IT&Software

Thumbs-up for electronic sports at the 2022 Asian Games

Thumbs-up for electronic sports at the 2022 Asian Games

The Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) said it wanted to reflect "the rapid development and popularity of this new form of sports participation".

The OCA will partner with Alisports, a subsidiary of Alibaba Group, to bring esports to the Asian Games.

The Olympic Council of Asia has confirmed eSports will make a debut in the 2020 Asian Games.

Sheikh Ahmad Fahad Al-Sabah, president of OCA, said: "We look forward to further collaboration with Alisports on digital sports concepts along with sporting events".

Alisports founder and chief executive Zhang Dazhong added: "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".

The sports program has also included a variety of martial arts, contract bridge, jet-ski racing and sport climbing.

ESports generated $493m in revenue with a global audience of about 320m people in 2016, the market research firm Newzoo reported previous year. There will be eight qualifiers from each region (two per game) and four Turkmenistan players, making it a 52-player field.

E-sports to be contested at the fifth edition of the AIMAG, scheduled to take place from September 17 to 27, include Federation Internationale de Football Association 2017, Multiplayer Online Battle Arena and Real Time Attack.

E-sports have been lobbying to get into the Olympics for several years now and Alibaba has been at the centre of it.

It means Changzhou will remain the home of the World Electronics Sports Games (WESG), which Alibaba launched previous year, for the foreseeable future.

In November, William Hill at the Downtown Grand in Las Vegas became the first sports book in the United States to take action on eSports, while last week, MGM announced plans to transform the nightclub at the Luxor into a multi-level eSports arena, part of a trend the casino industry hopes will attract young people to its properties.

A massive industry that continues growing, participants and followers of the E-sport scene and videogame culture have always been hoping that the competition would finally be considered as an actual sport at the Olympics.


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