Esports will be a medal sport in the 2022 Asian Games.
Alisports, the sports arm of e-commerce giant Alibaba, has partnered with the Olympic Council of Asia to bring esports to the Asian Games when it comes to Hangzhou, China in 2022.
Could it be that in the future, esports will be an Olympic sport? Esports is popular in Asia and for now has also been added as a demonstration sport to the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta and Palembang, Indonesia as well as the OCA’s Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games (AIMAG) in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan in September. AIMAG will feature esports competitions in FIFA 17 along with MOBA (Multiplayer Online Battle Arena) and RTA (Real Time Attack) types of games.
“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,” OCA president Sheikh Ahmad Al Fahad Al Sabah said in a statement Monday.
“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 e-sports, will assist the OCA in developing all sports.”
Said Alisports founder and CEO Mr. Zhang Dazhong in a statement: “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 will work with the OCA to develop the digital marketing of esports. The sports platform last year had partnered with International e-Sports Federation, which has committed to pushing esports into the Olympic Games.
There has been some traction when it comes to esports one day being recognized as an Olympic sport. LA 2024, the committee trying to bring the 2024 Olympics and Paralympics to Los Angeles, has announced a pledge to use esports to try and connect youths to the Olympics. Los Angeles and Paris are in competition for the 2024 Summer Olympic Games.
In November, Finnish eSports Federation (SEUL) was accepted as an associate member of the Finnish Olympic Committee.