events of the #Hangzhou #AsianGames2022.@RNGRoyal @lolesports @LGDgaming @Hangzhou_Spark @ESPN_Esports @overwatchleague @SKGaming @FPX_Esports @TencentGames @JDGaming @T1 @faker @UziRNG @AsianGamesOCA pic.twitter.com/ALf4Jr7SIA
— 19th Asian Games Hangzhou 2022 Official (@19thAGofficial) December 16, 2020
Apart from that esports was also included as a medal event in the 2019 SEA Games, where participants contested for six medals. The event comprised of competitions for different game titles like Mobile Legends: Bang Bang, Arena of Valor, Dota 2, Tekken 7, Starcraft II, and Hearthstone.
Commenting on the development ESFI director VP-Asian Esports Federation Lokesh Suji shared with Animation express that– “What better news than this, for not only the Indian Esports Athletes/Fans but the whole of Asia. ESFI has been participating in all the esports events done under the banner of OCA since the beginning (other than Turkmenistan). It was in 2007 when OCA included esports in Asian Indoor Games held in Incheon who would have thought that esports will become such a big craze world over since.This progressive mindset of OCA under the leadership of Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad AL-Sabah is highly commendable. Needless to forget and acknowledge the efforts of our team at AESF led by Kenneth Fok, which have finally reaped fruits with inclusion of esports as a medal sport in Asian Games-2022, I am sure that the day is not far, when esports will be a medal sport in Olympics too. We are confident that this time we will win many medals including a couple of Golds. ESFI and AESF both are committed to develop, support and grow esports not only in India but the region.”