Thumbs-up for electronic sports at the 2022 Asian Games

Ken Copeland
April 19, 2017

As a test event, the Asian Indoor Games in Turkmenistan this year will also feature games such as League of Legends and Dota 2.

As per reports in The Guardian and the BBC, the Olympic Council of Asia said it wanted to 'reflect "the rapid development and popularity of this new form of sports participation'".

The Council is partnering with a unit of China's Alibaba Group called Alisports to bring E-sports to the Asian games. The Asian Games are recognised by the International Olympic Committee, meaning in 2022 esports will be an official Olympic sport. A mobile game will also be included, but there is no confirmation of any game yet.

Chinese internet giant Alibaba has partnered with the Olympic Council of Asia in a bid to bring esports to the 2018 and 2022 Asian Games. The event will include games like Federation Internationale de Football Association 2017, MOBA (Multiplayer Online Battle Arena) and RTA (Real Time Attack). "We are sure that the extensive organising capabilities of Alisports, and their experience in e-sports, will assist the OCA in developing all sports", he added. Los Angeles and Paris are in competition for the 2024 Summer Olympic 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". For the AIMAG, which will be held from September 17 to 27, a series of online qualification rounds across the three e-sports will be held in two parts: first at a national level followed by region-specific.

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

The winning team at the biggest e-sports event, the League of Legends World Championship, shared $1m (£810,000) in prize money a year ago.

E-sports generated $493m (£400m) in revenue in 2016, with a global audience of about 320 million people. Last July, the company got into a deal with worldwide e-Sport Federation and pledged to make it "even more legitimate" as sport.

According to The Esports Oberserver, the company has committed $150 million (£120 million/€141 million) to e-sports.

Other reports by Guamnewswatch

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